Boundaries: It’s Time To Stop Dancing With Dysfunction | Lysa TerKeurst

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Boundaries: It’s Time To Stop Dancing With Dysfunction | Lysa TerKeurst

Healthy boundaries are not only a good idea, they’re God’s idea.

In “Boundaries: It’s Time To Stop Dancing With Dysfunction,” Lysa TerKeurst reminds us how important it is to set boundaries in our life without losing who we are.

See what God can do through you. This is the vision of Elevation Church, led by Pastor Steven Furtick and based in Charlotte, NC with multiple locations throughout the US and Canada.

Hey, Elevation. I am so glad that you are worshiping with us today.
The song that said, I was glad when they said it to me.
Let us go to the house of the lord.
I know that you’re happy to be here today no matter how you’re watching, whether you’re joining us online, or you’re here at one of our campuses today, is a very special day.
Every time we come together, it’s special because there’s nothing like gathering together with god’s people.
The lord is here with us, but today is extra special because today is our pastor’s birth thing, and I have to say.
The older this man gets, the better he gets.
The wiser he gets each year, his pre chain gets better.
I don’t even know how that’s and I must say, I think he’s getting more ripped with each year too.
Can I say that? I just did. Okay. Put it in the chat. If you’re touching with us online.
Happy birthday, pastor Steven, and if you’re sitting at one of our campuses, look at your neighbor and say, how about this new series?
I’m feeling extra blessed because the 1st few weeks of the year, we got to learn how to do the new you.
And then last week, Steven told us that in the coming weeks, he’s gonna be using the book of Joshua to show us there’s more to the store guys.
He was on fire last week, forward not finished. If you missed it, you gotta catch up.
I told you he gets better with age.
So today, we’re not gonna make the birthday is when she’s not out preaching at other churches and doing events.
She’s the president of Proverbs 31 Ministry and the author of more than 25 books.
She just released her newest book called Good Boundaries and Goodbys, and I cannot wait to hear what the lord has laid on her heart to teach us today.
So when you put your hands together and help me welcome Lisa to the think.
Hi. Well, hi, Good morning. Good morning.
What a joy it is to be here with you. You guys can be seated. Thank you.
It’s such an honor to be here my home church speaking. And, um, I’ll be honest.
I I’m kinda relieved Pastor Stevens not seated on the front row.
You know, I speak everywhere, but when I speak and he’s, you know, seated right in front of me, that’s a little bit of a daunting situation.
So Although he did text me and say he’s watching online, so then it kinda killed my relaxation with all of that.
Um, so pastor Steven, wherever you’re watching from. I just say happy birthday to you, and thank you.
Thank you for what you give us each week, and thank you for just being an incredible leader.
Can we thank Pastor Steven one more time.
So today, I’m gonna be talking about boundaries, and we can’t talk about boundaries unless we talk about dysfunction, right, and and how many of us dance with dysfunction in our relationships.
Now here’s the thing about dysfunction. We all have it.
And here’s I I could literally just hand the microphone down here, and you could tell me about your function and and in your family, you could tell me about those functions in your family.
And, you know, you certainly could too. We could just keep passing around the microphone.
And if we got to someone and they said, no. Absolutely. There is no dysfunction.
They might be the dysfunction, so we are not gonna do that.
But where there’s dysfunction, there’s often chaos and where there is chaos that’s an indication that there is a need for a boundary in our relationships.
Now I know a lot of us hear the word boundary and or attempted to sort of cross our arms and push back a little bit.
And I get it because I would have thought the same thing before I studied boundaries like I have for the past many years.
And here’s why, because I think many of us have had boundaries used in unhelpful and unhealthy ways.
Maybe you’ve had somebody try to put a boundary on you to try to control you.
Or to try to manipulate you or to try to punish you.
And so sometimes when we hear the word boundary, we take this step back and we just think, no.
Somebody did that to me once, and it was utterly detrimental to my relationship.
Or maybe some of us, we’ve tried to implement boundaries in our relationships, and we try to put a boundary on another person, and we don’t do it to try to control them, but maybe we have tried to do it to change them.
