Setting healthy boundaries enables us to persist in sharing Christ's love through difficult circumstances. Congregations that are able to set healthy boundaries are able to welcome people with mental illness or other disabilities without fearing that needy people will overwhelm their caring capacities.
When we notice our frustration, anger, and resentment growing, it is a signal to listen to the Spirit urging us to pay special attention to the relationship.
Most of us know someone who makes frequent demands that must be met NOW! They may seem to live in perpetual crisis and not recognize that others have needs too. In congregations, such people may find themselves excluded and on the margins when caring people become resentful and exhausted.
If we find a brother or sister in the church demanding or difficult, we need to remember that part of the difficulty always lies with us. When we notice our frustration, anger, and resentment growing, it is a signal to listen to the Spirit urging us to pay special attention to the relationship. How do we respond with the love of Christ to include and not let resentment have the upper hand?
Responding thoughtfully in the face of “NOW” demands requires us to know our own needs, desires, and limits. We need an intact sense of self-respect. We must also commit ourselves to remaining in relationship with the ones making demands on us. The reward for such hard, inclusive work is a chance to benefit from God’s amazing gifts hidden in people we might have written off with the label “difficult.”
Learn more about Setting Healthy Boundaries. Browse our website or contact us for resources that can help with understanding any underlying disability issues that may be part of the picture.