Setting boundaries and taking time to heal are the paths to overcoming and thriving after emotional hurt, pain, and trauma.
Setting boundary limits on condemnation?
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of.”Ephesians 4:2-3
We don’t like to admit that we are judgmental and frequently hold one another in contempt. Or that we hold grudges. Or that we let bitterness grow root within our hearts. No, none of that is stuff we want to talk about or deal with. We put on our pleasant faces, walk our Christian walk, and don’t get honest with ourselves much.
So Yes, setting limits on our condemnation of others is a boundary we need to set with ourselves. We get hurt, we hurt others. We get offended, we offend others. However, we can choose to let God work through and in us, heal our pain and dig out those bitter roots.
And once we do that, we are ready to deal authentically with each other, expand our tolerance and learn to genuinely love each other.
Setting limits begins in our minds.
- We must own our thoughts.
- There is a need to grow our knowledge and expand our minds
- His Word is our Counselor; we need to use our brains to better our lives and glorify God
- We need to clarify our distorted thinking. We rarely see or understand people as they are, we have preconceptions of who we think they are and don’t see clearly; due to the logs in our eyes.
- We need to be actively thinking through and discerning where we may be wrong.
“For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.”1 Corinthians 2:11
Consequently, we need to own and be aware of our own feelings. They should not be ignored. Nor should our emotions be in charge of our actions or choices. My feelings are my responsibility. They are my blessing and my problem to deal with.
As far as boundaries go, within my property line, these are my sole responsibility: my attitudes, convictions, and feelings. Only I can change these.
“The price of greatness is responsibility.”Winston Churchill
When we choose to set limits and accept responsibility, our relationships are saved and become joyful.
Additionally, taking responsibility for our choices leads to the fruit of self-control.
Emotions Help us Form Intelligent Boundaries
Fear tells us to move away from danger, to exercise care. Sadness tells us we have lost something.
Anger also signals danger, as sign to confront the threat, our boundaries have been violated. Anger provides us with a sense of power to solve a problem. It can energize us to protect ourselves and those we love. It can also set us to stand up for righteousnesses sake, for our principles.
When anger suddenly is pointed at you, it can be confusing. Often, the anger over some seemingly insignificant happening is a build up from boundary violations that occurred previously. Years of boundary violations can generate extraordinary amounts of anger.
You can’t expect boundaries to be respected if you don’t erect them in the first place!
If you are unwilling to set boundaries, you have no right to anger over them being violated. If you have allowed boundary violations to grow a grudge in your heart, you are responsible for dealing with this.
It is never too late to set boundaries. If your relationships cannot withstand your setting of boundaries, it is time to let those relationships go. But first, set boundaries in love and calmness, explain yourself and give folks a choice.
- Set limits.
- Be done.
- There are other friendships.
- Grieve it – and move on.
“The first thing you need to learn is that the person who is angry at you for setting boundaries is the one with the problem…Maintaining your boundaries is good for other people; it will help them learn what their families of origin did not teach them: to respect other people.Boundaries, Henry Cloud
“Do not let anger be a cue for you to do something. People without boundaries respond automatically to the anger of others. They rescue, seek approval, or get angry themselves. There is great power in inactivity. Do not let an out-of-control person be the cue for you to change your course. Just allow him to be angry and decide for yourself what you need to do.” (p.248)
Love is all we have for keeping connections intact.
If our attachments are not enough to hold our relationships together, they will not last. There should be grace to see us through any hardships if both parties are willing to be authentic.
“For we are each responsible for our own conduct.”Galatians 6:5
“There is therefore not now condemnation for those who are in Messiah.”