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Thursday, October 11, 2018

Boundaries #1

Set up a fence for the people all around and tell them, ‘Be careful not to go up the mountain or to touch any part of it.’ Anyone who even touches the mountain must be put to death.  Exodus 19:12 CEB
The king will say, “I did this with my own two powerful hands. I did this with my wisdom, because I am so clever. I’ve eliminated the boundaries of nations. I’ve looted treasuries. I’ve brought down people like a mighty man. Isaiah 10:13 God’s Word (GW)

We all need boundaries. When we eliminate boundaries in our relationships we lose our ability to think clearly. Author Christina Hergenrader tells about this in Family Trees & Olive Branches:

“When you’re doing life with a person with poor boundaries, you will often find yourself as part of their circus… Oftentimes (okay, almost every meal), one of them comes to the table with a bellyful of pain about something. One of our daughters is feeling hurt about some drama that went down at recess, and she will fling herself down to her pot roast with a scowl on her face. She will glare at her brother when he crunches his cauliflower too loudly. Then she will start with the, ‘Can you please chew with your mouth closed?’

When I’m tired and my boundaries are poor, I will totally get sucked into this kind of behavior. Yes, she is being ugly to other members of my family. But my desire to help her will cloud my judgment. Instead of telling her she can choose between being kind to us or eating her dinner in the dining room, I’ll ask everyone to chew more quietly for her. I’ll pour her a glass of her favorite juice. I’ll take her side in her story of the playground politics. Her bad mood has become my responsibility, and I will feel really bad right alongside her, in hopes that a compliant, bad-feeling mama might be a bright spot in her day.  I ask you, what kind of insane logic is this?”

Prayer: Dear Lord, help us to know how to stay inside the boundaries you have set for us. Help us to love each person around us but be aware of those who have no boundaries. Guide us in all situations. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Sandra Hilsabeck

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