By Nancy Virden (c)2022
Boundaries are not lines we draw around other people – they are what we draw around ourselves. Since we have no control over external events or other people, we decide what it is we will allow in our lives. By establishing priorities as discussed in part one, we find a safer place in which to make healthy and wise decisions. All of this 5-part series is integral, practical how-tos for setting boundaries.
The first priority
Contrary to popular and fearful opinion, putting God first is not a strain. It must be done in the way He has prepared, however, or it becomes another burden. The 3 steps are these: Believe God exists and believe in His Son Jesus Christ as Messiah (Savior); confess your sins and ask God’s forgiveness; accept Jesus as your personal Lord.
After that, if done sincerely, you can expect God to begin to lead you. Your faith and understanding will grow when you read the inerrant Holy Bible, talk to God and listen, and attend a church where people believe the 3 steps above but do not try to add extra “rules” in order to be saved. Learn to obey God.
Godly boundaries focus on what God has already asked of us.
James 1:5-8 “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.”
What might God be asking of you?
Engage regular reassessments
About once per year, you will find me reassessing my priorities. Life changes. What does not waver is my first priority: do I know what is God’s will?
Because selfishness is part of the human condition, a second question is necessary: am I setting “boundaries” out of apathy or avoidance?
To manage my motives and tendency to jump in too quickly to volunteer, I ask: am I considering Proverbs 3:27 which says “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act”? By this, I can prioritize those people who actually need my help (not takers and users or abusers), and make sure I am signing up for things I can actually accomplish (not engaging in wishful thinking or good but misled intentions).
Choose your priorities carefully. To begin living in a balanced, mentally healthy way, know Who it is you trust. When we know Who to say yes to, we know who to say no to.
More to come…
Today’s Helpful Word
Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.
If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.
If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. or go to your nearest emergency room. In the EU call 112. (For other international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!
Always the Fight Ministries (ATFM) has been displaying compassion for those fighting mental illness, addiction, or abuse since 2012. Nancy is the founder and voice of ATFM and openly shares her emotional resurrection from despair. NOTE: Nancy is not a doctor or a mental health professional, and speaks only from personal experience and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.
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