Boundaries Are A Blessing

by Cynthia Jennings on October 21, 2020
Have you ever found yourself having an out-of-control reaction in response to someone else out-of-control actions?  Whew!!!! Been there. Afterwards I reflected and asked myself why in the world did I allow this person to take me so far out of character. SMH!!! But in that moment, it was very hard to react in in other way and to be honest it felt good at that time.

Have you ever experienced a time when someone asked for your advice, you give them sound biblical advice for your explanation why they shouldn’t do what they are asking and why you don’t want to be a part of what they are asking? Yet they go away from the conversation and much to your surprise they do the opposite! Now you’re livid! Your immediate reaction {being out of control} is not merely being overdramatic or emotional, you were simply trying to prevent this person from a massive train wreck. Or so you thought.

The following is a restatement of someone’s immediate out-of-control action:

“Some important documents came in the mail. My name was included on the envelop, so I opened it. But the minute I opened the envelop and began reading the contents, my blood skyrocketed.  One of the people was moving forward with something I deeply disagreed with. I had previously vocalized my reasoning for shutting down this idea. I couldn’t believe they didn’t listen to me!”

“After reading the contents of the envelop, I simply should have reminded that person of my boundary to not bail them out financially if this decision was as detrimental as I believe it to be.” “Instead, I angrily tore those papers into as many tiny pieces as I possibly could. But that wasn’t good enough. I also tore the folders and mailing envelopes. In my out-of-control reaction I quietly placed all the tiny pieces into a baggie, sat them on the counter with a note stating.” “This is all have to say about this situation!”

I know some of you are thinking, was it necessary to tear the paper and envelopes into tiny pieces and put them into a baggie?  Did this person do too much? Be honest, what situations have you been in where someone else’s actions caused you to have a similar or worse out-ot-control response? 

The following is the reflection of the aforementioned out-of-controllers’ actions:

“In that moment it felt good. But the next morning, I woke up and was like, Really?! Really?! All I could hear was the persons response to me when they saw the baggie filled with those tiny pieces of paper…. “Wow, you’ve made quite a statement.” Now I was the one who needed to apologize and I had to call the company to resend the papers I accidentally, on purpose, in a crazed moment, tore into tiny pieces. And when I did, the lady who worked at that company told me she’d recently read one of my books. Perfect. Wonderful. Ugh.”

Have you ever had that feeling of ughhhh after an out-of-control action? Are you mature enough to recognize your out-of-control response was not warranted and apologize?

Usually these out-of-control outburst happen when we can’t control others. Controlling ourselves cannot be dependent on us trying to control others. The woman I restated above wanted the person who asked for the advice to do exactly what she said. If the woman had of set boundaries up front, the documents that arrived in the mail would not have sent her into an out of control response.

We all have had or will have situations that make us feel like we will lose self-control. But what do we do when those situations arise? Establish boundaries! Boundaries aren’t used to push others away; they are used to hold us together.

Without boundaries, other people’s bad choices will bankrupt your spiritual capacity for compassion. Not to mention if boundaries are not set, at some point you will become so exhausted that you will lose your self-control.

Boundaries help us to understand that only God can bring about true changes in a person. Establishing boundaries equips us to share godly wisdom without putting ourselves in situations that could lead to an out-of-control response.

Setting boundaries is not always easy because we want the best for those that seek our advice. But for the sake of sanity boundaries are necessary. Not only are boundaries necessary, staying consistent with those boundaries are just as important.

PEARLStoPONDER: When was the last time you had an out-of-control action based on someone else’s action? It’s time to set boundaries!
Proverbs 17:27--Whoever restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding.

Proverbs 31:26--She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.

James 1:19-20--19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
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