How to set and take boundaries
A couple weeks ago Ezra taught us about Judging. He told us about how to lovingly call out a brother or sister in Christ. First, we examine ourselves, then we can help others. Do you remember the plank of wood/the speck example?
What do you think of when I say boundaries?
Proverbs 4:23 “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
Boundaries are a way to protect your heart.
Have any of you ever had a pushy friend? Or a manipulative friend? Does someone want to share? (It can’t be about someone in the room)
There are a couple different ways that someone can disrespect your boundaries. What are some of these ways?
(Physically, emotionally, mentally, or your time.)
They can do these by being pushy, pouting, guilt tripping, threatening, or begging.
You need to set boundaries to make sure that you are healthy enough to still love people.
Some people want too much of your time, too much of your attention, are jealous of your friendships with others, or ask you to do everything for them, or want to control what you like and do. That’s when you need to say “No”.
There are a couple ways to do this.
-The first way, especially if we are talking about a friend or Christian, Is to respectfully verbally state that you don’t like something, or that you are too tired, or felt disrespected, etc.
-If that doesn’t work, then you inform them that you will take action (I.E. telling a teacher or distancing yourself).
-If they continue to disrespect your boundaries, then you take the aforementioned action.
It is also our responsibility to listen to other people’s boundaries. /if someone asks us to stop, stop. If we are controlling a friend and they feel disrespected, take the time to understand them. Don’t just straight into lashing out or not hanging out with them anymore.
Now, you are only allowed to set boundaries for yourself. For example, If you set boundaries on what someone else likes, then you are being the pushy person. You are not being respectful of their boundaries.
Now, what if you have a friend who is being a butt, or super needy, and you’re not sure whether to help them or not? When to say no or yes?
2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. 3 If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. 4 Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, 5 for each one should carry their own load.
That may sound like a contradiction. The word in verse 2 for Burden means something like a boulder. Something too heavy to carry. Like maybe some of the grief we talked about. Frequently someone will be having a hard time and need help and love to get them through it.
In verse 5, the word Load means someone’s daily load, like a purse or carrying sack.
Imagine I had a huge purse. And every day I filled it with so many things that it would be too heavy to carry. So every day I had Cuyler follow me around at work or I called one of you guys to come help me lug my purse around. Wouldn’t that be kind of silly? So It is our responsibility to not unnecessarily load up on things that we have control of such that we constantly need help with everything daily. But as a church it is our responsibility to help people with things that are too heavy to deal with alone.
Remind them that we are here for them to help carry each other’s burdens.