Posted by: P | June 1, 2008

Jesus and Boundaries

When to Say Yes, How to Say No, to Take Control of Your Life

I’ve been reading the book “Boundaries” which I recommended earlier, and i was just asked this question in a comment. [see previous boundaries post] I  was asked this same question from some one else whom I personally recommended this book to.

“I just wonder…did Jesus have boundaries when he walked on this earth? I have not seen an example of that in scripture.”

I think the fact that we ask this question, speaks for itself, in that we didn’t realize how clearly personal spiritual boundaries ARE emphasized in the scripture, and how ministering to others is all about doing it with in the right boundaries. You should read the book to get the whole picture of what’s being said. I recommend, really ,every one I know should read this book. Here are a few thoughts from other sources, from around the web commentating on this subject:

Esther Rennick (Fredericton, New Brunswick CANADA), March 06, 2008
“People need to hear and be reassured it is OK to say no. Christians need to hear it is OK to be angry and that anger serves a purpose in our lives. I needed a reminder that it was OK for me to say no and that it was OK for me to be angry. There is a lot of talk and opinions about “setting boundaries”. Many people need to be educated in order to understand boundaries, set healthy boundaries, and put them into action. This book meets that need. This book educates. This book reminds Christians that there was more to Jesus personality than just making everyone happy and being sweet and encouraging all the time. Jesus got angry. Jesus confronted. Jesus set boundaries. Are you like Jesus? Do you understand this part of his personality? Do you know “how” to be like him in confrontation, anger and boundaries? This book will give you the tools to help you grow in these areas of your life. It is a “must read”!”


“Jesus set boundaries. Jesus has been called “a man for others,” and that is certainly who he was — but he never let “others” tell him who to be or what to do. No one told Jesus how to fulfill his purpose. In Luke 4 we see a story where the crowd is looking for Jesus and His disciples find Jesus and tell Him that He needs to not go off to be alone with God because there is a crowd that is expecting to see Him. But I want you to see that even though Jesus came to serve people, but he didn’t let anyone’s needs, or requests, or expectations, or opinions, or demands dictate how he spent his time and how he organized his life. He was a servant — he gave his life for them — but he didn’t surrender to them. You know each one of us if we are going to live a balanced, healthy life we too need to learn how to draw the line and not allow the expectations of others to control us. We have a mission too and we need to stay focused.
Too many people today are living unhealthy lives. We need to follow Jesus’ example and apply these principles that will help us to not only be more effective but will also help us to be healthier physically, emotionally and spiritually.”

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Of course Jesus had boundaries, he was no doormat! He rebuked his disciples, and the Pharisees. He overturned the tables of the money lenders. He stood up for what he belived in with the priests and scribes.


“Things you don’t get and will never get from an abuser: Love, respect, cooperation, compromise, dignity, peace, trust, honesty, and closure.” – me, 4 January 2007

“…a few trimmed hedges doth not a proper apology make.” -shjones66
“We Get What We Put Up With, NOT What We Deserve.” -jenjen
“It’s better to have loved and lost, than to have to live with the psycho for the rest of your life.”

post Feb 6 2007, 08:04 PM
Post #6

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I just realized this. I remember the story of Jesus overturning the table in the church & standing up for what he thought was right.

I learned this.

But for some reason, what I walked away with, what I felt was drilled into my head by ‘caregiving’ teachers was that I had to be compassionate & so compassionate I couldnt’ set boundaries up at all. I see H’s aunt doing this & when I tried to finally set up a boundary w/ H his family got angry with me for not being sympathetic enough to his ‘illness.’

& these are the people I learned this ridiculous compassion stuff from. I look back on that period in my life & I see I put up with a lot of BS from some people because I thought I had to to show I cared about them. Ick.

& I’m glad I asked this question because I thought I was trying to follow the example of great teachers like Jesus & well, I just definitely wasn’t & for some reason this thought finally occurred to me. I really did learn the wrong thing & I’m glad I’m learning the right thing.

post Feb 7 2007, 08:45 AM
Post #7

This is just my opinion,
but people who are not able to set their own boundaries are codependants.
So the question to me reads: Was jesus a codependant?
heck NO! he was absolutely sure of himself and completed the tasks that HE knew he had to do regardless of the amount of resistance he met. He was the opposite of codependant.

