Boundaries: “I’ve Forgiven Them. Now, What?”

“You don’t have to rebuild a relationship with everyone you’ve forgiven.”

That is the quote I shared on my Facebook page before one of my sisters in Christ shared with me her concerns and asked some great questions: “I never understand how far I can go with someone after I’ve forgiven or been forgiven. How should I behave around them? What should I say? How does trust works now?” Today in this blog, I want to answer these questions, not just for my spiritual sister, but for you and anyone else who don’t know what are the healthy, biblical, and proper steps to take after forgiveness. I will also link another great more in-depth article at the end.

The place where most people fail after forgiving someone or someone forgiving them is not knowing their boundaries. Because without emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual boundaries you will slowly find yourself back in the same situation as before – either hurt or hurting someone else. Or both. Even Jesus set boundaries. Shocking, right? You wonder why God never burnt out while walking the earth in the same flesh as you and I? It is because He took the necessary precautions to care for His needs without outright neglecting others who needed Him. That’s what you too have to learn how to do, friend. And where do you learn it? From Jesus Himself.

Most of my life I was always the girl who felt like forgiveness meant giving the people who hurt me full access to me – over and over again. I believed that that is what God wanted of me, but one day after reading my Bible it clicked for me. The Bible says, “A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.” I didn’t have self-control because I let people treat me any kind of way. I felt like that city – broken into – and left without a sense of self. No walls. No limits. Then I began to read 1 Corinthians 13 and also reading more about Jesus Himself and I finally began to understand what love truly looked like and in response, I stopped accepting any treatment that did not match up to it. So, friend, below are proper steps I take when dealing with people who I have forgiven and people in general. I am no longer the known pushover, but the bold and strong, yet loving and kind woman God has called me to be.

  • It’s Okay To Say “No”.

You recently forgave someone and now they are asking something of you that you and they know you do not support because of your walk with and faithfulness to God. Guess what, friend? Saying “no” to a person who is encouraging you to sin or do something that makes you uncomfortable will not make you a bad Christian – but a better one. Stay away from people who say “If you love me you would…”. Because if they loved you they would respect your boundaries. So be vocal about what you’re not okay with and if they continue to push, then you cut back on your communication and interactions with this person. You may think “Well, that doesn’t sound very loving.” But it is, dear, it’s loving God by not sinning and also loving the other person enough to not be an accomplice to them sinning.

  • Baby Steps.

You’ve probably heard people tell you that you should forgive and forget because that’s what God does for us. But, lets be real, God never tells us to forget. He commands us to forgive and to not keep records of wrong. (Not the same thing as forget. More so, not to hold anything we have forgiven of someone over their head in the future.) We are not God, we are human. We cannot erase offenses and the pain they caused from our memories at the snap of a finger. But what we can do is ask God for discernment, wisdom, and knowledge when dealing with others. A lot of times that very thing may look like us taking baby steps. When we rush, we miss red flags and things God is trying to show us. The Bible says in Proverbs, “Discretion will keep you, understanding will preserve you.” And, dear, the only way to receive those two crucial things for forming healthy boundaries is by asking God for them. Much of the pain we have experienced could be avoided if only we’d slow down and consult with God.

  • Trust Is Earned

When humans initially meet people, we naturally attempt to give them the benefit of the doubt and slowly begin to let them in; eventually, trust starts to form with that other person. However, some of us give away our trust too easily to others who have done nothing to show they deserve it or even respect it because we believe giving others our trust shows we love them. Couldn’t be farther from the truth, dear. Trust Love. I love everyone, but I do not trust everyone. God loves all of His children, but that doesn’t mean He trusts all of His children the same. Jesus loved Judas, but He also knew who Judas was at heart and He didn’t keep Him as close as Peter and John. Another example of God’s trust not being universal? God says “those who are faithful over little will be rulers over much” and also “that He is the rewarder of faith.” So, friend, it is good to apply this very thing into your own life. If they are trustworthy with the little pieces of yourself you give them, then you can open up some more and let them in a little more. Opening up to any and everyone will only hurt you in the end, friend. Instead, be a rewarder of respect. When people respect us and our beliefs, we will innately begin to trust them even if we don’t realize it. You want to be a city with walls. Not too high that no one can get in and love you, but neither too low that everyone can ransack your peace.

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God […].”

{ 1 John 4:1 }

I’m adding this article below for those of you who’d like more insight on Biblical boundaries and how Jesus applied them while on Earth without withholding His love from others. It really blessed me and I pray it blesses you too.

Click here!

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