Forgive, Do Not Tolerate Harmful Boundary Violations
Hello everyone! I listened to Will Smith speak about his new book this weekend. I very much believe him to be a good man and a man who wants to do what is right. I believe he is a man who has forgiven much and for who much has been forgiven. He was humble enough to basically say, “I haven’t arrived, but I took responsibility for my role in my own pain and the pain of others. I am not a victim!” I appreciate his words and his accompanying actions. I agree with what he said 100%!
We hear (as we heard from Mr. Smith in a nutshell) “forgive people and don’t hold onto what they did to you.” Again, I agree with this statement; forgiveness is for us, not for the other person. Forgiveness sets us free from that person. Now to tell you what I’m not hearing from celebrities or pastors; “we can forgive people and not tolerate their harmful boundary violations.” You can do both at the same time. Doing both at the same time is healthy. Read those last two sentences again. This will set you free!
We can forgive people and not need or want to be their buddy. We can forgive people and let them go on down the road. We can forgive people and not let their harmful boundary violations be a part of our lives. Their boundary issues are their issues to work out. Their immaturity and insecurity are their issues to work out. Their abusive tendencies or addictions are their issues and healing to work out between them and Jesus. This is the responsibility of the person who needs to heal, not yours. You need not be involved where you are being hurt. Read this again!
I have recently experienced two attempts by two very hurt people to violate healthy boundaries set forth. I have forgiven both of these people and have done my part to be kind and amend, however, I have no desire to allow their boundary issues to be a part of my life nor do I have a desire for them to be a part of my life. Radical change (e.g., repentance) would have to occur and I don’t see any interest in that at this time from either party. I choose to pray for them and let Jesus take care of the rest. I don’t hate them or wish them ill will, you can’t feel that way toward people you pray for. However, I am neither responsible for them nor responsible for the pain they need to allow Him to heal. I’m going to put this plainly. I will not be *controlled by proxy, manipulated, nor disrespected in any way, shape, or form because of anyone’s pain. These are clear, disrespectful boundary violations. Their pain violates boundaries because it is tied to fear. Fear makes people do many harmful things to others and themselves. No one has to put up with someone else’s fear morphed into control or anything else for that matter. Boundary violations are a clear sign that a person has not repented and is not working on healing. They are simply giving you lip service hoping they can continue to get what they want from you. Lip service is not heart change or repentance. Trust me, I’ve heard and seen lip service; it’s a sad joke and the sad joke is on them.
When we know who and Whose we are, we won’t tolerate such things for these things come from perpetuated evil. Evil is not allowed to perpetuate itself in my life. Please don’t misunderstand what I am saying, the person may not be evil at all, they may be very hurt (and unfortunately unrepentant); what they are doing is perpetuated by evil they don’t recognize. Evil has no place and no hold on my life, and it doesn’t have to have a hold on your life either.
I ask you to think on these things. Jesus wants us to be free. He did not set us free to return to bondage of any kind. Galatians 5:1; For freedom, Christ set us free. Stand firm, then, and don’t submit again to a yoke of slavery (e.g., bondage).
Anyone who wants you in bondage of any kind is not in your best interest. **If they choose to be in bondage to their pain and fear or to someone else’s pain or fear, that is their issue to work out (and sad to boot when freedom is standing right in front of them in the form of Jesus Christ). I would implore them now to look at Jesus, live, and be free of such things!
I love everyone reading these blogs (even the perpetrators of abuse who have been abused themselves) and my desire is for you to be free and to walk in your Christ-given identity, with no pain and no fear. Look at Jesus! He is your freedom, and He is your Light in dark places. He wants to heal all who come to Him! Look at Jesus! He already knows you anyway and loves you anyway. Look to Him who redeems all things.
Jesus set us free! Walk in that freedom today and do not turn again to bondage!
*Control by Proxy: control that is passive and not direct but is done through other means of manipulation that don’t seem obvious at first. Examples: A person doing this may ask you to pick a place to meet and then complain about it or refuse to go. They may change plans on you at the last minute and expect you to comply. They may also try to fit you into their time schedule which is usually unyielding and inflexible. They limit communication only to the limited time they will spend with you.
**I do realize not everyone in the bondage of abuse can just leave but would need a plan to leave safely. I encourage you that if you are in a situation of abuse, choose a safe person to plan with so you can leave safely. Save any money you can, make your plan, and work your plan. You can be free!