By Dr. Froswa Booker-Drew
It is hard to believe that we are just a few weeks away from Christmas. I think in our desire to get so much done by the end of the year in addition to purchasing gifts for friends and loved ones, I wonder if many of us have lost sight of why we do what we do this time of year.
We spend a lot of money on gifts. We rush to get the Christmas tree up along with decorations. We are running from one place to another. I see more people frustrated and rushing without a real understanding of the reason for this season. My hope for you this year is that in all your getting, you get an understanding. (Proverbs 3:5)
I recently started a devotional on boundaries. Boundaries are defined as “a line that marks the limits of an area; a dividing line.” Our society tends to blur boundaries and as a result, many of us are overextended physically, mentally, emotionally, or financially.
We end up angry, depressed, or resentful. It’s all because we did not draw lines in our lives to determine what is not only permissible but beneficial. (1 Corinthians 6: 12) I did not pay attention to the fact that God established several boundaries throughout the Bible.
God was very direct regarding what God will/will not do. There are scriptures that detail God’s boundaries but here are a few:
God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? (Numbers 23:19)
Test me in this and see if I don’t open up heaven itself to you and pour out blessings beyond your wildest dreams. (Malachi 3:8-11)
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)
God models for us so many lines that we need to draw in the sand about relationships, about our finances, and even about our time. God made the earth in 6 days and on the seventh day, God rested. For many, work takes place all day every day.
When we do not take the time to rest, our boundaries are compromised. I have noticed that especially for those of us in the church, we feel as if ‘no’ is a dirty word.
We have been taught this idea that we are more like Christ when we give of ourselves day and night. This isn’t Biblical. Jesus took the time to rest. He also took the time to be alone with God because He recognized the importance of being fed and rejuvenated by God. Jesus recognized his limits.
Jesus did not allow others to manipulate him into doing what they wanted. He could have healed everyone in the crowds, but he didn’t. He healed those who came to him and who wanted help. This is another huge lesson we can learn from Christ—everyone doesn’t want our help even if we think they do. Jesus also stood in his truth and didn’t sugarcoat it.
One example was that he told the rich young ruler his expectations. The ruler didn’t comply, and Jesus didn’t change his stance to appease the young ruler. (Matthew 19:16-21) He chose to please God and not people.
“Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No;’ anything beyond this comes from the evil one” (Matthew 5:37). My hope for you this year is that you will be a person who has boundaries. That in this holiday season, you do not allow yourself to become overextended to only later deal with the consequences because you were not clear. I often tell young women and men that when they date, they need to know their non-negotiables. You need to know these for your life. When you have a clear plan for what is important, it becomes easy to say no.
Dr. Froswa’ Booker-Drew is the host of the Tapestry Podcast and the author of three books for women. She is also the Vice President of Community Affairs for the State Fair of Texas. To learn more, visit drfroswa.com.