Tag Archives: establishing boundaries

Good Business Advice

Platinum or Fool’s Gold

John 6:26 – Jesus said, “I tell you the truth. You are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs, but because you ate the loaves and had your fill.”

You know the Golden Rule, and you’ve probably heard the Platinum Rule (Treat others the way they want to be treated.)

But have you heard the business advice – give customers more than they expect?

Now, I wonder. Is this actually good advice if what you are “giving” your customers is service? If you are in the service industry, you have probably noticed that when you give someone more than usual, he/she will expect it the next time. And that customer will continue to want more each subsequent time.

My wife taught me years ago (after knocking myself out for years trying to follow the above rules, then noticing the lack of appreciation, even demands for more…and right now…and preferably for free…that it’s not a good idea to start doing something for someone if you don’t want to continue to do it in the future. They will expect it. Then they will resent it when you don’t. That’s human nature. We all have that tendency to become part of the entitlement community. We deserve it.

Even Jesus grew weary in his service. “You’ve only come out here for a magic show and for a free meal.”

So, is the advice on business (give them more) and the Platinum Rule (give them what they want) truly platinum, or is it fool’s gold? If you want to live joyfully and not get mired in resentment, I suggest you decide what is “right” and fair. And learn your boundaries.

Does that word sound familiar? Yes, that’s the title of a book that discusses the Biblical basis for limits. And those limits can keep you from becoming resentful and less than joyful.

I’ve made all those mistakes. And once you start down that road it’s hard to change. So save yourself years of grief. Decide where your boundaries should be, then stick to them…joyfully.

What areas of resentment have you allowed to creep into your life because you were “overgenerous” at some point in the past?

Finding Your Plexus

When you look at the empty hammock above, you see that I’m not in my plexus…not yet. I’m working at it. And we all have to work at it. The natural tendency is for our lives to flow downstream, along the path of least resistance. And if we strive to arrange our lives into a plexus of our making, we will get resistance.

My mother died a year ago, and what I write next, I do so with all respect. But my mother knew how to pull my strings. She could make me feel guilty to manipulate my behavior. Every time I visited her she had a list of things for me to do. And if I didn’t do them, I felt guilty. I don’t know why she could do that to me better than anyone else, but she could. Maybe it had something to do with training me from an infant.

Anyway, after I read BOUNDARIES, I offered her my copy for her to read. I wondered how she would take it. Would she recognize her ability to control others? Would she be offended? I returned the next week to visit. I couldn’t wait to hear her thoughts on the book. She slid it across the table to me, the page marker indicating she had read very little. The only thing she said was, “Who ever gave you that book in the first place?”

She recognized that I was trying to establish boundaries. That did not suit her purposes. I never did establish boundaries with my mother. And most of the people in your life who wish to invade your boundaries will not be happy when you try to establish them, either. So the path of least resistance is to become the tortured on the rack.

It takes work to find your plexus. It takes work to make it happen. It may take a lifetime. We’ll discuss in future posts how we go about determining what our plexus should be. In the meantime, what are your dreams for your life? How do they align with your talents, with the gifts that God has given you? How would you use that dream life, your plexus, to serve God and His children?