Setting boundaries

2021-06-30
2 Timothy 2:5 TLB

We can be so eager to stay in everyone’s good books and gain their approval that we’ll constantly drop everything to do what they want. Having a desire to help people is great, but when we can’t say no or don’t set boundaries, we can quickly become burnt out. One Bible teacher wrote: ‘Once when I was complaining about my heavy schedule, I heard God’s Spirit say, “You’re the one who makes the schedule; if you don’t like it, do something about it!”‘

It’s easy to blame other people for putting pressure on us, or the devil for whispering lies such as ‘if you don’t help this time, it proves you’re a bad person’, but there are times when we need to take responsibility for our decisions and actions. We might resent people who pressure us into helping them, but still keep doing what they want in order to keep their good opinion, which feeds our silent anger. Paul told Timothy, ‘Follow the Lord’s rules for doing his work…as an athlete…follows the rules or is disqualified’ (v.5 TLB).

We need to remember that Jesus is our example, and He had regular times of rest and renewal. The answer lies in 1) seeking the Holy Spirit’s guidance for our lives, 2) learning to put God’s plan first, 3) realising we have needs too, and 4) not expecting everybody to understand or be happy when we set boundaries. The Bible says, ‘A friend loves at all times’ (Proverbs 17:17 NIV) – not just when we comply with their wishes. To fulfil God’s will for our lives, we need to learn to set boundaries.

Jer 28-30; Luke 3:21-38; Ps 95; Prov 14:29-33

Take care of each other


Ecclesiastes 9:9 CEV

The story is told of a woman who accompanied her husband to the doctor. After his checkup the doctor called her into his office alone and said, “Your husband is suffering from a severe disease combined with horrible stress, and unless you do these things, he will die. Each morning fix him a healthy breakfast. Be pleasant throughout the day, and make sure he’s in a good mood. Make him something nutritious for lunch, and at dinnertime prepare him an especially nice meal. Don’t burden him with household chores; he’s probably had a hard day. And don’t discuss your problems with him; it will only increase his stress. In other words, try to satisfy his every whim. Do this for ten months, and I think he’ll make a complete recovery.” On the way home in the car her husband asked, “So what did the doctor say?” Looking him squarely in the eyes, she replied, “You’re going to die!”

Seriously, when you reach the end of your life and look back, the two questions that will matter most are these: (1) Have you discovered God’s will, and done your best to fulfill it? (2) Have you loved your spouse and your family, and given them the time and attention they deserve?

Solomon writes: “God decided long ago…this is what you should do. Dress up, comb your hair, and look your best. Life is short, and you love your wife, so enjoy being with her. This is what you are supposed to do as you struggle through life on…earth” (vv. 7-9 CEV). So the word for you today is – take care of each other.

Soul food: Jer 28-30; Luke 3:21-38; Ps 95; Prov 14:29-33

Sorg vir mekaar


Prediker 9:9 NLV

Daar is ‘n verhaal van ‘n vrou wat haar man na die dokter toe vergesel het. Na sy ondersoek, het die dokter haar alleen na sy spreekkamer toe geroep en gesê: ‘Jou man ly aan ‘n vreeslike siekte en tensy jy nie hierdie dinge doen nie, sal hy sterf. Maak elke oggend vir hom ‘n gesonde ontbyt, middagete en spesiale aandete. Wees aangenaam deur die dag en maak seker dat hy in ‘n goeie bui is. Moenie hom met huishoudelike take belas nie. Moet ook nie jou probleme met hom bespreek nie. Met ander woorde, probeer aan al sy behoeftes, nukke en grille voldoen. As jy dit vir tien maande lank doen, dink ek hy sal volkome herstel.’ Op pad huis toe het haar man vir haar gevra: ‘So, wat het die dokter gesê?’ Sy het hom vierkantig in die oë gekyk en geantwoord: ‘Hy sê jy gaan doodgaan!’

Op ‘n ernstiger noot, wanneer jy aan die einde van jou lewe kom, is die twee vrae wat die meeste sal saak maak as volg: 1) Het jy God se wil ontdek en jou bes gedoen om dit te vervul? 2) Was jy lief vir jou eggenoot en jou familie en het jy hulle die tyd en aandag wat hulle verdien het, gegee? Salomo skryf: ‘In sulke omstandighede moet jy jou kos met vreugde geniet en jou wyn met blydskap drink. God het dit lank gelede al so bepaal. Dra die regte klere om te wys hoe gelukkig en bly jy is… Geniet die lewe met die vrou vir wie jy lief is. Geniet haar elke dag in die sinlose lewe wat jou gegun is. Sy sal jou troos wees in hierdie sinlose wêreld waarin jy jou dag en nag moet afsloof’ (verse 7-9 DB).