And we got so frustrated because we realized that ultimately, we can’t change another person.
You see, I think I’ve been in both of these camps.
And I was absolutely convinced that I wasn’t a girl that boundaries would really work for.
But the biggest reason that I had an issue with boundaries is I didn’t have the biblical confidence that god was okay with humans drawing boundaries.
And I also didn’t have the emotional fortitude.
Even if I thought I needed a boundary, I didn’t have the emotional fortitude to actually communicate the boundary, implement the boundary, and then stay consistent with the boundary.
And so I continued a very and some of my most important relationships.
So today, I do have a message that I wanna preach and teach, but Mostly, I just wanna have a conversation.
A conversation heart to heart with you because I know what it feels like.
To walk in to this very place, this very church building right here, so broken hearted because my most significant relationship was unraveling, and I desperately wanted to save my family, but I couldn’t be the only one to make changes.
And so I knew that boundaries were needed, but because I didn’t have the biblical confidence that boundaries were okay, nor did I have the emotional fortitude?
I just stayed in this very dysfunctional dance, and it almost killed me.
So if some of you have walked in here today, and you’re kind of desperate in your heart because maybe it’s one of your most important relationships or maybe it’s just a couple of relationships in your life, and you’ve hit that spot where you say, I just can’t take it anymore.
I wanna assure you I’ve been right where you’ve been. I’ve said where you’ve sat.
I’ve cried where you might cry. And today, I think I’m gonna give you a lot of hope.
Now because we’re talking about boundaries and dysfunction and maybe you’re seated with some people and that you do life with and maybe that you have a, like, some tension with sometimes.
We’re gonna lay down a couple of ground rules because I don’t wanna you poking your neighbor and saying, did you hear her?
You really need to hear that. I mean, that was, like, straight from god to her to you.
You know what I’m saying? And so we’re just gonna lay down some ground rules here.
So I want you to pick one of your neighbors and repeat after me. This message is for me.
I will not use it against you. Okay.
Now turn to your second choice neighbor that they’re not at all offended. You didn’t pick them first. Truly.
And repeat after me. This message is for me. Excuse me. But you need it more.
Oh, dear.
Just in case we haven’t had any dysfunction stirred up in our life recently, I just helped you out.
So here’s part of the issue with dysfunction.
We get used to our own functional normal because we’ve just lived in it for so long.
Right? My sister came to visit a couple of years ago, and we had just finished a big renovation at our house.
Now if you’re an electrician or a plumber, this is not going to make sense to you.
But I promise you I’m absolutely telling the truth.
Somehow, my hot water heater got connected to the back flood lights of my house.
So in other words, we would have hot water as long as the back flood lights were on.
But if you turn them off, the hot water would go out.
And I know that makes no sense, but I am telling you the truth. That’s what happened.
So when my sister came to visit, she’d driven quite a ways, and then she decided to go take a shower.
So she’s in the middle of her shower.
And suddenly, I hear her, like, stumbling upstairs, opening the door, yelling downstairs.
Lisa, the hot water just went out. To which I replied, oh, okay.
I’ll go turn on the back flood lights.
So after she finished her shower, she came downstairs and, um, and she got really close to me like a sister would, you know, just right in my face.
And she said, can you please repeat to me what you said?
When I told you the hot water was out.
And I said, oh, I said it’s because someone turned off the back floodlight.
So I just needed to turn those on and then, you know, you eventually got hot water back.
And then she got even closer. And she said, you know, that’s not normal. Right?
You need to have that fixed. And I said, I know.
Been meaning to make a little sign and maybe even laminate it and put it by the light switch for the back flood lights just in stricting people.
I know. I I need to make that fix.
And then she just shook her head and walked away because she realized I was dancing with dysfunction.
I was calling something normal that was not normal, and it was time to call in the professionals, but instead, I did what’s called a workaround.
Now let me tell you why I did the workaround. I grew up really poor.
And when you grow up in that way, you don’t have money to hire the professionals.
So when things get broken, you do what’s called a workaround. Right?
