I am frustrated. Some personal choices/appointments I thought were right for me to make are being cancelled . . . at the behest of others’ desires. So, I am rearranging my priorities once again. I am annoyed and have lots of questions about this. What is legitimate in setting boundaries? What is kind consideration of others? What is unhealthy submitting to the potentially overreaching priority of others? Are the requests overreaching? Should I stamp my not-so-pretty little feet and flex my self-perceived rightful-priority muscles? Should I always change my schedule to suit the needs of others? What is accepting abuse and what is just being loving and flexible? All these questions I am putting to my Friend Jesus today!
I am not talking about a paid employment situation. The boss is the boss – within reason! I am talking about personal relationships with friends and family members. I am also not talking about being physically threatened. Just to be clear: anyone who is physically threatened – told to adhere to the needs of others “or else!” – should seek help in disentangling from that relationship. Please.
Working through this issue, I realize these questions are probably not just my own. I believe as I surrender to God, and pray over the problem, the Lord will give me wisdom and direction as to when to say yes and when to say no. However, the core of the matter is my heart. Am I approaching these decisions from a heart of love for the ones “invading my space?” Or am I responding with territorial alarm at another opportunity to lose control over my life? And, am I really losing control over my life when I yield to the requests of others?
With all the warring, starving, death and destruction surrounding us these days, my questions are not comparatively important. Except to me. My responses in these seemingly insignificant circumstances are like a rock being dropped in a pond; the ripple effect is amazing. Depending on the heart of the response, the effect is either positive or negative. If I don’t deal with my bitterness and anger, it will be a destructive decision for all involved. If I don’t draw a line in the sand when I know it is legitimate for me to do so, the effect is negative as well.
So, how then shall I respond? Once again, it takes the heart of God in each specific situation to know. My answers usually come when I remember what the Lord says in the Bible; and, when I spend a lot of time talking to Him about it all! Miraculously, when I wait and listen and my heart is quieted, wisdom that doesn’t come from me settles in my heart – a peace that trust allows to enter in. That’s when I see when to firmly (with love!) say no, or yes, each time. The key is to yield to the Lord, to pray and not respond until God’s love takes over my heart. Then, solutions seem to evolve naturally. Sometimes, love says no. And, sometimes love says yes. And, trusting that God has The Plan under control is a key to the ability to forgive, love and set boundaries that are not selfish, but obedient to Truth in each situation.
Thanks for listening, friend. As I finish writing to you, the answers to my quandary have evolved in a healthy way. I was right – even over the “little stuff” in life, the Lord has all the answers!
Keep looking up,
© January 15, 2018