Tag Archives: boundaries

The Joy of Anger

The title of this post may sound conflicting, but joy can truly emerge out of the ability to express anger (in a safe environment).

While sipping my hot latte and listening to the sounds of rain dance along the pavement this morning, I stared into the face of a dear friend as we talked about anger.

Anger is a beautiful gift that shows us when something has gone wrong or when a boundary has been crossed in our lives. And just as it goes in, it must come out.

Anger is an emotion that everyone can relate to. At some point in our lives (and maybe even today), we have all have been angered by the actions of others, the circumstances of life, or even by God Himself (which is generally a product of misunderstanding Him).

Regardless of the circumstance, this anger can often point us to deeper wounds that exist within us. An immature spirit. An unforgiving heart. A wounded soul. A history of abuse or violence. Or even a misconception of God.

The Word encourages us to be “slow to anger, and not to sin.” Take a close look at this, beloved. God is giving us FULL permission to be angry, yet not to sin. How does one do this? Only through the grace of Jesus Christ (just as it is with all good things). This is a wonderful example of applying God’s truth as quoted in Philippians: “I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me.”

Anger is healthy. God gets angry at times, and there is nothing in His word that states that anger in itself is sinful. Why? Simply because it’s not. Yet, we as sinful humans can taint this emotion and create a trail of destruction.

“The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.” Psalm 145:8

“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” James 1:19-20

What do you do when your blood pressure is rising, your head is becoming hot, and your tongue is prepared to lash out a few regrettable words in response to another?

You stop and you pray. Go directly to Jesus.

When someone pushes your buttons, aggravating your very flesh – take a step back, run to a closet, and go talk to the Lord. Without Him we will sin.

“A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.” Proverbs 29:11

The more you control today through Christ, the easier it gets later. And this is how we grow into women and men of understanding.

“Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly.” Proverbs 14:29

I want you to ask yourself this question: “Am I an angry person?”

If the answer is yes, my suggestion is for you to do the following three things:

1. Talk to the Lord about your anger. Surrender your feelings and those who have hurt you into His hands.

2. Express your anger safely in a healthy environment. This may include going for a run, taking a boxing class, punching a few pillows, crying, screaming in your car, or even writing a letter explicitly sharing what you feel (and burning it thereafter). You MUST respect the emotion (which God created) and give your heart the freedom it needs to be relieved. Continue to seek the Lord, and healing will come to reside in that place where anger once lived.

3. Lovingly confront the individual who has hurt you (even if you believe it is God Himself). There is incredible power in communication – purging what’s in the dark and bringing it into light.

“Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil”. Ephesians 4:26-27

Rule your anger through the grace of Jesus Christ (by meditating and applying God’s Word in prayer), and use this emotion to your advantage as a tool of refinement rather than allowing it to bring you to sin.

“Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.” Proverbs 16:32

Will you surrender your issues of anger to the Lord Jesus Christ and allow Him to set you free?

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6 Steps to Successfully Move from Your Past to Your Present

If you’re just joining us today, you’ll want to catch up on this week’s topic by reading yesterday’s post Saying Farewell to Past Relationships.

All of us have experienced some form of hurt and rejection in this life. But praise be to God that He restores, revives, and reforms us as our Healing Father. Our old thought patterns, perspectives, and wounded hearts can be made new through His redemptive power and love.

Nevertheless, many of us hang onto old memories and old wounds caused by harmful (or simply dissolved) relationships. My hope is that this week’s series of posts will help you to prayerfully (and successfully) move from your past to your present. May God alone receive the glory. 

“Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:19 ESV

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV

Before diving into the six principles that we’ll discuss today, I would like to ask you the following question: How often do you struggle with thoughts about a particular person from your past? Is it a few to several times per day? Do you dream about them? Do you hate them and simmer in bitterness towards them? Do you wish bad things would happen to them? Do you regret the past and wish you were never with them? Or do you lust after them, wishing to live out sexual fantasies? And lastly, do you perhaps fantasize about being with this person once again?