Sermon on “Boundaries and Well-Being”

click “read more”


K J Linder, 3/20/08

Sermon “Boundaries and Well-Being”

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus makes an astounding statement that, over

the centuries, has led to an enormous amount of debate about his meaning.

Matthew 5:38-42

38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘AN EYE FOR AN EYE, AND A TOOTH FOR A

TOOTH.’ 39 “But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps

you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. 40 “If anyone wants to

sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also.

Jesus says don’t resist an evil person, and if someone asks for something, give it

to him. Jesus says, don’t resist and don’t set limits on evil. Some of us have

asked ourselves, “is this really what Jesus wants us to do?” Now, we find in

Jesus’ own life something very interesting. He does something opposite of what

he says here in the Sermon on the Mount. Do you remember before Jesus went

to the cross when Jesus was on trial before the High Priest and was struck by an

officer and how he handled that? John 18:23 tells us, Jesus answered him,

“If I have spoken wrongly, testify of the wrong; but if rightly, why do you

strike Me?”

Does this look like turning the other cheek to you? Instead of turning the other

cheek, Jesus challenges the officer’s strike. On another occasion, Jesus again

teaches something opposite of turning the other check when he says in Luke

17:3 “Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents,

forgive him. Here again, rebuke doesn’t sound like turning the other cheek, but

instead resisting evil. We may wonder how we can reconcile Jesus’ teaching in

Luke 17 with what he said in the Sermon on the Mount about not resisting evil.

The answer is that Jesus is teaching two different responses to evil. Jesus

provides wisdom for each of us to know how to respond to evil in each individual

case that we encounter. Sometimes the wise response to evil is to turn the other

cheek and let people have what they want, even when it seems unjust. Like

when Jesus allowed himself to be crucified. At other times, the wise response to

evil is to resist evil directly by setting limits on it. Of these two different

responses, this morning we are going to focus on protecting ourselves from bad

things and preserving good things by setting limits.

Another word for a limit is a boundary. Boundaries are lines that mark a limit,

bound, or border. An example of a boundary in the physical world is a fence

around a property. In the physical world, the fences are visible, but in the interpersonal

world, the fences or boundaries are invisible. Just like in the physical

world, in the interpersonal world, boundaries help us to distinguish our property

so that we can take care of it. Among other things, our boundaries mark what we

will allow and what we will not allow in our yard, that is, in our lives. Boundaries

help us to keep the good in and the bad out. Boundaries help us to know when

to say “yes” and when to say “no.” Having healthy boundaries is vital for having

quality relationships, which is an important area of growth for our church.

This message is the first of a three part series in which we are going to look at

the topic of boundaries based on the best selling book “Boundaries” by Henry

Cloud and John Townsend. Also, beginning next Sunday, Glenna is going to be

teaching the adult Sunday School class on this topic to help you to further study

and apply the principles of boundaries.

Boundaries are basically anything that helps to differentiate you from someone

else. The most basic boundary that defines you is your physical skin. People

often use their boundary of skin as a metaphor for saying that their interpersonal

boundaries have been violated. They say, “He really gets under my skin.” Our

skin boundary keeps the good in and the bad out. Our skin boundary keeps the

germs outside, protecting us from infection. At the same time, skin has openings

that let the good in, like food.

How can we create boundaries? We can create boundaries, with our words.

The most basic boundary setting word is “no.” Many passages of Scripture urge

us to say “no” to others’ sinful treatment of us such as we looked at earlier from

Luke 17 when Jesus said, “if your brother sins, rebuke him.” The word “no” is a

confrontational word. God wants us to confront people and say, “No, that

behavior is not OK.” Can you think of someone in your life that you need to

begin saying “no” to? Perhaps they are treating you in a disrespectful way,

raising their voice at you, using profanity around you, not keeping their

commitments to you, asking more than you have the resources to give. In those

cases you can set a boundary by saying, “No, that behavior is not OK.” We can

easily recognize the sin of the person who is mistreating us. But we are also

sinning if we allow the mistreatment and we don’t set boundaries on their

behavior. On the one hand, we need to set boundaries, on the other hand,

perhaps you are in the opposite situation and you need to apologize to someone

for violating his boundaries.

