Yesterday we started learning about Boundaries, When to Say Yes and When to Say No. Today lets look deeper. This study is from the book:
TO AND FOR
We are responsible TO others for ourselves. “Carry each other’s burdens, “ says Galatians 6:2, “and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” This verse shows our responsibility TO one another.
Many times others have “burdens” that are too big to bear. They do not have enough strength, resources, or knowledge to carry the load, and they need help. Denying ourselves to do for others is what they cannot do for themselves is showing the sacrificial love of Christ. This is what Christ did for us. He did what we could not do for ourselves; he saved us. This is being responsible “to”.
On the other hand, verse 5 says that “each one should carry his own load.” Everyone has responsibilities that only he or she can carry. These things are our own particular “load” that we need to take daily responsibility for and work out. No one can do certain things for us. We have to take ownership of certain aspects of life that are our own ‘”load”.
The Greek words for burden and load give us insight into the meaning of these texts. The Greek word for burden means “excess burdens,” or burdens that are so heavy that they weigh us down.
In contrast, the Greek word for load means “cargo” or “the burden of daily toil.” This word describes the everyday things we all need to do. These loads are like knapsacks. Knapsacks are possible to carry. We are expected to carry our own.
Problems arise when people act as if their “boulders’ are daily loads, and refuse help, or as if their “daily loads” are boulders they shouldn’t have to carry. The results of these two instances are either perpetual pain or irresponsibility.
GOOD IN, BAD OUT
Boundaries help us to distinguish our property so that we can take care of it. They help us to “guard our heart with all diligence.” We need to keep things that will nurture us inside our fences and keep things that will harm us outside. In short, boundaries help us keep the good in and the bad out.
Sometimes, we have bad on the inside and good on the outside. In these instances, we need to be able to open up our boundaries to let the good in and the bad out.
In other words, our fences need gates in them.
And when good is on the outside, we need to open our gates and “let it in.” Jesus speaks of the phenomenon in “receiving” Him and His Truth
Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.(Rev 3:20 NIV)
Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God (John 1:12 NIV)
Other people have good things to give us, and we need to open up to them.
We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians, and opened wide our hearts to you. We are not withholding our affection from you, but you are withholding yours from us. As a fair exchange—I speak as to my children—open wide your hearts also. (2 Corinthians 6:11-13 NIV)
In short, boundaries are not walls.
The Bible does not say that we are to be “walled off” from others. In fact it says that we are to be “one” with them.
I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one. (John 17:11 NIV)
But in every community, all members have their own space and property. The important thing is that property lines be permeable enough to allow passing and strong enough to keep out danger.
Often, when people are abused while growing up, they reverse the function of boundaries and keep the bad in and the good out.
Tune in tomorrow for GOD AND BOUNDARIES AND EXAMPLES OF BOUNDARIES!