36 Barriers

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life…An offended brother is more unyielding than a fortified city, and disputes are like the barred gates of a citadel. Proverbs 4:23, Proverbs 18:19

As stated previously, boundaries provide structure and support to our lives. Nonetheless, boundaries need to be flexible enough to allow ebb and flow in relation to others. Rigid boundaries do not allow good in and bad out; they put up barriers of self-protection around our souls.

In reality, we need to guard our hearts and keep unsafe people from muddying our wellsprings. Pleasing or placating others can break down our boundaries and may leave us vulnerable but the alternative of blocking all people totally out of our lives in our attempt to keep ourselves from being hurt is not the answer. We do not want the wellsprings of our hearts muddied by those who would use or harm us, but to put walls around our hearts that close out any interaction with others can lead to a hardened heart. Consequently, we need to be flexible and open. This is especially true in relation to the Lord. We need to receive the good things He has for us and pour out the bad things to Him in prayers and petitions.

Also, God will bring to us safe people. Together, we will speak His Word in love to one another, listen to one another and will hear Him and be knit together. The Lord will breathe life into our aching hearts. He will meet us with His power and love. We need to receive His life, power and love. Our barriers to Him and His body block His goodness from coming to us. We need to let go of our barriers.

Letting go of our barriers may seem really scary. We have trusted our barriers to protect us. “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.” (Proverbs 18:10) We need to trust the Lord to protect us. The Lord wants us to have boundaries. We are not to trust just anybody and everybody. Remember, the wise are cautious in friendship (Proverbs 12:26).

As we let go of our barriers, we need to learn and replace them with good boundaries. We will encounter both internal and external resistance as we let go of our barriers and replace them with good boundaries. The Lord freely gives us His love and power. In loving Him we also need to learn how to trust Him. We cannot love Him in our own power and we often resist Him but He is able to help us in our weakness and give us the power to learn, receive His love and love Him back.

Bringing down the barriers and yielding to Him,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com

35 Boundaries

Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control. Proverbs 25:28

Perfectionism has many qualities in common with codependency, so I want to spend a little more time looking at codependency. I have come to the conclusion that perfectionism is another way of describing codependency. In our codependency we often deal with boundary issues. Boundaries provide a definition between us and others. They also shield us and act as a filter which allows in the good and keeps out the bad.

An analogy from biology illustrates this. The cell membrane acts as a boundary. It provides the cell with its size and holds the cell together. The cell membrane allows nutrition, water and oxygen to enter the cell and facilitates waste products to leave the cell. It also protects the cell from infection.

God has given us boundaries, too. We need to take responsibility for our boundaries. No one else can take care of them for us. Everyone else needs to take responsibility of theirs, as well. This involves taking ownership for thoughts, feelings, wants and needs. When we say what we want and need, we make known our boundaries. When we honestly tell others how their actions affect us, we employ our boundaries. When we say, “No.” to a request or a demand, we assert our boundaries. When we ask for help and use resources for assistance in cases of abuse, we are utilizing the God given wisdom to manage our lives and our boundaries.

Note: As we learn to take responsibility for our boundaries, we will be messy. We are learning a new skill. Remember, we are immature before we are mature.

We also need to keep in mind that we will face resistance. People will not always understand what we are doing. Learning to assert our boundaries can be a scary process. We are going against a lot of rules, our own, as well as others. For example; “I have to say, ‘Yes,’ even when it will do damage to my life or schedule.” We need to let go of this rule. People are used to us saying, “Yes,” so when we say, “No,” they are shocked. We need to be ready for their response and let our “Yes” be “Yes”, and let our “No” be “No.” (Matthew 5:37). We also need to let go of our fear. “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)

We need to hear Jesus words, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28) Giving ourselves rest may be the best way to find and live within our boundaries. In the rest we can hear from God what we really need. “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” (Psalm 46:10)

Being still within His presence,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com

34 Codependency

There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.  Proverbs 14:12

Relationships open the door to our healing.  However, relationships can be mired in codependency.  Codependency and perfectionism share many characteristics.  Both are addictions to control.  Both are reactions to shame and self-hatred.  Both promise to provide us with good feelings and a sense of self-worth.  Both involve wearing a mask, a false self which covers over our true self.  Both are diseases of the heart and mind.

Codependency and perfectionism have some differences.  People who practice codependent behavior are preoccupied with relationships while those who struggle with perfectionism focus on doing the “right” behaviors.  In perfectionism one drives at winning love and approval through adhering to the right rules, while codependency seeks to win love through others’ approval.

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.  Proverbs 4:23

Obviously, our relational difficulties exist before we become aware of them.  As we learn to trust and share more of ourselves with others, we find areas of codependency.  They will become more pronounced as we spend more time with and energy in relating to others.

