I felt used. The quickly brewed black gold that flows from my Keurig magnetized this person to my office like a moth to the flame. It started once every couple weeks. Then grew to weekly visits. Soon, it became multiple times per week. I was quickly being overwhelmed with unscheduled meetings and becoming torn with what to do about it.
When this person would stop by, it was usually a two hour conversation that ended with me in more confusion than anything. I wanted so badly to point this person to Jesus, which gave me the patience to endure through this challenge. Eventually, I knew I had to set some boundaries because I didn't want to be used for a free cup of coffee, on top of an already busy schedule, which meant I couldn't dedicate that amount of time several days per week with them.
I knew that cutting them off completely wouldn't be Christ-like, but I also knew that something needed to change. So, I created some boundaries. Here's what I told them:
I'd be happy to give you two cups of free coffee per week! I am expecting two things from you in order to get the coffee. First, come worship at church with the church family and you can get as much coffee with everyone else after the service has ended. Second, I'd love to disciple you and give you a cup of coffee at our meeting... it's as simple as setting up a time that works for both of us and holding to the appointment.
Doesn't sound too difficult, right? Well, as it ended up, this person didn't follow through with either expectation and have not been getting the free coffee they deemed they needed. I've needed to hold this boundary a couple times when they would randomly stop by to discuss things with me. I reminded them of the previously set boundary even though they walked away unhappy because I held the line.
Can you think of someone in your life that needs clear established boundaries set between you and them? Are you nervous of what the consequences might be if you follow through with the boundary?
This week, we will be looking into why we must set boundaries with others and how we can do so in a God honoring way.
See you Sunday!