Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – June 16, 2020
For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 2 Timothy 1:7
Before I married, I met a man who was romantically interested in me. I liked him too, so after a short time, we began dating exclusively. In retrospect, I know it was unwise to commit to a relationship so quickly as I later discovered unhealthy emotional traits in this man that would have made for a very messy relationship.
I knew I had to end it.
Through many years of singleness, I learned that another person’s change is their job and that I can’t fix anyone. Even though he was nice, my gut told me I needed to call things off, and I knew if I didn’t that I would be going against God’s will.
I needed to say goodbye, but I still felt bad about it. I didn’t want to hurt him. But then it became clear that it would actually be unkind to continue to date. My presence would only enable him to continue in some bad habits, and I wouldn’t be helping him to become more of who God had created him to be.
It was during this time that my conviction grew that having boundaries and being loving are not opposed. In fact, saying no and being loving can be in complete agreement.
Exercising boundaries doesn’t mean you are unkind. In fact, it may mean you are showing the other person the healthiest path for their life. When you say, “Hey, here’s why we can’t continue in relationship with one another,” you are making them responsible for their change.
Sometimes when we say no, we wrongly think we need to convince the other person that it’s good that we are saying no. We want them to see our perspective. We feel bad if they don’t understand why we have our boundary and we believe that if they don’t understand, that we are hurting them.
The problem is that if we insist on trying to make them “get it,” we are taking responsibility where we shouldn’t. (Some people call that co-dependency.)
It’s not our responsibility to make another person understand why we are saying no. It’s God’s responsibility to work in their life. It’s His responsibility to work in their heart to change them. It’s not ours. But one thing is certain, if we say yes when we know we should say no, then we will be hurting them, and we will be hurting ourselves, too.
Sometimes saying no can be the most loving thing you can do. The Lord says no to us all the time because He knows what’s good for us. We can follow His lead and say no when needed.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (John 14:27).
Lord, please give me courage to say no when it’s needed and to leave the results to you. Help me to remember that I can’t be anyone’s savior. That’s your job. Thank you for loving others more than I love them. Amen.
Who do you need to say no to today?
Proverbs 8:14; Galatians 5:22-23; 1 John 4:18
Enjoy Boyd’s newest and well loved 40 day devotional book: Wisdom For Living. Wise living is all about the Lord Jesus Christ. What is His best? What is His will?
Sometimes saying no can be the most loving thing you can do. The Lord says no to us all the time because He knows what’s good for us. #WisdomHunters #no #truth #Jesus
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