So it didn’t really occur to me that there was another way to fix it besides just putting a sign up, but that wasn’t really fixing it.
That dancing with dysfunction. And I think a lot of us are doing that in our relationships.
And so today, I wanna give you a picture of what healthy boundaries really look like so that we can stop dancing with dysfunction, some of our most important relationships.
Now remember I said that I didn’t have the biblical confidence that god was okay with boundaries.
So I decided to open up the Bible right in Genesis 1.
And, you know, if you have arrival and you wanna open it up, you can turn to Genesis 1.
Isn’t that so fun when the preacher or the teacher says turn to Genesis 1?
Cause you can actually find it. I just love it. You’re welcome. Okay.
So Genesis chapter 1 starting in verse 2.
Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the spirit of god was hovering over the waters.
And god said, let there be light and there was light.
God saw that the light was good, and he separated. Everybody say separated.
And he separated the light from the darkness. That separation was a boundary.
And then it says in verse 5, god called the light day in the darkness he called night, and there was evening, and there was morning the 1st day verse 6.
And god said, let there be a vault between the water to separate, everybody say separate, to separate water from water.
So god made the vault, and he separated the water under the vault from the water above it, and it was so.
God called the vault sky, and there was evening, and there was morning the second day.
And then god makes the separation between the dry land and the water, and there was a separation.
So you see, even from creating the foundations of the world god used boundaries in such healthy ways.
I’m convinced right here from Genesis 1, that boundaries are not just a good idea.
They are actually god’s idea.
But now let’s go over to Genesis too because this is where I really found some something just completely fascinating.
In Genesis chapter 2, starting in verse 15, it says this.
The lord god took the man and put the man in the garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.
And the lord god commanded the man, you are free.
Date from any tree in the garden, but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil for when you eat from it, you will certainly die.
And I’m convinced at this point that the man did not write the one rule down because the very next verse, it says in verse 18, the lord god said, it is not good.
For the man to be alone.
I will make a helper suitable for him, and women have been making lists for men ever since. Okay?
I’m just reading scripture. Okay. So but here’s the thing. I’m so completely fascinated.
That of all the topics god could have chosen for this first recorded conversation with man, that god chose the topic of a boundary.
Think think of how many things that the lord could have surely had to discuss with this man in this first reported conversation, and yet he chooses the topic of a boundary why.
Well, if I look at the first three words that god says in this first recorded conversation, God says, you are free.
You see, we serve a god of freedom And in order for there to be real freedom, boundaries have to exist so that we know if we know where those boundary lines are, then we can run freely between them.
And that’s where real freedom exists.
Can you imagine if if Adam was in the garden and he was tentative?
He didn’t know what was okay and what was not okay.
Then it would it would always be kinda like this. Like, I wonder if can I eat from this tree?
Can I go here? Can I do this? Can I do that?
And you see that mystery was solved when god established the boundary, and then Adam was truly free.
You are free to eat from any tree in the garden. But here comes the one restriction.
You must not eat from this tree.
The tree of the knowledge of good and evil for if you eat from it, you will die.
Now here’s what I learned in that first boundary that we see god establishing.
He did it for the sake of freedom and that one restriction He wasn’t overly restrictive, but that one restriction, it was for Adam’s protection.
Do you know what the weight of eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Do you know the weight that that would put on Adam? I’ll tell you what it is.
It’s when we turn on the TV and we hear about another school shooting.
When our best friend calls us and says that she is cancer, it’s the weight of addictions and affairs and so many things that we hear about or that we experience, the human heart was not originally supposed to experience that is of god, but because he was trying to protect Adam from what Adam didn’t know.
So it’s for the sake of freedom, There is a restriction, but it’s for the protection in that relationship.
And, also, there’s a consequence. If you eat from it, you will die.
Because the boundary without a consequence is nothing but a really bad suggestion. Right?
And so boundaries, indeed, they’re not just a good idea I see in scripture here that they’re actually god’s idea.
And so I kept reading in scripture, and it isn’t interesting that in the garden, there was one rule given.
One rule. Can you imagine if we just still lived in that time like one rule?
