Do you ever find yourself wanting to be hospitable yet frustrated every time someone stops by to share a need they have. Or maybe you are wanting to be an empathetic and compassionate woman, but every time that particularly obnoxious church-goer comes toward you with her latest news, you find yourself looking for a quick exit.
My friend, welcome to the battle of boundaries.
The hardest part about having boundaries in ministry is that we really do want to serve and love others well. At times though, we can feel frustrated or inconvenienced over certain demands. We tell ourselves we’re being selfish and we must “decrease” so others can “increase”. Actually that is not what John 3 is conveying. But we are groomed to think that to look like Christ we need to “deal with it”, “bear the brunt”, “take the heat”, or “sacrifice one more time”.
Maybe you’re thinking, “Nah, I don’t struggle with boundaries at all! If that’s you, then please share some tips below so the rest of us can figure this nagging issue out!
Here are 10 Things you might have said before.
Let’s see how many you have thought to yourself:
- I feel like I’m always juggling too much, some of the things I don’t even want to be doing.
- People’s requests make me feel guilty.
- I feel anxious when I am asked to do something I don’t want to do, because I’m not sure how to decline.
- I have trouble saying “No” to demands, requests, or obligations.
- A feeling of overcommitment and a feeling of being “stuck” are felt constantly
- I feel like I sometimes have been taken advantage by someone or a situation.
- Because I just haven’t had enough time or energy to cultivate my own goals, dreams and desires, I am unsure of what they are or what they would be.
- I would categorize myself as a “people pleaser”
- I find certain people make me feel especially frustrated, agitated, or angry.
- Sometimes my response to people or situations is to get impatient, passive, or snarky.
So? How many did you answer “Yes, That’s Me!!!”?
Good! Then you’re in good company! So here’s what I want you (and me!) to do this week:
Pray Psalm 139: 23-24…over and over and over. Let’s pray that God will start the gentle process of bringing to light where our boundaries need to be tweaked so we can bring balance and joy back into our lives.
Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139: 23-24
*Look for our Verse Card for “10 Things You Might Have Said Before” to come out later this week on our Pinterest page (@BreatheMinistry) and make it your desktop image.
How is ministry going for you? Are you feeling frustrated and unqualified for the job at hand? If you’ve ever wanted someone outside your ministry to help you process what’s happening inside your ministry, consider our Admonish Mentor Program.