How do grace and boundaries coexsist?
This is going to be short. I apologize ahead of time because I do not remember the person who was speaking when I heard this profound statement.
These last few months God has really been working on my with boundaries of all types. Boundaries with family members, my children, my friends, my church. At times I have been successful to implement appropriate boundaries and other times I have failed. When I implement my boundaries with truth and love I have left people and conversations filled with peace, no guilt and no regret. It is a wonderful and freeing feeling. Praise God that He wants us to have this. For whatever reason, when I do not implement my boundaries I do not have peace. I have hurt feelings. I have regrets. And these feelings do not easily go away. So I want to continue to have boundaries, but at times I feel like they contradict living a life of grace.
Grace…grace…I read a book years ago called, “What’s So Amazing About Grace?” I don’t remember most of it, but I know that grace is extraordinary and comes as a gift from God. We receive His grace and then we should bestow it to others. So I started to become a door mat at times in situations with people. Not because of Grace, but because I did not feel that I had the right to tell another person no. Nor did I, or maybe still do not, possess the tact to always respectfully disagree with people.
What I needed to remember was a simple story in scripture. When the religious leaders brought the adulteress to Jesus to condemn her, He did 2 very important things. The first thing He did was to draw a line in the dirt. He set a boundary and He did not look to see if any one approved. He simply and peacefully set a boundary. Then with His words he reinforced the boundary. “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” Again with words he reinforces the boundary but He also bestowed grace. Jesus set her free from what the law said she deserves, BUT he set her free with the knowledge that she needed to make a different choice with her life.
So this profound statement that has brought me clarity with my conundrum of grace and boundaries IS…drum-roll PLEASE….
Grace without boundaries is enabling.
That is a very powerful statement. There are far too many variations to give some concrete advise, but I leave you with this. Talk to your Heavenly Father first. He knows best. He knows our hearts and motives as well as the other persons involved. One of my favorite prayers right now is…”Lord give my Your words to speak the truth in love. When I don’t have them please close my mouth.” For some of you you may only need the first sentence. For others like myself we desperately need them both.