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Summary: Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend have written a best selling book called Boundaries that helps us learn how to set God directed limitations. People who live without boundaries often lack self-control. Paul wrote to Timothy, "Discipline yourself for t

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The Benefits of Setting Limits

James 4:2-4 - "You want something but dont’ get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You udo not have, because you do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives , that you may spend what you get on your pleasures."

Illustration: Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend have written a best selling book called Boundaries that helps us learn how to set God directed limitations. People who live without boundaries often lack self-control. Paul wrote to Timothy, "Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness. For godliness is profitable not only in the this life but also in the age to come." (I Tim. 4:7,8) The subtitle of the book reads, "When to say Yes, when to say No to take control of your life." This helpful book gives several principles that are summarized in the following points:

1. We all have to set limits because are naturally envious. James 4:2 says, "You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight." People who are boundaryless tend to feel empty and unfulfilled. They look at other people who are happy and feel envious. James writes, "You have not because you ask not."

The Bible teaches us to be doers of the word and not merely hearers who deceive themselves. Too many people fail to set limits on their envy because they do not replace it with obedience and trust in the Lord to supply them with what is satisfying. Jesus said, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they will be satisfied." (Matt 5:6-8)

2. Replace negative motivations with positive incentives:

A. Fear of loss of love or abandonment should be replaced with a confidence that nothing can separate us from the love of God. (Rom. 8:37-39) Some people give to get love and when they do not get it they feel abandoned.

Illustration: One thing that helps me overcome my fear of abandonment or loss of love is to sing the song, "Lord, Reign in Me" When I know God is on the throne of my heart as well as the universe I can be supremely confident that everything is right, powerful and covered.

John Wesley once wrote, "I’ve never known more than fifteen minutes of anxiety in my entire life. Whenever I grow fearful or angry. I close my eyes and envision God sitting on the throne in heaven and I know all things are well.

Here are the words of a song that helps us pray for God’s reign over all aspects of our lives and relationships:

"Over all the earth You reign on high;

Every mountain stream, every sunset sky.

But my one request, Lord my only aim is that You reign in me again."

Chorus: Lord, reign in me, reign in your power;

Over all my dreams in my darkest hour.

You are the Lord of all I am. So won’t you reign in me again.

"Over ever thought, over every word,

May my life reflect the beauty of my Lord.

Cause You mean so much more than any earthly thing,

So won’t you reign in me again."

B. Fear of others’ anger and all the hurt should be replaced with Christ’s grace, love, hope, peace and fellowship of the Spirit. Paul writes, "May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us now and forever." (2 Cor. 16:13) Some people cannot stand for others to be mad at them.


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