Smelling smoke? – there is fire

By Dave Henning / April 15, 2023

“If you are smelling smoke, there is fire.  And the only reasonable option at this point is either put out the fire or get yourself out of the fire.  Drawing boundaries can help put our fires before they become all-consuming. . . .  boundaries aren’t just a good idea, they are a God idea.”- Lysa TerKeurst

“I made the sand a boundary for the sea, an everlasting barrier it cannot cross.  The waves may roll, but they cannot prevail; they may roar, but they cannot cross it.”- Jeremiah 5:22 (NIV)

In Chapter 1 (“You Are Not Crazy”) of Good Boundaries and Goodbyes, Lysa TerKeurst stresses that sometimes it’s awful to speak the truth.  Yet, she counsels, it’s much more awful to find truth staring you in the face and deny it.

Above all, Lysa underscores, view trust as an incredibly fragile thing to rebuild.  Because that rebuild consists of cruel setbacks and debilitating, unexpected strains.  And splinters of broken trust thrust daggers into the human heart.

Thus, true and lasting love only thrives within the safety of trust.  So, without trust, love dies.  Therefore, Lysa exhorts:

“I . . . believe we must honor what honors God.  And in doing so, we must not confuse the good commands to love and forgive with the bad realities of enabling and covering up things that are not honoring to God. . . .  Live breathes the oxygen of trust.”

Certainly, Lysa observes, you may feel brokenhearted – sad – afraid – possibly angry.  You focus on trying to fix what is not within your ability to fix.  In addition, you may fixate on trying to figure everything out.  But, Lysa counsels, you are not crazy!

Most significantly, God ‘s woven boundaries into everything He’s done (Jeremiah 5:22).  Form the very beginning. Hence, an abundance of chaos usually reflects a lack of good boundaries.   While it’s not always possible to change the source of the chaos, we must tend to what we can change.  Chaos shouldn’t be the norm.

In conclusion, Lysa states that “boundaries aren’t a method to perfect but rather an opportunity to protect what God intended for relationships.”

Today’s question: Where are you smelling smoke in your life?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Relational access – conditional”

About the author

Dave Henning

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