I am working through the 10 Laws of Boundaries as discussed by Drs. Cloud and Townsend from their book, “Boundaries: When to say Yes How to say No to take control of your life.” This month we will look at the 3rd law of boundaries. I will be quoting from the book or summarizing some of their thoughts found on pages 89-91 in their book.
Law # 3 is the Law of Power. “The 12 step programs and the Bible teach that people must admit that they are moral failures. Alcoholics admit that they are powerless over alcohol; they don’t have the fruit of self-control. They are powerless over their addiction, much like the apostle Paul says in Rom. 7:15-23 in that he does not do what the good that he wants but the evil that he does not want – this he keeps doing…waging war against the law of his mind and making him a prisoner of the law of sin at work within his members. This is powerlessness” (p.89).
So what are we left with then? Are we left with this constant struggle without a way to address it? The Law of Power says that we have the power to do some things that will bring fruits of victory later. Drs. Cloud and Townsend suggest 6 things that you have the power to do:
1) You have the power to agree with the truth about your problems. Scripture calls this action confession. To confess means literally “to agree with”; in this case agreeing with the Spirit of God on what you problems are. In confession, God gives us the opportunity to say “yep, that’s me” and those are my problems.
2) You have the power to submit your inability to God. You ALWAYS have the power to ask for help and yield. The humbling of yourself as commanded in the Bible is ALWAYS associated with great promises. “If you do what you are able – confess, believe, and ask for help – God will do what you are unable to do – bring about change” (p.89).
3) You have the power to search and ask God and others to reveal more about what is within your boundaries.
4) You have the power to turn from the evil that you find within you. Scripture calls this action repentance, to turn away or to change the course of direction. This does not imply perfection, it simply means that you are able to see your sin as parts that you want to change.
5) You have the power to humble yourself and ask God and others to help you with your developmental injuries and leftover childhood needs. It is your responsibility to search for, discover, and address your own developmental injuries. This summer we have had the privilege of Dr. Jim and Sissy Bankhead sharing with us their developmental injuries from serving the church, from marriage, and from growing up. It has been evident this summer that as a couple and individuals they have worked hard to process themselves in light of what God has been doing in their life. If you do not address your own developmental injuries and leftover childhood needs, you will spend the rest of your life trying to make sense of who/how you are and what you have become. Take the time to work on yourself or you risk the chance that someone else will attempt to do it for you, which of course is NOT their responsibility!
6) You have the power to seek out those that you have injured and make amends. “You need to do this in order to be responsible for yourself and for your sin, and be responsible for those you have injured” (p.89). This is a vital step in the 12 Steps. You may think that you are just doing your job but how you treat those under your care then ripples down the chain to family, friends, employees, and others. For the life of me, I just do not fully understand why the bully has to hurt so many people and to leave in his/her path a wake of emotional and psychological destruction? If you are a bully, please take the time and effort to do some honest self evaluation before God and man. Get some help and then start healing the wounds that you have caused. Take responsibility for yourself!
Grace and Peace,