We only had one to follow as a rule follower that would just be such a delight to my heart.
Mean, it would just be amazing. Right?
But where there is sin, there is dysfunction, and where there is dysfunction, there’s chaos, and where there is chaos, there is a need for order, and there are more boundaries established, the more sin that there is.
And by the time we get in the Bible to the law and the prophets.
What started out as one boundary now, he has over 600 boundaries because sin had increased.
Therefore, boundaries also increased. Then by the time we get to the way that god establishes the temple.
This was the biggest revelation to me of all.
You see, when god establishes the temple, he allows certain people access to certain places but not all people, all access.
And it’s not because this group of people was more valuable than this group of people, It’s that the more access you had, the more responsibility you were required to demonstrate.
So the more the more responsibility and the greater the consequence all the way to where the high priest had the greatest access, the high priest once a year could go into the holy of holies to make atonement for the people.
But in order to do that, in order to have that kind of access, He had to demonstrate the absolute highest responsibility.
He had to be perfectly cleansed.
He had to put on special garments, And if he did not, then he would step into the Holy of Holy’s and he would drop dead.
Greatest access, greatest responsibility required, those two words became really important to me as I started trying to understand the difference between healthy and unhealthy boundaries.
Helpful and utterly unhelpful boundaries, access and responsibility.
And here’s what occurred to me.
We all have limited capacity in our life, like we have limited financial capacity in our bank account, We have limited time capacity.
We have limited energy capacity, and some people have a lot more energy capacity, and some people are a lot lower capacity.
Some people have a lot more financial capacity and others have lower capacity, but regardless in all these areas of capacity, We’re limited.
Not because we’re selfish necessarily, but because we’re human.
Now if we get selfish with our capacity, then god can certainly check our hearts on this.
But when I’m seeing more often in my life, is that I start to have this notion that I’m unlimited in some areas of my capacity where I’m very limited And then it causes me when I hyper extend or bankrupt my area of capacity because I’m saying yes to too much, and I’m not properly managing my own areas of capacity, then what happens to me is I start acting like I think I’m god because god is he is unlimited God has all the capacity.
And so when we start to act like we are unlimited in our capacity, then we start acting like god.
We are limited, not because we’re selfish necessarily, but because we are very, very human.
So back to that word access, if I am giving level 10 access to someone who is not demonstrating level 10 responsibility.
Maybe they’re only demonstrating level 3 responsibility. Right?
The distance between the access that I’m granting them and the responsibility that they are demonstrating, that distance right there, that is where dysfunction grows.
That is where there’s chaos. Right? And that’s where a boundary is needed now.
Here’s the mistake I used to make. I would go, okay. I’m giving level 10 access.
This person is only demonstrating level 3 responsibility, so I know what I have to do.
I have to put responsibility up to the level of access that I’ve granted them.
So we can have a conversation with someone and request that they be more responsible But if they are unwilling or incapable of anything more than level 3 responsibility putting a boundary on them is only gonna cause more frustration.
You see, we cannot possibly permanently change another person by using external pressure.
Now think about today if someone had a cardiac event.
Obviously, those of us who know how to do CPR, we would rush to that person’s aid.
And using external pressure, we would apply that pressure to make their heartbeat and to create a change in their situation.
But at some point, if their heart does start to quicken and beat on its own.
You cannot permanently sustain that change using external pressure. Right?
Never have you seen 2 friends walking around the mall.
One doing chest compressions on the other and think, wow. That’s a sustainable, healthy relationship. Right? No.
So but I know the desperation. I know the desperate feeling of something’s gotta change.
And you know it that it’s the responsibility this person is not bringing. That’s what’s gotta change.
And so most of us just stay stuck in this frustrating place.
We know that changes needed to be made. We make the changes that we can make.
But in a relationship, if the other person is unwilling or incapable, then that’s where that weird dysfunction starts to happen.
So if it’s utterly unhelpful to put a boundary on this other person trying to force them to change, what do we do?
We put a boundary on ourselves. We put a boundary on ourselves.
