Boundaries for Dignity and Justice. Learning to walk in boundaries is foundational to growth.
Part of growing in sonship life skills is learning to walk this out even when it is difficult.
Think of that guy at work who is super friendly. He’s always quick to make you laugh, a great conversationalist, makes you feel liked and included. But, he’s often a little late to the office, there are times when he puts some of his workload off on others, and he sometimes doesn’t consider other people’s time boundaries.
What about the demanding boss who expects you to work extra hours without extra pay? He talks down to people and doesn’t use appropriate respect. Everything is always about his vision and the company and never about building people.
Now think of God being so kind to Israel in bringing them out of Egypt. God protected them, yet they turned to idols. God contracted with them to give them the Promised Land, yet they continually backed out of any responsibility on their end. Instead they used excuses that flowed out of a victim mindset.
Boundaries are not just a nice teaching that worked its way into the Body of Christ to help co-dependent women. Boundaries describe where everyone lives. The lack of boundaries is the lack of dignity and justice.
Dignity and justice are universal human problems, their absence always allows a boundary to be crossed, inducing shame. These dignity/shame dynamics are the central roadblock to growth and fulfillment.
For example, I ministered one time in Nigeria, sharing my story of painful experiences and how God met me and brought growth. Many of the pastors came up after the teaching and said, “We’ve never heard anyone share their weaknesses. We only share our strengths.” In their churches, they preached a standard of faith and victory that set the bar high. They themselves couldn’t live up to it, but they would never share that; if they did, people may no longer follow them. Here’s the point. This high standard by the leader made it “not okay” for anyone to live under that. So now, no one can be honest about their shortcomings and therefore no growth or maturing ever takes place.
Facing ways we’ve experienced injustice, attacks on our dignity, impossible standards that employers, churches, or society have communicated to us is the beginning of growth. So often, like the children of Israel, we don’t want to come into the light with our shame issues. However, when we do, they become the very stepping-stones to real growth. By doing this, true change is within reach.