Set Boundaries (4)
“I can make it through anything.” Php 4:12 TM
Flexible boundaries. Rigid boundaries cause you to shut other people out and live unprepared and ill equipped for the give-and-take that healthy relationships require. Permeable boundaries leave you defenseless against “users” who feel entitled to manipulate you and who expect to be taken care of at your expense. But flexible boundary people are competent for living their own life, yet with a balanced and healthy interest in others. They can be generous in sharing their time, compassion and resources, without becoming overly responsible, or betraying their God-given duty to be the unique person He made them, just to please others. They say, “I can be in relationship with you, without giving up being me!” They don’t let you violate their boundaries, and they know how to keep from violating yours. Unlike rigid people, they bend and adjust as circumstances require, without becoming overwhelmed, defensive, resentful, blaming or reactive. In tough situations they roll with the punches, stay focused, and draw on a well of inner strength which God provides. Paul was such a person: “I’ve learned…to be…content whatever my circumstances…I can make it through (adjust to) anything in the One who makes me who I am” (vv.12-13 TM). People and circumstances don’t control them; they flex, and let God take charge. They are helpful, but they don’t feel guilty because they can’t “fix” everybody. Their boundaries enable them to adjust to circumstances. They practice the principle, “Bear one another’s burdens” (Gal 6:2), without over-functioning or being responsible for others.