The Dark Side of Relating
Communicating Boundaries – Part 4
Scripture Reading: Ephesians 4:14-19
Key Verse: Ephesians 4:22-23
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds;
I hope it has been clear what I mean by the title of this week’s devotionals, “The Dark Side of Relating.” All relationships have a dark side; a side that causes us emotional pain or, God forbid, physical pain. Some relationships can be described as “toxic” to us and we must change things or step away from those relationships. My premise in these devotionals is that we should make sure we have done all we can before we step away. Our world around us has modeled to us that we can step away quickly and start new relationships. However, for us who want God’s opinion, He challenges us to move slower and make sure we are doing the hard work that all relationships need at times.
To do the hard work, we all need help from God’s Holy Spirit. I like the phrase from our key verse, “to be made new in the attitude of your minds;” it’s all about our attitude! If we have the attitude that trying to say something to a relative or friend should be received however we say it, then we’ll undoubtedly fail. An attitude of everyone should just get “tougher” skin and look at what I’m trying to say, is a person who will tear up a lot of relationships.
Good, healthy relationships demand boundaries, but those boundaries must be communicated in a kind and loving way. It is true that no matter how you say it, some people will be offended or even angered. However, most people are reasonable, able and willing to enjoy a relationship with a person who sets healthy boundaries.
What attitude do you have when it comes to communicating the things that are hurting a relationship that you are in? You have probably thought a lot about what needs to change! Be sure to do some creative thinking on how to say them kindly!
Father help me to change the hurtful things in my relationships, so I can live the abundant life. In Jesus’ Name, amen.