What we usually do in that situation, is try to find some way to justify our actions. Something to make us feel less guilty about giving in. See if any of these thoughts sound familiar:
- I’m just going to have a quick little . . .
- Well, I said I couldn’t do that, but I never said anything about . . .
- I’m not really breaking my boundaries, I’m just . . .
- But there’s a good reason to break my boundaries.
These thoughts makes it easier to break our boundaries because, after all, there’s a good reason to break them.
The key to overcoming justification boundary breaking is to remember why we have boundaries in the first place: to protect us from times like these.
But what if there really is a good reason to break them?
If you’re in a situation where you really do think it’s valid to break your boundaries (and it’s a non-sin habit), try to establish some situation-specific boundaries.
Here’s an example. Let’s say your eating boundaries are three meals a day and one snack. But you’re on vacation, and you feel like you should be able to eat a little extra.
Instead of giving yourself free reign to eat as much as you want, just add in one extra snack a day. Or even two. You’ll still feel like you get to indulge a bit but without the danger of wrecking all your previous discipline efforts.
Here are some questions and Bible verses I use when I find myself justifying the breaking of my boundaries. Why don’t you give them a try the next time you catch yourself saying, I’m not really breaking my boundaries . . .
- What do you feel like doing?
- Will you break a boundary if you do that?
- Yes:If so:
- Which boundary will you break?
- How were you planning to justify it?
- Is your justification valid? Why or why not?
- No:If not:
- Are you breaking your boundaries in spirit even though you’re not technically breaking them? Explain.
- Will you be more likely to break your boundaries later if you do this now? Why or why not?
- Yes:If so:
- Do you think God wants you to have boundaries in this area of your life? Why or why not?
- Do boundaries make your life better or worse? Explain.
- Are boundaries easy to follow, or do you usually have to give up something to follow them?
- What will you have to give up to follow your boundaries this time?
- What will you gain if you make that sacrifice?
- When you think of what you’ll gain, is it worth the sacrifice?
Psalm 120:2 Deliver my soul, O Lord, from lying lips, from a deceitful tongue.
Romans 13:14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.
1 Thessalonians 5:6 So then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober.
1 Thessalonians 5:21 But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.
James 1:16, 17 Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.
1 Peter 1:14-16 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior, because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
1 Peter 5:8 Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.