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UCB Word For You

Setting boundaries

30 June 2021
‘Follow the Lord’s rules for doing his work.’

We can be so eager to stay in everyone’s good books and gain their approval that we’ll constantly drop everything to do what they want. Having a desire to help people is great, but when we can’t say no or don’t set boundaries, we can quickly become burnt out. One Bible teacher wrote: ‘Once when I was complaining about my heavy schedule, I heard God’s Spirit say, “You’re the one who makes the schedule; if you don’t like it, do something about it!”’ It’s easy to blame other people for putting pressure on us, or the devil for whispering lies such as, ‘If you don’t help this time, it proves you’re a bad person,’ but there are times when we need to take responsibility for our decisions and actions. We might resent people who pressure us into helping them, but still keep doing what they want in order to keep their good opinion, which feeds our silent anger. Paul told Timothy, ‘Follow the Lord’s rules for doing his work…as an athlete…follows the rules or is disqualified’ (v.5 TLB). We need to remember that that Jesus is our example, and He had regular times of rest and renewal. The answer lies in 1) seeking the Holy Spirit’s guidance for our lives, 2) learning to put God’s plan first, 3) realising we have needs too, and 4) not expecting everybody to understand or be happy when we set boundaries. The Bible says, ‘A friend loves at all times’ (Proverbs 17:17 NIV) – not just when we comply with their wishes. To fulfil God’s will for our lives, we need to learn to set boundaries.

What Now?

Try to set yourself a simple boundary, such as you won’t answer your phone or reply to messages for an hour at a certain time each day. Try to use that time to refresh yourself and talk to God.

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