FACT: Some relationships will put you in bondage. Your assignment, should you choose to accept it, is to keep this from happening. You probably know of a spiritually unhealthy and bossy individual who is uncomfortable to be around. This person acts authoritatively and might pose as a leader, but is actually a “controller” who is driven to make everyone do what he or she says.
These arrogant people won’t take anyone else’s advice because in their minds they always know what’s best. They manipulate others through intimidation, fear tactics, and mind-control. Those who live under their thumb are afraid to do or say anything that will upset them. You know that you’re under their control if you find yourself walking on eggshells whenever you are around them.
It takes tremendous courage to stand up to a domineering person and not be intimidated. God says, “Do not fear their intimidation” (1 Pet. 3:14). The Holy Spirit doesn’t use intimidation and pressure to guide His people. Drawing a boundary line will keep dysfunctional people from taking control of you. Without any boundaries, abnormal people will use you and abuse you.
You may not be able to control what others do, but you can control what you allow others to do to you. You must draw a boundary line to keep the bullies out, but allow the friendly people in. Richard Innis says, “Healthy boundaries are to protect ourselves from toxic people, from controlling and manipulating people, con artists, abusive people, and those who want to use us for their own ends.”
When Paul was being pressured to conform to those with ulterior motives, he drew a boundary line and stood firm against them: “But it was because of the false brethren who have sneaked in to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, in order to bring us into bondage. But we did not yield in subjection to them for even an hour” (Gal. 2:4-5).
Contrary to popular belief, God does not call you to be friends with everyone. In some cases, He wants you to stay away from them and even says, “Do not even eat with such a one” (1 Cor. 5:11). You can be friendly to everyone, but you must use wisdom in selecting your friends. Choose those who will encourage and build you up, not browbeat and intimidate you. Remember this important truth—God has called you to peace, not bondage (Gal. 5:13). www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com
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