More On Building Walls

 As I mentioned in my last post, I am far from an expert on having good boundaries in my life. In fact, I'm pretty crummy at setting boundaries. Consequently, I end up feeling run over and taken advantage of, or I just whine and complain.

So, in praying and pondering things, here are seven "bricks," if you will, for building healthy walls:

1. Ask God for wisdom:

"But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him," (James 1:5).

I don't always know what to do or when to do it, or how to tell someone I simply cannot do one more thing and stay sane. Wisdom, the Bible tells me, is my friend.

2.  Use that wisdom in choosing friends:

"Do not be deceived: 'Bad company corrupts good morals,'" (1 Corinthians 15:33).

If you are like me, then you have some friends who don't point you to Jesus when you go off course. They just tag up and join your grumble session. While it brings a release to vent to someone, it is a temporary fix. And it usually brings more anxiety when I mull over things I shared. I do myself a huge favor when I hang out with people who point me to the Lord.

3. Be like Paul, and take my needs to the Lord first before talking to people:

"So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him," (Matthew 6:8). 

When Paul had his Damascus-road encounter with Jesus, the one that left him blind to the world but opened his eyes to the Truth, he did not run to people and ask them if his experience was genuine. He spent time with the Lord, getting to know this Jesus he had met. Then, three years later (!),  he went to fellowship with Christians rooted in Christ. (check out Galatians chapter 1)

4. Watch my mouth:

"When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable, but he who restrains his lips is wise," (Proverbs 10:19).

Yep. I flap my jaws too much. I talk when I'm tired, I talk when I am stressed, I talk when I'm sad, I talk when I'm anxious. I talk to people, but haven't spent much time talking to God. The past few days I have been purposely telling God the painful things I've been thinking. I am amazed at how much peace I have felt, just sharing things with Him.

5. Guard my heart:

"Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life," (Proverbs 4:23).

This means not reading, listening to, or watching things (or hanging out with those) that don't bring me peace and encouragement, or which don't point me to Christ.

6. Pay attention to my thoughts:

"We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ," (2 Corinthians 10:5).

There are 1,440 minutes in a day. The average person has 12,000 to 50,000 (or more) thoughts per day. That is one thought every 2 to 12 seconds! Many of those thoughts are negative, and full of criticism of self or others.

I form the basis of my attitude and actions from what I dwell upon. That is why the Bible tells me to capture my thoughts and make them obey Christ. This starts with truly paying attention to what I say to myself.

7.  Allow God to be the judge:

"Therefore you have no excuse, everyone of you who passes judgment, for in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things," (Romans 2:1).

This is directly connected to thoughts. When I have a judgmental spirit, I think lots of judgmental, critical thoughts—many of which are aimed at myself. This kills my confidence and creates insecurity, and both of those traits make it hard to set healthy boundaries.

All of these steps require that I actively engage in my life, taking responsibility for myself. It is easy, when life is busy and my days are full, for me to put myself on cruise control. I just glide through my life, doing whatever comes naturally.

And that's the whole point of actively setting boundaries.  I have been made more than natural. God has given me everything I need to live for Him  (see 2 Peter 1).

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Managing Your Blessings