BoundariesNew Every Morning | July 4, 2020
Boundaries help us discern where we end and another person begins so that we do not become fused with others in unhealthy ways. As is often the case, spiritual maturity requires holding two truths at once: We can bear one another’s burdens and carry our own load. While we are an interdependent body of believers, we each hold an individual identity like an ear or an eye, a hand or a foot. We are responsible for what falls within our boundaries: thoughts, feelings, urges, desires, and preferences. It’s not in our best interest to expect others to take responsibility for those aspects of our experiences. Neither is it in our best interest to take responsibility for those areas of other adults’ lives.
—Angela D. Schaffner, Gather Us In: Leading Transformational Small Groups (Upper Room Books, 2020)
For more from Angela D. Schaffner, read 10 Tips for Leading a Small Group on Zoom.
What personal relationships came to mind as you read today’s reflection? Join the conversation.
Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ… For all must carry their own loads.
—Galatians 6:2, 5 (NRSV)
Prayer for the Week
God, we praise you for gathering us together like a mother hen gathers her chicks under her wings.
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(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
- Genesis 24:34-38, 42-49, 58-67
- Psalm 45:10-17 or Song of Solomon 2:8-13
- Romans 7:15-25a
- Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30
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Initially, I wasn’t thinking about any of my relationships as I read the text. As I went back and re-read it, my thoughts went to my friend who took me under her wing when I was newly diagnosed and shared, quite openly, about her diagnosis. She suffers so much more than I do. There have been times when I almost felt “survivor’s guilt” as the treatment was so effective for me, while she continued to receive only minimal relief. I miss the closeness and conversations we have had in the past. The greater gift I have received from our friendship, way beyond being able to talk about our common physical struggle, is her wealth and sincerity in her relationship and utter dependence on God. She is honest about various struggles and rejoices in the strength and peace which God provides.
This morning dad and I will be spending time together. He is very intentional about waxing his car and is always on me to take better care of mine. So – I am going over to his house and we are going to wash and wax my car. We are also going to talk about the introduction and first chapter of “Heaven”, Joni Eareckson’s book. He told me he had read these two chapters and that they were sad. As I read them, I didn’t find anything sad about them…but, rather expectantly hopeful. I need much wisdom going into these conversations and hope I am able to listen well, both to dad and the leading of The Spirit.
Three people come to mind right away, my children and someone I’m helping. Setting boundaries has been a difficult task for me. I’m not without them, but in closer relationships where there should be sturdy ones, mine are waffly. I felt like today’s message was on an arrow aimed right at me.
This will be a different 4th of July. Tomorrow will be my first virtual communion.
More nice weather. Work on my models, a new very good art and history iriented Korean drama,
Of my mother-in-laws generation only two sisters remain. My wife’s cousin and uncle passed away. As you grow older these events seem more poignant. I rest in God’s hands. What does God tell us time and again, “Do not be afraid.”
Oh how a message from Mary in Singapore would perk us all up. There are others too whose message always felt near and dear. Miss them all, pray for their needs, concerns, and give thank for their joys.
Marcy, Jill, and Julie, and all who come here, have a blessed weekend, thankful for all that God does for us. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
I thought of a new and budding relationship that I hope develops into this type of sharing and carrying. I feel in my soul that it may.
Prayers for Jill and Larry as they grow in their understanding of the Lord and one another.
Prayers for Marcy and her bloodwork results, may they be fine.
Prayers for Robert and his family, may they connect in safe manners this weekend. Thank you for fighting forour freedom, Robert. I pray we never take your gift for granted.
Prayers for Ally and David, may their travel be safe and their time with family be restorative.
Our local authorities stepped back and have reclosed restaurants etc from patrons dining in and have set other restrictions to try to get the number of positive test results in our location lower. So Megan and I will not be doing much for the holiday. Takeout and a few errands will be the extent of our celebration. Happy Fourth to all but celebrate responsibly. Do not squander Robert’s gift.
Prayers, thank you, and stay safe and healthy dear UR one and all