In addition to saying “no,” another boundary we can use is physical distance. We

can physically remove ourselves in order to replenish ourselves physically,

emotionally, and spiritually, after we have given to our limits. On some occasions

(such as in Mark 6:30-32) Jesus left the crowds he ministered to, to be alone so

that he could replenish himself.

We can also use the boundary of physical distance in order to avoid harm. This

is referred to in Proverbs 22:3 The prudent sees the evil and hides himself,

But the naive go on, and are punished for it. This Scripture shows that we

can physically remove ourselves from a situation in order to set a boundary. We

can physically remove ourselves from those who continue to hurt us and go to a

safe place.

We have seen that boundaries help to keep the good in and the bad out.

However, some of us have a different problem. We have bad on the inside and

good on the outside. Those of us in this situation need to be able to open up our

boundaries to let the bad out and let the good in. The way this happens is to

have gates in the fences of our boundaries. Boundaries are not impenetrable

walls. The Bible does not say that we are to be walled off from others, but that

the fences of our boundaries need gates. Through this gate, through interaction

with Jesus and others, the good can come in and the bad can get out. We may

have some sin that we are struggling with that God wants us to confess to him or

to others. Or perhaps we are hurting inside because of some loss or stress in

our lives. We can confess that to God or others. When we do these things we

can get forgiveness and healing as we read about in the book of James.

James 5:16

16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another

so that you may be healed.

Is there bad in you that you need to get out so it can be dealt with, such as sin or

hurt? Is there good outside of you that you need to let in, such as forgiveness

and healing? In addition to opening the gates of our boundaries by confessing

our sin or hurt to get it out and receive forgiveness and healing, God also wants

us to open the gates of our boundaries so we can give love to others and receive

love from others. Paul speaks about this to the Corinthians.

2 Corinthians 6:11-13

11 Our mouth has spoken freely to you, O Corinthians, our heart is opened

wide. 12 You are not restrained by us, but you are restrained in your own

affections. 13 Now in a like exchange—I speak as to children—open wide to

us also.

Paul says in verse 11 that his heart is opened wide to the Corinthians. In effect,

Paul is saying that he has opened the gates of his boundaries to the Corinthians.

Paul is not closed and self-protective toward the Corinthians, but wants to give

love to them and receive love from them. He is asking for the same openness so

that they can give love to him and receive love from him. When we find safe

people that we can open up to and be ourselves with then we can experience

this same giving and receiving of love. Boundaries are not to inhibit this giving

and receiving of love, but to enhance it.

We have seen the value of boundaries, but most of us struggle with setting

boundaries. Improving our ability to set boundaries will require prayer, effort, and

the support of others. Just as we need to exercise and work with an atrophied

leg after it comes out of its cast, setting appropriate boundaries is an ability we

can learn. Here are some steps to take in learning to set boundaries.

1. Be honest about your anger about others violating your boundaries.

Ephesians 4:26 says, “Be angry, and yet do not sin.” People who have

difficulty setting boundaries are often angry because they feel like other people

have power over them. They have not realized that they have given that power

to those other people. Often the first step to reclaiming ownership of power is to

admit the anger to themselves, God, and others.

2. Ask God to help you become a truth-teller, even of negative truth. A sign that

you are beginning to set boundaries is that you will rock some boats. If people

rarely get angry with you, you probably need to set more boundaries. Jesus

said, “Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for in the same way their

fathers used to treat the false prophets.”

3. Cultivate relationships with people who encourage use of your boundaries,

instead of disliking your boundaries. The people closest to you should love your

“no” as much as they love your “yes.” If those closest to you affirm your “yes,”

but withdraw, throw tantrums, or attack when you say “no,” you have boundary

problem to work on.

To wrap up, we have seen that boundaries are lines that mark a limit, bound, or

border. Among other things, our boundaries mark what we will allow and what

we will not allow in our lives. The most basic boundary setting word is “no.”

Many passages of Scripture urge us to say “no” to others’ sinful treatment of us.

In addition to saying “no,” we can physically remove ourselves from a situation in

order to set a boundary. Boundaries help to keep the good on the inside and the

bad on the outside. However, sometimes instead of having good on the inside

and bad on the outside we have the opposite situation, in which we have bad on

the inside and good on the outside. In these instances, we need to be able to

open up the gate of our boundaries to let the bad out and let the good in. When

we find safe people that we can open up to and who can open up to us then we

can give and receive love as God designed.

