I read a quote recently that said something like, “The only people who will be upset when you set boundaries are those who benefit from you having none.” Mind blown because, it’s TRUTH! It’s an extremely accurate observation. I tend to be a tough critic when it concerns myself. My mom does a great job of reassuring me, and regretfully most times I see it as her just being a mom. She tells me when it’s not my fault although I insist on blaming myself. She is able to explain how others are some times at fault even when I constantly come to their defense. Lately, God has been backing her up in this area.
Someone who hurt me apologized and admitted that they had been wrong. Part of me knew they were wrong which is why I was hurt, obviously, and that other nagging part of me that believes everything bad is my fault finally had to sit down and shut up. Mom was right. In some cases, I am totally blameless. I am far from perfect, but the end of a relationship or the apparent failure of a thing doesn’t always point to inadequacy in me. Maybe it’s just that I was connected to some humans who also have flaws and who weren’t aware of how destructive their behavior could be.
This all makes sense considering how the Bible instructs believers to “Guard the heart.” Inside the heart lives emotions and experiences that build connection and influence well being. Confidence is a huge part of well being. Failure and rejection bruise confidence, but a well guarded heart is equipped to filter truth and lies which eases the pain of negative circumstances. Basically, when I guard my heart with the truth of who I am, it’s more difficult to believe the lies that negative experiences bring.
Since I know I am a loving person, I can’t also be a horrible friend. The truth cancels the lie.
So how does one get ahead of the heart? We use our tools! There are many gifts God gives us to use, but a few are as follows:
Wisdom: Know better? Actions will prove it. Wisdom is actively applying what you know.
Experience: Life brings us situations that refine us. Passing the test provides the reference we need to accomplish the next level. Remember where you’ve come from; you were there for a reason.
Patience: There’s truly a season for everything. When God does a thing, it is complete. Therefore, do not be anxious or in a hurry. Embrace the process.
Purpose: Purpose comes from God. It is the very idea that moved Him to make you and I. Once God reveals Purpose, it is our duty to work with Him toward it. Purpose originates in the heart where the spirit of God lives, but we must be conscious to allow Purpose to be greater than our emotions & desires of the heart.
Truth: Sure, the truth may hurt, but Deception creates messes that ultimately distract us from the task at hand. Avoid dishonesty at all costs.
Integrity: Mean what you say & do it!
Truth is the guard that keeps my feelings from being hurt when people gossip. Wisdom is the guard that instructs me on handling people and situations properly. Integrity is the guard that keeps my reputation and spirit in check. Patience is the guard that ensures I don’t quit and am still present when the promise arrives. I could go on and on.
In order to guard your heart, you must first go ahead of your heart. Remember: a guard is positioned on the perimeter to avert trouble before it reaches the inside.
The bottom line is this: My heart is mine to protect. God gives me tools, but if I hide or don’t use them, they cannot help me. A guarded heart is a healthy guard and a healthy heart can conquer anything!
I am Eryka