And if I am giving level 10 access to areas of my capacity to someone who’s only bringing level 3 responsibility.
I cannot control another person but god does say evidence of his fruit inside of me, one of those fruits is self control.
And so I must reduce the access I grant to that person down to their demonstrated level of responsibility.
Right? So that equilibrium can occur in this relationship.
Now here’s the really great news.
You guys are already doing this really, really well in some areas of your life.
Here’s how I’m gonna prove this to you. Okay? Raise your hand if you have a bank account.
Just raise your hand. I’m not coming after your bank account today. I just want you to know. Okay. Perfect.
How many of you have a password or a security code protecting your bank account. Raise your hand.
Is it because you’re selfish, un christian, unkind? Not willing to give to others? No.
That’s not at all. You have a passcode, and I didn’t say you could remember your pass code.
I’m just saying you have a passcode. Right? But you have a passcode. Why?
Because you have limited resources in your bank account.
And if you gave everyone in here access to your bank account, Then there may be some people in here who would be irresponsible, and they would take so much of the money that you have in your bank account that you would become bankrupt.
Therefore, you put a security path code there, not because you’re selfish, but because you are wise, and because you wanna be a good steward of the resources that you have.
We know this with our financial capacity, but we forget it in so many other areas of our life.
Okay. So how does this really work?
How does it really work if you know that you have limited capacity and you’re reducing the access to to some area of your capacity down to their demonstrated level of responsibility.
How in the world do you even communicate that?
Well, in a very simple sense, let’s say that you have a child in 3rd grade.
Last year, that child was in 2nd grade.
And the 2nd grade teacher emails you and said, you know, last year, you did the end of the year party for the 2nd grade and you did such an amazing job.
We are just wondering, I know you don’t have any children in 2nd grade this year, but we’re just wondering, can you come back can you arrange the end of the year party for the 2nd grade?
Now here’s the crisis that would happen in my heart.
First of all, I would say, They loved the way I did the end of the year party.
I mean, this is such an honor. Wow. Right?
But then I was starting to get this pit in my stomach. Because my gut would say, no.
Absolutely not. You do not have the time to do this.
But then why in the world does my mouth say yes?
And it just does because I kinda think their request suddenly has become my responsibility.
And and here’s the thing that really would wig me out.
I was so afraid that if I said no, that they would be so disappointed in me.
And so I would rather carry the burden of saying yes, rather than the burden script.
This is about to change your life with apologies to the 2nd grade teacher out there who’s wanting a 3rd grade parent to do their end of the year party.
Here we go. Here’s a simple way that you can reduce the access and communicate a really healthy boundary and still reflect the beauty of your own heart.
You can simply reply back. Thank you so much.
It’s such an honor that you requested this of me while my heart says yes, yes, yes, The reality of my time makes this a no.
Thank you and sign your name. You don’t need to explain it.
My counselor, you know, I mean, I think we can all do this. Right?
Now my counselor has really worked with me on this. And it was really important that I learned this.
You see, I used to think I had to over explain. I I still struggle with over explaining.
Do we have over explainers in the room. Okay. Remember, do not poke your neighbor.
Let them just say that they are an over explainer. Okay? So here’s what I would do.
I would say my heart says yes, yes, yes, the reality of my time makes this a no, and then I would start to explain all the reasons why And my counselor said this to me, and it absolutely radically changed my thought process.
He said, Lisa, adults inform children explain. Good. Right. Alright.
So let’s go to something a little more challenging.
Let’s say you have a friend, possibly a family member, but let’s say you have a friend and y’all love going to church together.
Don’t poke your neighbor. Okay. So you love going to church together.
However, you have different definitions of being on time. Right?
And this is really causing some situational stress Right? Okay.
So let’s say your definition of being on time is that you wanna get there 20 minutes early. You do.
Why? Because you have got to get a parking space. This is so funny.
I see somebody holding up blinders against their neighbor right now.
You’re cracking me up. Okay.
So your definition of being on time is to get there 20 minutes because you wanna you wanna have time to park and actually walk through the parking lot.
Right? Novel idea. And then you wanna get inside.
