Boundaries: Forgiveness vs. Fellowship

boundaries

Forgiveness Does NOT Mean Access!

The 3-minute video below is the third part in a series on boundaries.  The first was about the purpose of boundaries – protecting the fruitfulness God expects from what He’s planting in your life (CLICK HERE to view). The second was about knowing if/when to set boundaries in relationships – it’s always when, not if (CLICK HERE to view). Below, I briefly address the question of how we know if we should forgive someone, and let them back “in” or restrict their access to us. This mixes two aspects, FORGIVENESS and BOUNDARIES – both are important, and both lead to healing and healthy relationships. See how:

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Convicted to Confront

Reblogging post on confrontation with a 3-minute video on setting boundaries. Rabbits don’t like when you put up a fence to keep them out of your garden, but producing fruit requires setting boundaries. “I’m a fan of mercy, and I’m a fan of grace, but that does not nullify the boundaries of God.” Love shows restraint; it doesn’t just do whatever it wants whenever it wants. Love both sets and keeps boundaries.

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I’ve been hit left and right these last few days with the reality that I need to engage in some loving confrontation to move forward in a healthy way. I was relatively clear on this notion on Monday, but by Wednesday (yesterday), I’d talked myself down from fully walking out in faith. I’d told myself, “Well, maybe I just need to be strong enough to address this issue should it come up again.” But, the reality is, God doesn’t want us to take a passive stance on confrontation. I thank Pastor Roger Hernandez for his obedience to blog about this. His Spirit-led tweets talked me out of the corner of fearing confrontations that need to be had.

In Matthew 18:15-20, the Word tells us to go to those who’ve harmed us, not to wait, but to be proactive and go to them. The whole purpose is to “gain…

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My Two Cents

Still Worth Two Cents!

Still Worth Two Cents!

When I saw these coins, I saw myself. They don’t look like much, but bless God, they’re still as valuable as the day they were minted! Their worth is based less on their material (which used to be pure copper) and more on the image they’ve been imprinted with. God made man from dust, then He breathed into man and man became a living soul. We used to be just dirt, but God made us in HIS image; we’ve been imprinted with the image of God and THAT determines our worth. As if that wasn’t enough, He shed His blood for us; what a high price He decided we’re worth!

I am fearfully and wonderfully made, and just as valuable to God as the day He began to knit me together in my  mother’s womb (Psalm 139). In fact, you were precious to Him and loved by Him from even before that, for the Word declares His steadfast love is FROM everlasting TO everlasting for you (Psalm 103:17). He’s always loved you, will always treasure you beyond measure! What life brings your way does NOT determine your worth! Battered and bruised as you may be, you are treasured by God, made in His image, and still worth the blood of Jesus!

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

Convicted to Confront

I’ve been hit left and right these last few days with the reality that I need to engage in some loving confrontation to move forward in a healthy way. I was relatively clear on this notion on Monday, but by Wednesday (yesterday), I’d talked myself down from fully walking out in faith. I’d told myself, “Well, maybe I just need to be strong enough to address this issue should it come up again.” But, the reality is, God doesn’t want us to take a passive stance on confrontation. I thank Pastor Roger Hernandez for his obedience to blog about this. His Spirit-led tweets talked me out of the corner of fearing confrontations that need to be had.

In Matthew 18:15-20, the Word tells us to go to those who’ve harmed us, not to wait, but to be proactive and go to them. The whole purpose is to “gain a brother,” to restore. Choosing not to  confront is as selfish as not caring that others be restored. The Word says when someone transgresses, you who are spiritual should restore (Galatians 6:1)! I’d like to selfishly ignore things, but being spiritual requires sacrificing self in order to bring about restoration for others. Below, I’ll share Pastor Hernandez’ tweets that set me free. I pray you, too, find freedom and the courage to lovingly confront as you’re convicted to do.

It's as if God was calling my name!

It’s as if God was calling my name, and guess what? He was!

can't heal

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Skin Deep

be.You.tiful

We’ve all heard the phrase, “Beauty is only skin deep,” and I have to say I both agree and disagree. On Friday night one week ago, I attended a women’s worship service where a picture framed the question, “What makes you beautiful?” Those four words leapt from the picture frame in the candlelit room. Among the 10 questions posed that night, I only managed to completely answer this one. I’ll share my response as I originally penned it, below (with all the weird capitalizations, boldings, and underlines):

“What makes you beautiful? This question put such a smile on my face. God, you’ve restored me and loved me back to life. Like, WOW! Your love, your grace, I see beauty where I didn’t use to – that makes me beautiful. To join with You in acknowledging the beauty in every single thing You’ve created, to recognize beauty where others, and even I, used to see ugliness – THAT makes me beautiful. Thank You for drawing me from such an ugly way of viewing life. Thank You for drawing me to YOUR beauty, so I can not only see the beauty You’ve made, I can reflect it. I THANK YOU, GOD! But Lord, please, keep me on track with You. Of the two beauty questions tonight, even, I chose beauty the second time, despite Your perspective on beauty chasing me. But I thank you GOD, that U chase me, that your beauty chases me that YOUR perspective chases me. Help me not to miss the Glory of it all. Help me not to miss You! Thank You for making ALL things beautiful in Your time. The ugliness of life is beautiful in Your hands. Thank You for giving me Your beauty. Thank U for giving me You!” 

I believe all of these words God placed inside of me that night. I believe that everything has beauty  every. single. THING! I’d love to say it’s because I have such awesome character; it’s not. I’d love to say it’s because I’ve finally matured into this viewpoint; it’s not. I believe these things because I believe the Word of God. I believe Proverbs 31:30, which admonishes us that outward charm and beauty are deceptive and fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. I believe His Word in 1 Peter 3:3-4, which tells us to not to be concerned with outward beauty, but instead, clothe ourselves with a beauty that comes from within because the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit is of great worth to God. I believe 1 Samuel 16:7, where the Lord spoke to Samuel in the third person, saying, “The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.

We’re not wise enough to view things from God’s perspective, but the good news is that God is offering us HIS perspective. He said if any of us lack wisdom, we can come to Him, ask wisdom of Him, ask for HIS perspective, and He’ll give it to us, liberally! The Word says He upbraideth not! That means you can come over, and over again, without reproach, without criticism; He just bids us come! As you find yourself focusing on the ugliness of anything, whether others, life circumstances, or yourself, let that remind you to go back to our God who offers HIS perspective on our ugly way of viewing things. I bet you’ll find beauty exchanged for ashes. I’ll end with this quote from John MacArthur’s book, Twelve Extraordinary Women. After spending a full page discussing how strikingly beautiful Eve must’ve been, he concluded:

“There is no doubt that [Eve] was a living picture of sheer radiance. Scripture, however, gives us no physical description of Eve.  Her beauty— splendid as it must have been — is never mentioned or even alluded to.  The focus of the biblical account is on Eve’s duty to her Creator and her role alongside her husband.  That is a significant fact, reminding us that the chief distinguishing traits of true feminine excellence are nothing superficial.  Women who are obsessed with image, cosmetics, body shapes, and other external matters have a distorted view of femininity.  We need to go back to Scripture to see what God’s ideal for a woman really is.”

Perceiving outer beauty requires possessing inner beauty.

Perceiving outer beauty requires possessing inner beauty.

UPDATE:

I watched this brief video of Oscar Winner, Lupita Nyong’o and absolutely love her testimony of the journey from rejecting her dark skin, even daily praying to God for lighter skin, to accepting her outer beauty and recognizing where her true beauty lies.

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