We must show people our boundaries in a kind but firm way.

The Dark Side of Relating
Saying No – Part 1

Scripture Reading:  Matthew 18:15-17

Key Verse: Matthew 5:37

Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.

When dealing with the dark side of relating to our relations, we must learn to enforce boundaries.  Most of the time, when trouble comes to our relationships, it is because someone crossed someone else’s boundaries.  These boundaries often have not been clearly marked.  It probably was not obvious to the person that they crossed over into territory that was restricted.  When that happens to you, our scripture in Matthew 18 is Jesus’ instructions on how to handle the situation.

            It’s interesting to me that Jesus did not say, “If a brother sins against you…forgive him and say nothing.”  No, Jesus says to go to that person and “show him his fault.”  In modern terms, show him your boundary lines that were crossed.  We don’t need to lose our cool and show them our boundaries in a mean spirit.  Rather, it is always more powerful to show someone our boundaries in a kind but firm way.

            In our printed key verse for today Jesus said to let our yes be yes and our no be no.  Dr. Henry Cloud, in his book “Boundaries,” reminds us that the most basic boundary setting word is no.  As he says, it lets others know that you exist apart from them and that you are in control of you.  No is not a sinful word for Christ followers when said in a kind and loving way.  (Continued)

Father, I will need your help today saying no to the ones that I need to say no to.  Help me to lovingly be true to you and myself.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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