You wanna go TT Pavi, right, because you don’t wanna be sitting in there and be thinking about that.
So you wanted to go do that. Then then you wanna be able to come in.
You wanna get a seat. You wanna watch the announcements.
You want to be ready for the first note of the first praise song because that is being on time to you.
Amen? Amen? Okay. But let’s say your friend has a different definition of being on time.
Their definition of being on time is that they can skirt in here before the last praise song is finished.
That is their definition of being on time. Right? Now here’s the here’s the deal.
Are you bad for wanting to be there 20 minutes early? No. Are are are they bad?
They still wanna go to church.
I mean, they’re just getting here, like, before the last price song is finished.
I mean, maybe some of you think is bad, but I say in in general, that’s not bad.
It just means you have 2 different definitions of being on time. Right?
And so you realize something’s got to change because every week, you’re riding with them, and they are making you late according to you.
And now you are sitting way up there in the balcony. Right?
Or you may not even make it inside. You may have to be sitting somewhere in the overflow. Right?
And and now you’re so twisted up in a knot because you were ready.
You could have been down here on the floor.
That’s where you could have been, not right, and you could have gone TT Tea potty.
You would see the announcements, listened to all the praise songs.
And so now when they make you skirt in at the last moment, and you’re out of breath from running through the parking lot, and you had to park five miles away, you know, and now you finally get in your seat.
You are so twisted up in a knot that you cannot even enjoy anything because all you want is for pastor Steven to address the issues of this person that made you late.
Uh-huh. You know what I’m saying? Okay. So you have a choice.
You could just start avoiding this person. That’s what some of us do. Right?
So they call and say, oh, do you wanna ride to church together.
And you could say, oh, you know, I’ve I would really love to run go go to church with you today.
I really would. Um, the problem is I have to run errands before I go to church.
I mean, and they’re one person errands, just one.
And, um and and so this other person when you’re communicating this, they know something’s up, and they’re gonna personalize it and get their feelings hurt because they can’t quite figure out why you’re being distant.
And then you could possibly just try to still go with them and be late, and you’re gonna take it in it and take it and take it and take it until one day you just cannot and you snap and you jump from trying to take it all the way over here to where you cannot take it anymore and you just skirt that friendship altogether.
You see, what a boundary does is it helps us avoid extremes.
The extreme of I’m gonna take it and take it and take it until I’m so frazzled and fractured worn out and worn down that I just don’t even wanna be that person’s friend anymore.
So you jump from that extreme all the way to you’re done.
Boundaries, what they really are is a way to bring the conversation back to the middle to avoid those extremes.
Boundaries are nothing more than a conversational tool.
A healthy conversational tool where you can establish what is and is not okay in this relationship.
What you do have to give and what you don’t have to give, what you will tolerate and what you will not tolerate.
Now, obviously, we need the lord to check our hearts here.
You know, we we don’t wanna start being just absolutely irresponsible.
I mean, I had you know, possibly one of my many children tried to draw a boundary this year at Christmas, and they just said, I do not have it to give to help wash any of the dishes.
To which to which I reply, and I do not have it to give to put food on any of your dishes.
So neither of those are helpful or healthy. Right? So we do have to check our heart.
We don’t wanna draw boundaries to sort of be some sort of weapon to make us able to get out of our responsibilities, we have the responsibility to stay self controlled in our relationships.
So you could simply have this conversation with this friend. Hi, friend.
I love going to church with you. I really do. Is that true? It is true. Right?
So don’t put a but there because if you put a but, I love going to church with you, but that sort of negates the fact that you love going to church with them.
Okay? So you put a and.
I love going to church with you, and I have a different definition of being on time than you do.
That doesn’t make me right in you wrong or you right in me wrong. It just means we’re different.
So here’s the deal. I’m gonna drive to church this week.
I would love for you to ride with me and I’m pulling out of my driveway at this time so that I can get there 20 minutes early.
If you would like to ride with me, great. Be in my car at that time.
However, let me give you some really awesome news.
If you are being more creative with your time, so creative.