Many of us struggle with setting boundaries for various reasons. Perhaps we

have never learned that setting limits is OK for a Christian to do, perhaps we are

afraid of others rejection of us if we set boundaries with them. Or perhaps we

have the opposite problem, we have walled ourselves off, have shut all of our

gates and we do not let others in for fear of being hurt or for some other reason.

Whatever we may be struggling with, Jesus provides the answer. Remember we

saw that sometimes Jesus resisted evil, but sometimes he did not resist evil.

Jesus did not resist the evil of those who crucified him. He opened the gates of

his boundaries and let them nail him to the cross. He took our sin upon himself

so that the power of sin in our lives could be broken. Whatever sin is in the way

of our setting healthy boundaries, Jesus has provided the solution through the

cross. Lets ask him to release that power to us now.



  1. Who is this ‘christian’ ‘jesus’?

    Truth is the name ‘jesus’ was first imagined some
    500 years, or so, ago! Truth is that the name ‘jesus’
    was not spoken for some 1500 years after The
    Messiah “ascended to His GOD and Father”.

    And The Messiah’s GOD is The GOD of His Brethren
    and The Messiah’s Father is The Father of His Brethren.

    The Messiah, “ascended to His GOD” and was the
    “first-born of many Brethren”, “The Beginning of The
    Creation of The Only True GOD”.

    The Messiah(‘christ’) is “the mediator between The
    Only True GOD and man”.

    The Messiah’s GOD given name when translated
    into today’s english would be Joshua. Should not
    The Son of The Only True GOD be called by The
    Name given to Him by His Father and GOD? Yet
    His exalted title is The Messiah, The Son of The
    Living GOD, for as there is only One True GOD,
    so also there is only One True Messiah, Yahshua
    (Joshua in modern day english)The Son of GOD!

    The Messiah testified, “I ascend to My GOD and
    your GOD, to My Father and your Father”!

    Truth also testifies that the name ‘jesus’ was “imag”ined
    just prior to what ‘the god of this world’ and his ‘christianity’
    declared to be the ‘reformation’. That also was some 500
    years, or so, ago.

    Prior to the ‘reformation’ there was no letter ‘j’ in the english
    language! Indeed ‘catholicism’ was reformed, in the sense
    of being restructured and made to appear differently. The
    various ‘re-formed’ systems of religion were, and are, her
    offspring! And they all bear the ‘mark’ of their ‘god’ ‘jesus’!

    Either they name one head of their three headed pagan
    ‘god’ ‘jesus’ or they make the one they call ‘jesus’ their
    ‘god’. All are but harlot religions fornicating with ‘the
    god of this world’ because they love this world, it’s things,
    and their own lives in and of this evil, wicked world!

    “The ONLY TRUE GOD”, HE Has No ‘god’!

    “Truth” Tesifies:
    “The Messiah is The Son of The Living GOD”!
    “catholic/christian” lies:
    ‘jesus’ is ‘god’ or 1/3 of a ‘god’ or an angel or ????

    “Truth” Tesifies:
    “Love your enemies! Turn the other cheek”!
    “catholic/christian” folklore:
    fight and war in the flesh! kill your enemies ;-(

    “Truth” Tesifies:
    “This world is evil!” “Come Out of her, MY people”!
    “catholic/christian” folklore:
    we can change this world and make it ‘better’ ;-(

    “Truth” Tesifies:
    “The WHOLE world lies in wickedness”!
    “catholic/christian” folklore:
    there are righteous nations, the usa and others ;-(

    “Truth” Tesifies:
    “Love not the world or the things of this world”!
    “catholic/christian” folklore:
    love this world and thank ‘god’ for it’s things ;-(

    “Truth” Tesifies:
    “Pagans observe days, months and years”!
    “catholic/christian” folklore:
    christmas, easter, halloween, ‘good’ friday, etc. ;-(

    “Truth” Tesifies:
    “Serve The Only True GOD and HIM alone”!
    “catholic/christian” folklore:
    serve family, country and their “imag”ined ‘god’ ;-(

    “Truth” Tesifies:
    GOD asks, “What building will you build unto ME”?
    “catholic/christian” folklore:
    various buildings dedicated to their “imag”ined ‘god’ ;-(

    “Truth” Tesifies:
    “As The Messiah suffered so His Brethren will suffer”!
    “catholic/christian” folklore:
    eat, drink, be merry, especially during x-mass season ;-(