If you experience any of what I have listed above, you may benefit by laying your past with this person down at the foot of the cross and welcoming Jesus in to heal your wounded heart.

“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” Romans 8:26-27 ESV

If you are in this situation, here is how I am praying for you today:

“Lord Jesus, I come to You in Your name and ask that You will give every single reader the grace to understand their past and the courage to move forward from their past through the power of the Holy Spirit. Lord, I pray for divine revelation and insight to touch every single reader today, and that You would search their hearts and bring to mind situations that are in need of Your healing touch. I pray for humility for every heart so that they can receive what You reveal through this post and through their own time with you. May they receive the desire to better themselves in order to draw themselves closer to You. May You and You alone receive the glory, our sweet and glorious King, because You are worthy. May Your will be done in each of these lives today. I may not see them, but You do. Thank You Jesus. We love you! Amen.”

“Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise.” James 5:13 ESV

Let’s get started today with our first of six points:

1. First, you have to start with forgiveness (through the power of the Holy Spirit) before you can effectively move from your past to your present. Cultivating healing in any relationship that ends sourly or was never really in God’s plan to begin with inevitably needs to start with forgiveness.

“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32 ESV

Here are a few areas of forgiveness to consider:

A. Ask forgiveness from God for any sin that has been produced in your own heart (which grieves Him) as a result of any failed relationship. These sins may include malice, bitterness, remorse, or unresolved anger towards the individual to whom you were in relationship with; apathy and contempt towards others or even new relationships due to unresolved hurt from this relationship; and complaint, pessimism, low self-esteem, and low self-worth that have been produced as a byproduct of this failed relationship.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 ESV

You are sons and daughters of the Most High God, and you are extremely valuable. But you must get rid of this junk to receive His true goodness. Empty the trash with His help today, beloved. No one deserves to have this type of power over you except God Himself. 

B. Forgive the other person with whom you were in the relationship. Not only is this scriptural, but it is also your gateway to freedom. For everything that this person has done to you, you must forgive them and let it go. Meditating on what didn’t go right and how they wronged you produces nothing good and nothing of eternal significance. The only thing you must do is to choose to obey His commands by forgiving those who harm you because Christ Himself has forgiven you. They might not deserve it in your eyes, but neither do you deserve the forgiveness that Christ continues to give you.

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” Hebrews 4:15 ESV

C. Forgive yourself for any mistakes you made during the relationship. Some of you may have pursued what you wanted without including God from the beginning of the relationship. You need to forgive yourself for being more about your own agenda than God’s will. Some of you included God, but closed your eyes to red flags because the relationship was filling a void that really needed healing from Christ (rather than dependency on mankind). Or maybe in your situation, you remained alert and sought the Lord’s will, but it just ended tragically because the other person decided to call it quits. No matter what mistakes you did make (since we’re not perfect), forgive yourself and move on, beloved.

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 ESV

Join us tomorrow as we continue this series: Six Ways to Successfully Move from Your Past to Your Present. You won’t want to miss it! Thank you for choosing His Daily Dose!

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The Power in Developing Boundaries with Family and Friends

Taken from the  book titled Boundaries, the authors Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend, state the following:

Having clear boundaries is essential to a healthy, balanced lifestyle. A boundary is a personal property line that marks those things for which we are responsible. In other words, boundaries define who we are and who we are not. Boundaries impact all areas of our lives.”

The process for setting boundaries is a piece of cake,  but it’s the implementation of these same boundaries that can become quite difficult. I’ve been down this road before, and just as anything in life – it becomes easier to do the more it’s practiced.

For several months, I inherently wished that boundaries weren’t even necessary in my relationships. “Couldn’t we all just get along without them?”, I thought to myself.