Then we could just ride separately. No big deal. And I’ll save you a seat.
You can sit right beside me. I I’ll even catch you up on all the praise songs that we sing.
You know? And we’re still gonna be great friends and we’re still gonna be at church together, but we’ve just made the wise decision not to go to church together.
Now what’s better? Having that conversation or getting so frustrated in that relationship.
You just don’t even wanna be around that person at all.
You see boundaries help us bring it back to the middle and simply say, here’s what I have to give, and here’s what I don’t have to give, here’s what I can tolerate, and here’s what I will not tolerate in it’s not out of a mean spirit.
It’s actually so that we can stay self controlled.
I did this activity one time, and I pulled out my journal, And I wrote, this is who Lisa is when she’s operating at her best.
I’m kind, I’m generous, I’m easygoing, all kinds of different qualities.
Then on the next page, I wrote, and this is who Lisa is. This is who I am.
When I get frazzled, fractured, worn down, and worn out. I’m impatient. I’m withdrawn. I’m skeptical of everyone.
I don’t wanna give anything to anyone.
Now I asked myself the question, which version of Lisa do I want to stay front and center in my relationships?
You see boundaries, me drawing healthy boundaries, me putting boundaries on myself so that I can stay safe sane, stable, and self controlled.
It is my way of fighting for the relationship.
So I don’t have to spend so much time fighting against other people.
Now what about the verse that says where Jesus instructs us to lay down our life for our friends.
And Jesus not only instructed us to do that, but he modeled it and you’re absolutely right.
Jesus absolutely modeled and taught to lay down our life for our friends.
And Jesus did this, but never forget Jesus laid down his one life for a high and holy purpose, Jesus did not lay down his life to enable bad behavior to continue.
Amen? Amen.
Well, I wanna end today with what I feel like is the most important thing for us to remember in all of these boundary conversations.
And I’m gonna do it by telling a story.
So many years ago, my family decided that they wanted to go get certified to learn how to go scuba diving.
I thought this was an absolutely terrible idea for several reasons because sharks eat people every day, and you know, I don’t like to get my hair wet.
So there’s 2 really good reasons why I don’t wanna get certified to go scuba diving.
Um, but they were so absolutely convinced that this is what we needed to do.
So we all signed up and we went to the classes, and everything was okay in the classroom.
It was good. And then we went and did our first dive in the pool, and we did pretty good.
And then we did our next dive in a lake, and that was okay.
But now it was the day it was time for our first big family dive in the ocean.
So we took the boat for what to do, then he instructs us to get in the water so we all get in the water.
And then he says, okay.
You know the first thing you need to do is to let the air out of your air best and start to descend in increments.
And then we’ll all meet up 30 feet below the surface on the ocean floor.
And so we had practiced this enough where I knew exactly what I was supposed to do and so did everyone else.
So we all did we we pushed the button to let the air out of our air vest, and everyone else did exactly what they were supposed to do.
They started to descend in increments. I let the air out of my air vest, and nothing happened.
I am just floating on the top.
Have you ever seen one of those movies where it’s like everybody in a group is okay, but it’s the one person floating at the top that the shark comes to get Uh, that’s very much what I was feeling at that moment.
And I just kept saying in my brain, don’t panic, don’t panic, don’t panic, but sometimes my brain it does not send that message to my heart and in my heart.
I was absolutely frantic, so I thought, no big deal. I don’t wanna cause a scene.
I’m gonna put my head down. I’m gonna swim to my people.
Not what you’re supposed to do, but I did it. So I put my head down.
I started swimming, swimming, swimming to my people.
The problem was that my backside was like a cork, very much drawn to the surface of the water.
I could not get down to my people Eventually, the dive master sees what’s happening, and he swims up.
And he looks at me, and he said, um, oh, you’re you’re having, um, buoyancy issues.
And and I had got this look on my face. Like, I didn’t quite understand what he was saying.
And he was like, yeah. You see fat floats when it’s in salt water.
Excuse me.
I will cut you. You need, like, You need to back it up, sir. Right?
You really need to be thankful you spent that I spent some time with Jesus this morning.
