EFI News: Liberating Boundaries, by Rev. Dr. Richard Howell

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(The following article was published in The Sunday Guardian, Delhi, dated May 23, 2010)


Rev. Dr. Richard Howell

Prophet Isaiah lived and worked under four rulers; among a rebellious and self-willed people. He warned spiritual and social brokenness results in distance from God and in violence and injustice. With patience and persistence, he pursued his goal of calling people to a lifestyle within the boundaries God has established. In order that people become a channel of blessing for humanity!

Isaiah believed intimacy can be restored in our relationship with God, truth can be returned to the public square, and honesty can fill our relationships with one another. God is for relationships, truth, love and honesty. God is against oppression, injustice, sin and evil. God spoke through Isaiah “For I the LORD, love justice; I hate robbery and iniquity.” Maintaining boundaries of relationship with God is liberating.

People with boundaries are clear about their opinions, beliefs and attitudes. As Jesus Christ said, “Simply let your ‘yes’ be ‘yes’ and your ‘no’ be ‘no’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.” People without clear boundaries find themselves easily controlled by the demands of others because they feel uncertain of themselves when they ought to take a stand.

Many of us live in two worlds when it comes to relationships. In one world we have friendly conversations in which we avoid all disagreements; in the other we have major conflict type conversations that tear everybody and everything up. In the first world we have relationship without truth, and in the second we have truth without relationship. Isaiah taught God did not design us to have these two types of relationships. God wants us to live in one world, where God dwells and where truth and love coexist as allies, not adversaries. The Bible calls this ‘truth in love,’ - a liberating boundary that nurtures relationship with God and one another.