The saying, “Love God first, others second, and yourself last,” sounds noble. It is not biblical. The Bible says we love because God first loves us (1 John 4:19). Then we are to love God and love our neighbor as we love ourselves. We cannot give away what we do not possess. A naked man cannot give you a shirt. God desires we love ourselves as He does, then love our neighbor as we love ourselves (Mark 12:30-31).
One of the ways we demonstrate reception of God’s love is by setting boundaries and enforcing them. We teach people how to treat us by what we tolerate. What are your boundaries?
Boundaries protect what we value, so I have some boundaries.
I don’t tell men where I live unless I know them well because I have had several real stalkers. One I had to file a police report in 2018. I never gave this person any indication I wanted their attention, nada.
My instagram is private because though my pofile is mainly about Jesus, men would follow me and send creepy inbox messages.
I take roughly a year to watch and get to know people because of experiences of being too kind and people were not who they presented themselves to be.
I am slower to say yes to every ministry opportunity based on seeing everything that glitters is not God.
I pull back when I see red flags because I have traveled the road of ignoring them and it never turned out well.
I am more cautious being kind to men based on their wrong assumptions of my motives. Someone must vouch for them and their level of maturity.
I do not befriend everyone nor accept every invitation for deep, personal connection.
I do not just listen to what people say, I watch what they do and set boundaries accordingly.
I do not just trust clergy or Christians because they say they love Jesus. You know a tree by its fruit.
I do not go every place invited.
I do not pick up the phone for everyone, or pick it up past my rest time.
I do not spend copious amounts of time with people I do not trust.
I don’t befriend gossips.
I don’t tell everyone my business.
I don’t keep casting pearls before those who trample it under foot.
I don’t just give people money who ask, I pray and ask God. More giving is placed before Him lately. He knows what is wise.
I ask God to reveal who I truly am. I also ask Him to reveal tbe hearts of those who desire personal connection with me, so I know what level of access they need to have in my life.
Wisdom can come by listening to God/others and also through experience. I hope you love yourself as much as God does, then love your neighbor as you love yourself. I hope you have boundaries.
Love in Christ,