Isaiah 61:8 says, “For I, the Lord, love justice; I hate robbery and wrongdoing. In my faithfulness I will reward my people and make an everlasting covenant with them.”
This bible verse illustrates that God himself models boundaries and limits in his own character. He tells us clearly what he likes (justice) and what he hates (robbery and wrongdoing). God makes it clear where he stands on these issues. In a similar way, our words to others define our boundaries as we communicate our feelings, intentions or dislikes. This too is a form of justice.
It is difficult for people to know where we stand when we do not use words. For example, telling someone “I don’t like it when you raise your voice at me” gives the person we are speaking to a clear message about how we feel the relationship should be conducted.
The most basic boundary-setting word is “no.” It lets others know that we exist apart from them and that we are in control of ourselves. Being clear about our no — and our yes — is a theme that God models and a principle that is taught throughout the Bible (see Matthew 5:37; James 5:12). To speak the truth about a violation is an aspect of justice.
Question for Reflection:
What are some other examples in the Bible where God says “no”? Is there someone in your life that you need to tell “no” in order to improve the relationship, protect yourself, or express justice?
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