“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you,
for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 7:12

I can’t tell you how many times growing up I heard, “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” More than I can count. Around our house, this was considered one of the Ten Commandments. Yet still –– only occasionally, did I sincerely stop to think how my actions actually impacted the people around me.

Why is it, we so often neglect to consider the feelings of others. Why is it, we even overlook our closest friends and loved ones and base our decisions solely on what’s in our best interest, meets our immediate needs, or appeases our momentary feelings?

I was chatting with a close friend the other day who is sometimes taken advantage of by friends and loved ones. She asked, “Am I doing something wrong? Do they just not care? or Could it be, they simply don’t realize how it makes me feel?”

We’ve all been on both sides of this equation more times than we likely care to admit. Do you find yourself in this situation now? If so, what do you do?

1. Stop and carefully consider the situation.
Have you been treated unfairly? Or, are you treating someone else unfairly? “Each one should test their own actions.” – Galatians 6:4

2. Look to see if appropriate boundaries are in place.
Have you set an appropriate boundary with truth in love? Or, does your friend or loved one need to set an appropriate boundary with you and others? “…Each one should carry their own load” – Galatians 6:5

3. Forgive.
Have you forgiven the ones who have, likely without even realizing it, hurt you? Or, do you need to forgive yourself and ask forgiveness from someone else for actions you’ve taken that have overlooked the feelings of someone else? “…Each one is to forgive as the Lord has forgiven you” – Colossians 3:13

Personal boundaries are invisible lines that limit us and others from, knowingly or unknowingly, taking advantage of another person. When communicated clearly –– with truth in love –– they keep us from being mistreated or keep us from mistreating others, they protect our relationships, and they guard our hearts.

We must always, carefully consider our actions and situations and work to uncover the truth, set and communicate appropriate boundaries, forgive, and ask for forgiveness.

Do you or someone you know, need to consider these steps? Join me today in slowing down, implementing these steps, and taking inventory of your life and relationships.