Bring relief to the grief

By Dave Henning / May 2, 2023

“Good boundaries bring relief to the grief of letting other people’s opinions, issues, desires, and agendas run our life.  But if we see boundaries as a one-way ticket to acting unkind, unchristian, or uncaring, there will be no relief.”- Lysa TerKeurst

In Chapter 8 (“Trying to Make Someone Else Happy Shouldn’t Be Your Definition of Healthy”) of Good Boundaries and Goodbyes, Lysa TerKeurst tells the story of when her grown kids convinced her to get a puppy.  An apricot-colored fur ball of joy she named Givey.

However, when Lysa first tried to crate train Givey, he cried and cried.  Until she let him out.  But, as Lysa eventually discovered, the lack of boundaries fed her untrained puppy Givey’s anxiety.  Because anxiety forced him to figure out what he could and could not do.  Consequently, the lack of boundaries didn’t give the puppy a feeling of freedom.  Instead, that lack imprisoned Givey in uncertainty.

Therefore, Lysa counsels, decline to go along with the other person’s attitudes and behavior just to keep the peace.  For in keeping the peace, you fail to deal with the fallout.  Even though your strategy might work for a while.  Because, in time, you’ll explode in frustration.  Or your simmering resentments silently eat away inside of you.  Until you truly cannot stand that person at all.

In addition, it’s easy for everyday scenarios to make us question who we are based on another person’s actions or reactions.  As a result, Lysa advises:

“If you personalize an incident by attaching it to your identity, you’ll bear the weight of it.  If you don’t personalize it, but rather see the situation as a moment to pause and consider, you’ll be better able to humbly determine what to do, and how to process it.  Maybe this is an opportunity to ask yourself, is this something that is supposed to reform me or inform me?”

Today’s question: Do you agree with Lysa – and Givey- that boundaries bring relief to the grief?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Alignment with God’s truth”

About the author

Dave Henning

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