In my mind, boundaries appeared as a reactive response to a sinful world. For this reason, it was never a positive experience for me. However, over the years the Lord has shown me that in His goodness He wisely implemented boundaries as part of His creation, before sin ever entered the world (refer to yesterday’s post HERE).

Therefore, boundaries must be essential to life. So, it’s wise for us to evaluate the state of our relationships and those we allow to influence our lives.

Let’s take a glance at the following scriptures the Lord directed me to this morning concerning relational boundaries:

1. We have specific roles within relationships, we cannot be all things to all people. Depending on the context of the relationship, we adopt certain roles. For example: ‘You are a child of God, but you are not someone’s Holy Spirit.’ ‘You are a daughter of your mother, but you’re not your mother’s parent, you’re her daughter.’ These are distinct roles that can easily become distorted if appropriate boundaries are not put in place. And protected.

We are to be in relationship with other people, this is very healthy. However, we are only expected to love them through the heart of Christ within specified boundaries. We need God’s wisdom to show us how to implement either a healthy detachment (separation) from an individual, or to instruct our hearts on specific issues that need to be addressed in the relationship. If something about the person’s actions causes you to feel anxious, guilty, shameful, or depressed, then these are pretty strong indicators on where you can start in your conversation with the Lord. The Holy Spirit doesn’t adopt the role as the Savior of the world. That belongs to Jesus. We also need to evaluate our proper roles in the relationships we have while operating in His love.

For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.” 1 John 5:7

“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” Romans 12:18

2. Developing intimate relationships with non-believers. This is a sticky topic. I have unbelievers in my life that I absolutely adore. I’m sure we all do. You know Jesus is in the same situation? Not everyone believes in Him nor do they accept Him as their Savior, but He still loves them. And we should do the same. He died for us all. I personally hold a conviction to intentionally seek out relationships with unbelievers and lavish them with Christ’s love. But, I also have limits. The Word does provide caution for developing intimate relationships with non-believers in order to keep a clear conscious by avoiding worldly influence. To be yoked with another individual means to clamp to another, to be enslaved by them, or to tie and link together. And it is incredibly wise for us to evaluate how closely linked we are to those who do not live by the Word. Once again, we are to love, but to love wisely.

“Do not be deceived:’Bad company ruins good morals’.” 1 Corinthians 15:33

“Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?” 2 Corinthians 6:14

“So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.” Revelation 3:16

“For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Galatians 5:14

“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.” Matthew 7:1-2

3.  We cannot fix the problems of others. We must have the ability to say “no” to harmful things in our lives. This is a strong boundary that needs to be in place across the board. It is Jesus who carries the burdens of others, not us. That is why He is the Savior of the world. We also cannot rescue people from experiencing the consequences of their bad decisions. They are robbed from the opportunity to learn and grow, meanwhile our hearts grow hard and resentful. God never intended for us to play the role of a Savior in anyone’s life.

“For each will have to bear his own load.” Galatians 6:5

“A man of great wrath will pay the penalty, for if you deliver him, you will only have to do it again.” Proverbs 19:19

“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed-not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence-continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” Philippians 2:12-13

“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:7-8

4. We cannot allow others to manipulate us. What is manipulation? It is defined as the devious influence for one’s own advantage. I don’t like manipulation. It’s when people place a guilt trip on you for not doing what they want you to do. It’s that feeling of resentment and regret for spending hours of your day on something you never wanted to do in the first place. This isn’t the cheerful giving that Jesus was referring to, it’s far from it, beloved. It’s an unhealthy tactic coming from a boundaryless person looking to serve their own agenda. And the Lord is telling us to say ‘no’ in love.

“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1

“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” Matthew 7:15

“Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:7

May the Lord guide us in the boundaries we need to set with our family members, friends, and those we interact with day to day, in order that we might experience the greatest joys found in a healthy relationship. He is beyond able to instruct us on where these protective borders need to be. Trust in Him, beloved. He will equip you for the task. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post on setting boundaries for the mind.

And thank you for choosing His Daily Dose!

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