Book Review: Boundaries

What do you do when someone asks you to do something that you really don’t have the time, energy, emotion, or resources to do for them? Do you say yes anyway, and then fret over how to meet the commitment? Do you say yes, and then resent that person for asking? Do you say no, but then feel guilt and regret for having done so? Do you say no and just put it out of your mind?

What about those times when someone asks you for something that you’d really like to say yes to, but because of other commitments you simply cannot? Do you begin to regret or resent those other commitments?

Boundaries by Cloud & Townsend is all about – as their tagline on the book cover says – when to say yes and how to say no to take control of your life. Drawing on Biblical principles, psychological research, and plenty of experience working with individuals in therapy, the authors lay out their theory about what it means to grow into maturity. It involves a healthy sense of what I can give to another person, what I cannot give, and how to confidently express that in my life so that I feel a sense of balance, well being, and contentment.

Having recently finished this book, I’d like to offer a brief review of what is good, not so good, and what I think is most important to get out of it.

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In a previous post I mentioned the Six Steps for Granting Forgiveness, from the PREPARE/ENRICH marriage system by LifeInnovations. This is the second in a series explaining each of those steps in greater detail.

One of the big mistakes people make when granting forgiveness is thinking that in order to really forgive you have to pretend the hurt never happened.  I think this is especially true among Christians.  We read in the Bible about how God forgives us, how he remembers our sins no more, and we think that means that to forgive like God does, we have to pretend a person never did anything wrong.  We even sometimes think that we need to actually forget that it happened.

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