    “Truth” Tesifies:
    “GOD helps those who cry unto HIM for help”!
    “catholic/christian” folklore:
    ‘god’ helps those who help themselves ;-(

    “Truth” Tesifies:
    “NO man has seen The Only True GOD”!
    “catholic/christian” folklore:
    many saw their “imag”ined ‘god’ ‘jesus’ ;-(

    “Truth” Tesifies:
    “GOD is Spirit and a Spirit has not flesh and bones”!
    “catholic/christian” folklore:
    except for their “imag”ined ‘god’ ‘jesus’ that is ;-(

    “Truth” Tesifies:
    “When you pray do so in private”!
    “catholic/christian” folklore:
    pray aloud so that others might hear ;-(

    “Truth” Tesifies:
    “Swear not! Let your yes, be yes, your no, no”!
    “catholic/christian” folklore:
    put your hand on their ‘bible’ and swear to their ‘god’ ;-(

    The Messiah testified, “That they might know YOU,
    The ONLY TRUE GOD, and The Messiah, Whom YOU
    have sent”!

    The Messiah testified, “Love Your Enemies”!

    Islam, Judaism, and that which calls herself ‘christianity’:

    Religious systems of this world and all alike they are,
    for they have fought and killed both near and far;

    And then once a week or multiples times a day they pray,
    and then as hypocrites begin each new day;

    Days filled with deceit and lies,
    for in their religious systems Truth cannot abide;

    And so the fruit of death is born of their religious ways,
    for life is but a pawn in the wicked game they play!

    Multitudes have been seduced by ” the commandments
    and doctrines of men and devils”! Theo’ry’logy has bound
    the common people in the chains of “strong delusion”.

    The Only True GOD has given HIS Call to all who are
    held captive by this wicked, evil world and it’s seductive
    religious systems, especially the one that calls herself

    “The mother of harlots”, “catholicism”, and her “protesting”
    “christian” daughters, as well as today’s “judaism” and
    “islam”, are but seductive harlots fornicating with ‘the god
    of this world’!

    They believe in, and are authors of, death ;-(

    The Only True GOD would have us “set our affections on
    things above”. HIS Children desire that which is eternal,
    and have quit serving ‘time’ in the prison that is this wicked
    world. HIS Children have heeded The Call to repent and:

    “Come out of her, MY people”!

    They have “Come out” of this wicked, evil world and it’s
    systems of religion for they realize that “the WHOLE world
    is under the control of the evil one”. (I John 5:19)

    And a wicked, worldly “christianity” and “catholicism” are
    reasons why “The Way of Truth is evil spoken of” ;-(
    (II Peter 2:2)

    Yet there is Hope!

    For Miracles do happen!

    Hope is there would be those who “set their affections on
    things above”, Heavenly things, for they will quit serving
    ‘time’ in the prison that is this world! Worldly systems but
    feed “the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh and the pride
    of life” and such systems are of mankind’s “imag”ination,
    and mankind’s “imag”ination is under the dominion of
    “the father of lies”, he who is “the god of this world”, he
    who is “d”evil spirit of darkness who genders but death,
    destruction, perversion, and fear!

    Heed GOD’s Call and “Come out of her, MY people”!

    Experience Peace, in spite of the dis-ease(no-peace) that
    is of this wicked world……. francisco

  2. Did you write this your self? –
    I appreciate your interest, though I don’t quite understand the main point, maybe you could clarify what you are trying to say more concisely, also what are your main sources of information on this topic? These ideas do seem quite unorthodox and with out much substantiation.

  3. Dear Sir,

    I am Fahim Qaiser from Pakistan . I have studied your web site, and I found it the most wonderful site to get right to the True Word of God. My suggestion for you is to create your material in my language of Urdu and Punjabi also. It will bring lots of blessings of the Word of God for the Pakistani and Indian Urdu and Punjabi speaking people. For that purpose I as a translator will bring your material into Urdu languages and into Punjabi language as well.

    Although it will take your low expenses as well, as fund for the Word of God to reach out to the deserving people. I my self, work on a local radio station also. Many times it becomes difficult for us to keep doing this because of being minorities and because of the lack of the financial resources. I will wait for your response.

    Fahim Qaiser ( Pakistan ).

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