Anyone that knows me, they know that I am a firm believer of having good boundaries. When I first started studying boundaries, I thought it was going to prepare me on how to control and fix everyone else or at least how to teach them how to treat me. And in some ways it did teach me how to allow people to treat me but mostly it taught me how to treat others. I only thought I was doing it right!
If you haven’t ever read the book “Boundaries: When to say Yes and How to say No” by Townsend and Cloud , I would highly suggest it. If you can find a small group in your area that would be willing to study it along with you that would be even better. Either way, don’t delay. It can change your life!
I had a foundation of Jesus in my life, so understanding how HE loved me and how HE loved others was just solidified by the words in the boundaries book.
I frequently get emails from Henry Cloud about boundaries and I love this one……
Don’t confuse acceptance with agreement.
When you’re in the middle of a growth process, and you start to open up and be vulnerable, you may feel persecuted and wrongfully judged when you start to get feedback from others. You think that criticism proves you aren’t accepted, and you may be in a situation where you feel rejected. You say to yourself, “That church/group/counselor is so unaccepting of people. I need to find a place where there is grace.”
While some criticism can be judgmental, direct loving criticism is a necessary part of growth. In fact, where there is no confrontation, growth is seriously hampered. At the same time, agreement and acceptance are not equal. You can and should be in an environment in which both total acceptance and clear honesty are operating when honesty comes from love.
Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.
Lord thank You for being patient with me and leading me to knowledge that makes my life better. Help me be the light that shines to help other find You. Amen!