We protect things that we consider valuable. What is more valuable than your love? Today we will explore how to keep our love on to everyone managing the access that people have to us.
Who Has Access To You?
We have Circles of Access. Closet to me is Jesus. Then, my spouse or very close friend is the next closest. After that, my children (followed by my extended family) still have a great deal, but slightly less access to me. They are followed by my friends and acquaintances. Finally, way out there is Al Qaeda, grizzly bears, and sharks.
What’s the difference? Let’s say these different people all tell me the engine of their car blew up. Here is how I might respond based on differing levels of access to me:
- To an acquaintance I bump into at the store, “Do you have a church? I’ve used this shop in town.”
- To someone in my church family. “There is a guy in our church who is a mechanic and will give you a good price. I’ll also see if the church can help.”
- To a close friend. “Let me help you with that; I’ll be over in a bit. By the way, here are the keys to our second car. We can manage for a little while.”
- To one of my children. “Okay, I’m on my way, We’ll figure this out.”
- To my wife. “What color would you like your next car to be?”
What’s the point? You CANNOT give EVERYONE equal access to YOU.
Is this UnBiblical? Is it really love to live without boundaries? Is it fair to say, our time and attention communicate love? Is it equally fair to say that one’s inability to spend time or give attention communicates apathy? How will you love those that God has ordained as the most important in your life if you make no differentiation in how you expend your time and attention?
What Are “You” Worth?
We Protect things of Value. There are a couple of abandoned banks in the downtown area of our city. Would you attempt to rob one of them? Why not? How do you know that they didn’t leave a million dollars in one of them? Because they are easily accessed. Only people who want to deface or damage those buildings enter nowadays.
1 John 3:1 (NLT) See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! ..
Are You Valuable? Are your children valuable to you? What do you think about God’s children?
If you don’t consider yourself of any value, how could you value anyone else? You become an open door, a broken window, and only disrespectful people enter. You end up attracting the kind of people who broke you in the first place. If you value something, you protect it. This is why boundaries are about protecting you.
Mark 5:24 (NLT) Jesus went with him, and all the people followed, crowding around him.
What Is Your “Yes” Worth?
Jesus and Jairus. Jesus had solutions and He was in a large crowd using them. But, Jairus showed up and pleaded with Jesus for help. And, Jesus said “Yes”. So Jesus, in the midst of hundreds of needs, began working His way toward His “Yes”.
You see, if I had been in Jesus’ shoes with the power to heal 100% of those in need, I’m not sure I would have made it to Jairus’ house. My “Yes” would have been worthless, and powerless. Don’t even get me started on making it to the cross! But, Jesus’ “YES” meant everything. His life was lived according to His “Yes”.
What Does Your “Yes” Mean? If it means something, then it’s worth protecting. Make your Yes matter. Be the person that when you say “Yes”, you can be counted on. Your Yes is a YES! It’s too easy to be the person whose Yes means nothing in our world.
Philippians 4:8 (NLT) And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
How To Protect Valuable Things
Boundaries… Keep in what I want to keep in. Keep out what I want to keep out. And, protect the priorities of my life. Here’s how to protect what is most important.
Learn to Require Respect. You are God’s creation and should be respected whether you believe it or not. Respect can be spirited, intense, and painful, but… it is not attacking, abusive, judgmental, or assumptive.
Colossians 3:8-9 (NLT) But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language. 9 Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds.
Tell Others What YOU are Going to do. “I will stay, and want to stay in this conversation as long as it is respectful.” They may ask, “What are you going to do?” The answer is simple. Leave the conversation until it can be discussed with respect.
When does a conversation become disrespectful? It will begin to fill with “YOU” statements. (You are never here. You don’t love me.) It may include judgments like, “YOU… don’t care, are selfish, or are stupid”. There might even be attempted or assumed mind-reading. “I know what you’re thinking.” Or, ”You should have known what I was thinking.”
Colossians 3:12 (NLT) Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.
Remember, Words Must be Backed-up by Actions. Learn to do what you say you will do. When you do, you will say YES to connection and respect. And, the best versions of ourselves are more likely to appear.