How do you know if you have codependency?  Do you have feelings of worthlessness and inadequacy or, on the other hand, have feelings of superiority and arrogance?  Do you leave interactions with others finding most of your own needs and wants unmet?  Do you overreact to circumstances in your life?  Do you sometimes wonder who you are in connection to others in your life?  Answering yes to any of these questions indicates at least some level of codependency.

Recovering from codependency, like recovering from perfectionism, takes time.  No panacea can instantly heal us.  God could heal us in a moment, but He is a Gentleman.  He does not violate our will; He gives us the freedom to make choices, even bad ones.  Part of the true recovery involves talking with God and hearing His Word.  What is He saying to us?

At times our codependency can flare up and result in extreme care-taking behavior.  We ignore our own needs/wants in order to take care of someone else.  The funny thing is we want others to be more in need than us because of self-idealism, competition and pride.  If others are “less-than”, we are “better-than”.  When we own our needs and ask for help, we heal from our codependent behaviors.  We need to humble ourselves and ask for help which, in turn, helps us to let go of pride and self-idealism.

Discovering who I am in Christ,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com

33 Relationship

A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.  Proverbs 18:24   as iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.  Proverbs 27:17  Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.  Hebrews 10:25

We need good friendships to help us heal from perfectionism.  Friendships model God’s love.  We were wounded in relationship.  We need to be healed in relationship as well.  The very agent of our pain becomes the agent of our healing.

God designed us to relate to others.  It began in Eden where God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone.” (Gen. 2:18)  In Hebrews 10 the verse “Let us not give up meeting together” is nestled in and flows out of our relationship with God.  We have drawn near to God, been cleansed and now He turns us toward spurring on one another, not giving up on meeting together and encouraging one another.  We need to meet with God and with each other.

Even secular society realizes this.  In the blockbuster “Cast Away” the character played by Tom Hanks becomes isolated on a Pacific island.  He turns a soccer ball into a face (“Wilson”) just so he has something with which to talk.  In his intense aloneness he makes it an idol.  Innate to our being is the need to relate and to worship.

If we were severely hurt by others in childhood, relating to people can be terrifying (Relating to God is, at best, void of any warmth, if not full of fear and condemnation).  We ask, “What, get close to people after they hurt me so severely?”  We continue to place others in the form that was created by the people who hurt us when we were young.  Making ourselves vulnerable to others and sharing our hearts with them involves trust.  We ultimately need to trust God in learning to trust others and follow His guidance in finding safe people with whom to share.  Who is feeding our hearts and spirits?  Who encourages our faith?  We need to get to know these people better and take risks in sharing with them.  They are not the Source of healing, yet God will use them for our healing.

We may become aware of fear as we reveal ourselves to others.  Fear is a signal of potential danger.  Not everyone is to be trusted.  That is why we need to find safe people, ones who “stick closer than a brother.”  We need to learn to trust these safe people.  This will take time, and we need to give ourselves grace in this process.  Like exercising our muscles, we need to exercise our trust.  In acting in trust, we find ourselves experiencing more trust.

Sharing myself with you and growing in trust,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com

32 Spending Time with God

The welcome page has a list of all the e-letters.  At the bottom of this list, we list other blogs and websites of interest.  Also included is a link to another blog of ours that has our play “Crying Out.”  You can link directly to that at:  Godsperfectlove.wordpress.com

How do we learn to trust God?  Spend time with Him.

“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”  Matthew 6:33 (first in the Greek indicates above all else or only)

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”  Matthew 4:4

How much time do we need to spend with God?  How about as much as possible?  Spending lengthy amounts of time with Him may not seem convenient or possible.  How about spending time with Him while we go about our daily lives?  Treat spending time with God like eating and drinking.  We need to eat to live.  We need time with God to find real life.  As Phil was entering this e-letter Marguex was talking with a friend who found it hard to find time to spend with God.  This friend was going through a particularly stressful life event and they were discussing the Brother Lawrence idea of practicing God’s presence in the midst of life.  Later, while editing, Marguex saw that Phil had written the following quote:

We need to “establish ourselves in a sense of God’s presence, by continually conversing with Him.  That we should feed and nourish our souls with high notions of God; which would yield us great joy in being devoted to Him.” *

We become like the people with whom we spend time.  Let’s spend time with Jesus and so become like Him.  We find out more and more about Him as we spend time with Him.

Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, He said to them, Come with Me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”  Mark 6:31

Perhaps you hear nothing from Him.  Our world resounds with many voices all striving to capture out attention.  We need to spend time ignoring all these other voices at times and focus on the voice of our MAKER.

Seeking a quiet place to rest with Jesus,

Noah Woodrich (and Marguex)

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

     Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; reflecting the light we have received                                    so that others can better see.  Prayers needed.


Outline:  https://livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com/