Die woord vir jou vandag is dus – sorg vir mekaar.

Sielskos: Jer 28-30; Luk 3:21-38; Ps 95; Spr 14:29-33

Memoriseer Skrifgedeeltes en oorwin bekommernis

2021-06-29
Psalm 119:97 NLV

Een van die kragtigste metodes wat God vir jou gegee het om vrees en bekommernis te oorwin, is om Skrifgedeeltes te memoriseer. Jou geheue is soos ‘n spier; hoe meer jy dit oefen, hoe sterker word dit. Seneca, die antieke Romeinse onderwyser van retoriek, sou sy klas van tweehonderd studente beïndruk deur elke student te vra om ‘n gunsteling digvers op te sê. Hy sou dan die tweehonderd verse op een slag vir hulle terug opsê, in die verkeerde volgorde. Sint Augustine het ‘n vriend gehad wat al die digter Virgil se woorde agteruit kon opsê!

Ja, miskien het hierdie twee ouens ‘n gawe daarvoor gehad, maar daar is baie dinge wat elkeen van ons ook uit ons geheue kan opsê. Dinge soos verjaarsdae, huweliksherdenkings, adresse, telefoonnommers en ID nommers. Hierdie dinge het twee karaktereienskappe in gemeen: Ons gebruik hulle dikwels en ons het hulle konstant nodig. Met ander woorde, ons het hulle gememoriseer omdat ons hulle so dikwels gebruik en nou kan ons nie sonder hulle oor die weg kom nie.

Soortgelyk kan jy begin om jou bekommernisse te oorwin, deur hulle elke keer wat hulle in jou gedagtes opkom met ‘n Skrifgedeelte wat jy gememoriseer het, te konfronteer. Dis kragtig! Dis effektief! Dit werk! Hoekom? Omdat God se krag groter as jou probleme is en omdat God se Woord groter as jou bekommernisse is.

God is daartoe verbind om sy Woord te onderhou. Wanneer jy dus Skriftuurlike woorde in plaas van kommer-gevulde woorde spreek, begin God namens jou werk. Hy het aan jou die volgende belofte gemaak: ‘…Ek staan gereed om te doen wat Ek gesê het gaan gebeur’ (Jeremia 1:12 NLV). As jy dus ernstig daaroor is om jou stres en bekommernisse te oorwin, begin dan om God se Woord elke dag te memoriseer en te verbaliseer.

Sielskos: Jer 25-27; Luk 3:11-20; Ps 64; Spr 14:25-28

Memorizing Scripture and conquering worry


Psalm 119:97 NRS

One of the most powerful tools God has given you for conquering fear and worry is memorizing Scripture. Your memory is like a muscle; the more you exercise it, the stronger it becomes. Seneca, the ancient Roman teacher of rhetoric, would impress his class of two hundred by asking each student to recite a Favourite line of poetry. He would then recite all two hundred lines from memory – in reverse order. Saint Augustine had a friend who could recite all the poet Virgil’s words – backward!

Okay, maybe those guys were gifted – but there are lots of things each of us can recite from memory too. Things like birthdays and anniversaries, addresses and phone numbers, social security numbers and checking account numbers and driver’s license numbers. These items have two characteristics in common: We use them frequently, and we need them constantly. In other words, we have memorized them because we use them so often, and we can’t get along without them.

Similarly, you can begin to conquer your worries by confronting them each time they arise with a Scripture you have memorized. It’s powerful! It’s effective! It works! Why? Because God’s power is greater than your problems, and God’s Word is greater than your worries.

Understand this: God is committed to keeping His Word. So when you speak scriptural words instead of anxiety-ridden words, God goes to work on your behalf. He has made you this promise: “I will hasten my word to perform it” (Jeremiah 1:12 KJV). So if you’re serious about wanting to conquer stress and worry, begin to memorize and verbalize God’s Word each day.

Soul food: Jer 25-27; Luke 3:11-20; Ps 64; Prov 14:25-28