In relationships with others, when is it right to draw a line of demarcation that says “you have gone too far”? When is it ok to say “You are wrong and the song and dance you are giving me is over”? In some sectors this can be a very fuzzy line indeed. Wrong teaching, political “incorrectness” or avoidance of conflict make people almost never want to go there. For fear of being labeled “judgmental”, I have seen good people put up with the most bizarre “spiritual” behavior, blatant dishonor and flagrant disrespect.
Some people have no boundaries and so they don’t respect those of others. They feel it is their God-given right to trample over anyone who has a solid foundation and clearly established lines in life. These could be political, moral or religious in nature, but it makes no difference. Such people do whatever they want so that voicing their own opinion prevails in order to have things go their way. Scripture says to have friends we must “show ourselves friendly”. In case you missed it, being a “boundary jumper” does not lend itself well to having honest friendships, or to building trust and mutual respect through genuine, transparent communication.
Over the years, the biggest tool Christian “boundary jumpers” use to manipulate or control a given situation is the ever-so-popular, “God told me”. Have you ever been ambushed by that one? If I had a dollar for even time I heard those words I would be a very rich man. It always amazes me how quickly people drag God into the equation when it’s evident they are not on the winning side. What amazes me even more is how God could speak so clearly to them on a topic He is otherwise silent about or has already spoken to the contrary in His own Word.
“I only know what God told me!” Oh how those words have echoed across the spiritual landscape of every self-serving decision and every act of self-willed defiance people make. It is ripe with strife, reeks of passive rebellion and is a pre-emptive strike against any future disagreement. Once these words are released into the atmosphere, the question that hangs there unspoken is “Who are you to say I didn’t hear God, and how dare you question what He has said to me?”
The fact is, any person who speaks this way does so because they believe it’s the ultimate trump card. In effect they are declaring themselves to be the only person really able to hear God in a disagreeable situation. The thinking goes something like this; “Since you can’t judge my relationship with God, you have to conclude what I said must be God. And, if what I say is from God, to not go my way means you are in rebellion to God. You don’t want to rebel against God do you?
How can you defend yourself against this unanswerable statement? I do so very easily by drawing a line of demarcation. The line is established by saying, “That’s not God at all. It’s your own will dressed up in spiritual language and you don’t recognize it.” This response cuts through the smoke screen and has a wonderful way of deflating the statement in general. Best of all it levels the playing field and lets the “boundary jumper” know you have their number and their days of manipulation and control have come to an abrupt end.
Want to save yourself from a lot of headaches and frustration? Draw your line of demarcation and confront the “I-only-know-what-God-told-me” manipulator, head on. Love them, but make it clear their ability to control you has gone the way of the Australian Dodo Bird. It may have once ruled the continent, but now it’s nothing more than a distant memory, an extinct side note in the ebb and flow of history. Once that happens, you will find life becomes a lot more pleasant for everyone and especially for you! So begin to really enjoy life and draw your line today!