That’s what you need to be thankful for. And so he could tell that I did not like that answer.
And he’s like, oh, oh, oh, but it’s no problem. I know how to fix this for you.
So he gets on the boat and he gets this belt. And he hands it to me.
He says, you just need to put this belt on.
We’re gonna add some weight, and it’ll force you to sink. Thank you, sir. That’s awesome.
And so I put the belt on and we start adding weights to the belt, and then we add more weight.
And then we add more weight. Y’all nothing is happening.
And so then he feels the need to over explain what’s going on. He said, wow.
You need as much wait as a very large man to make you sink. Thank you.
I’ve waited all my wife for a man to say that really, truly.
And so finally, he gets enough weight on my weight belt to where I do sing.
The problem is that my bottom is still pointed north at all times.
And so I I got down to where my people were, but I was, like, in the formation.
And there was nothing I could do at all.
And so they’re all my people, and they’re all standing around. I’m just hanging there.
And, um, have you ever been able to feel what someone else is thinking. You know what I mean?
I could feel what my people were thinking. They were thinking, hey. What’s up? Mom’s butt. That’s what’s up.
Just constantly up. And it was just it was just not a good situation. Right?
And I was trying so hard to pretend like it was normal, but it was a 100% not normal.
And so the divemaster just gives us some little instructions using his hand, and then he divides us up into groups.
And now we’re supposed to go and swim off with the person we were assigned to.
So I was assigned with my oldest daughter, and so we had barely turned from the group.
And we started to swim from the group to go exploring and suddenly a creature out of nowhere whips right through us and rams itself into my daughter’s head.
Well, I am absolutely panicked she is panicked, and and I I’m looking around and all my other people are like, it’s okay.
It’s okay. I look at the dive master, and he said, it’s okay. And I’m thinking, yeah.
Because all you people are skinny. I’m the chicken nugget down here. Okay?
And so, yeah, you’re okay because that thing’s gonna come after me and give y’all time to escape.
So the creature kinda went away for a little bit, and my daughter and I are still tentative, and we decide, okay.
We’re just gonna keep exploring and the creature comes back.
And it rams itself into my daughter’s head so hard that she completely panics, and she jumped on top of me expecting me to be the solution to this issue, which she causes so much of a stir that my other people start jumping on top of me.
Now everybody’s looking at me to save their life, but then I remembered my gift.
I ripped off that weight belt. And we did rise. Oh, yeah.
Well, we got up on that boat, y’all.
I was like, my badonkadonks saved all you people.
But the dive master came up, and he was absolutely positively not impressed at all.
He just wasn’t. And he looked at us, and he said, you all need to sit on the edge of the boat.
It was like we were in boat time out. You know?
And he took his finger and he pointed it right at me.
He said, do you know why you panicked down there? He said, you panicked.
Because you took your eyes off the dive master.
And the dive master knows things you don’t know and you were never in any trouble.
The worst danger you created is by shooting up back to the boat without ascending in increments like you’re supposed to.
Never take your eyes off the master. Never take your eyes off the master.
Relationships, they’re wonderful until they’re not.
And, you know, I think the most important thing when you’re trying to have healthy conversations and implement boundaries.
And I know so many of you have much more challenging situations than the 2nd grade teacher and than your friend making you run late.
I know it because I’ve lived those really heartbreaking, devastating, situations and you’re hesitant to draw boundaries because you’re so afraid that if you draw a boundary that that other person will take something from you that they give you that you’re not sure you’d be okay without.
We will always desperately want from other people what we fear our god will not provide.
Keep your eyes on the master. Keep your eyes on the master.
The master knows things you don’t know.
Stay in his word, keep coming to church, keep listening to the messages, Read helpful resources on boundaries, and remember, boundaries the ultimate purpose is to love others well without losing the best of who we are.
God bless you.
Thanks so much for watching the Elevation Church YouTube channel. Listen.
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In just a few weeks, April 18th through 27th were coming to Austin, Texas, Oklahoma City, Minneapolis, Kansas City, Denver, St.
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Thank you so much. God bless.

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