“The feeling of anxiety is like an alarm bell alerting us to remember the Lord is near, so we don’t have to overreact; we can let the peace of God protect our hearts and minds, and intentionally direct and filter our thoughts, factoring in what is still good. . . . We need to let that anxiety be an alarm and not a constant state of being.”- Lysa TerKeurst
“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”- Colossians 4:6 (NIV)
As Lysa TerKeurst moves on in Chapter 5 of Good Boundaries and Goodbyes, she stresses that the person causing anxiety in the relationship must step up responsible behavior. Or we must reduce that person’s access. Hence, in his book When to Walk Away, Gary Thomas describes a toxic person:
“If someone is getting in the way of you becoming the person God created you to be or frustrating the work God has called you to do, for you that person is toxic.”
Therefore, Lysa discusses five factors to help you set good boundaries. She covers the first two factors today.
1. A boundary isn’t to take control of the other person’s action. Rather, boundaries serve to help you remain self-controlled and safe. Because when you focus on changing the other person, you’ll quickly feel like boundaries don’t work for you. Thus, shift your focus to things you can control with your boundary. Such as your environment, what you will/will not tolerate, and what you do, and do not, have to give.
2. Grace has a place in this conversation. We can be gracious, Lysa stresses, in how we voice (a) our concerns, (b) our need for a boundary, and (c) the consequences if the boundary is violated. As Lysa’s counselor, Jim, always says: “Say what you mean, mean what you say, and don’t say it mean.”
In conclusion, Lysa advises, consider any reasonable and appropriate questions. And acknowledge something positive about the other person before addressing the needed change.
Today’s question: Does anxiety serve as an alarm bell to alert you that the Lord is near? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Hopeful wish = weak suggestion”