Consider the following situation in the Bible where Peter, one of Jesus’ disciples, acts in a controlling manner:
Mark 8: 31-33 – “Jesus then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. “Get behind me, Satan!” he said. “You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”
One of the most important benefits of having boundaries is that we have the ability to stand up to others when they try to control our lives. Peter wanted to impose his own design for Jesus’ life onto Jesus, but Jesus had good boundaries; he stood up to Peter and rebuked him.
Jesus showed that he was in control of himself and would not be defined and controlled by Peter, no matter how good Peter’s intentions might have been. The truth is that Peter was thinking, not of God’s purposes, but of his own agenda. Peter was trying to rescue Jesus instead of turning the situation over to God.
We must be on guard against anyone or anything that might take control of us. Self-control is the fruit of the Spirit (see Galatians 5:22 – 23). When we have self-control, we maintain the ability to stand up to aggressive controllers who try to tell us who we should be and what we should do. Although we are wise to listen to others and be open to their feedback, we should never allow someone to be in control of us and define who we are. Setting appropriate boundaries helps us to retain that kind of freedom and self-control.
If you love the “Boundaries” books, check out the NIV Life Journey Bible, which combines the world’s most accessible Bible translation with exclusive teachings from Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townsend.