Like the alien described in the beginning of chapter 5 of Boundaries, by Cloud & Townsend, people raised in dysfunctional families, or families where God’s ways of boundaries are not practiced, find themselves lost, confused, and easily hurt in adult life.  They don’t understand the spiritual principles that govern relationships and personal well-being. Those principles – spiritual realities that God build into the world he created – have never been explained to them, so they become prisoners of their own ignorance. We need to know these principles and operate according to them. This week we’ll look at the laws of boundaries.

Law #1: The Law of Sowing & Reaping

This law has to do with the reality of life. We are supposed to get out of life what we put into it; simple “cause and effect”.

7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. – Galatians 6:7-8 NIV

When God tells us that we will reap what we sow, he is not punishing us: he’s telling us how things really are. There are a variety of ways this law gets broken. Many times people don’t reap what the sow.

When someone always rescues a person from their consequences, they are altering the effects of this law. If a parent always deposits money into their kids checking account, the consequences of poor money management are never experienced. The person that continually rescues a person from their consequences is labeled a codependent.

What are some examples in your life where you either did not have to face your consequences for poor decisions or when you might have protected someone else from the consequences of their poor decisions.  What did you learn or experience those situations?

Law #2 The Law of Responsibility

This law usually gets a response out of most people. People react in various ways to the thought of taking responsibilities. Some say “That’s so self-centered. We should love one another and deny ourselves”.

13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” – Galatians 5:13-14 NIV

Other people set out on a selfish and self-centered life, and still others begin to feel “guilty” when they do someone a favor. But we are called to love one another; Jesus calls it “his” commandment.

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. – John 15:12 NIV

Any time we are not loving others, we are not taking full responsibility for ourself; we have disowned our own heart.

We are to love another, not be one another. How do you think the following scripture relates to “responsibility”?

12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. – Philippians 2:12-13 NIV

What kind of insight does that scripture provide you for the law or “responsibility”?

 Challenge & Opportunity

This week continue to seek and observe these laws of boundaries and continue to read through and apply the different principles and learnings that arise from the remainder of chapter 5. We will pick back up on Law #3 next week.