Permission is NOT granted!
“JACOB!!!!” said one of the other preschoolers as he gave our son a huge hug when we walked into his classroom. As my son was recovering from the welcoming hug, I heard his teacher remind the overly excited friend that he had to ask permission to hug Jacob and shouldn’t just give it to him without being granted permission.
This instruction stayed in my head as I was driving home from dropping Jacob off at school. The teacher was pointing out that we need permission to invade someone else’s space. An interesting yet profound thought. I do not remember the last time someone asked me permission to hug me before initiating that kind of touch. (Not that I mind getting unexpected hugs.) As an adult this idea doesn’t normally cross my mind, but it does when I am observing my children playing with other child. “Honey give your friend a little space. Move over a little.” “Stop wrestling, someone is going to get hurt.” “Do not touch your sister, she does not like that.” These have all been said multiple times in our home. How about yours?
We teach our kids how to set spacial boundaries for themselves. We equip them with things to say when their space is invaded…“Tell you friend, ‘No, thank-you.’” We teach them what to do when someone doesn’t respect their space…“Move over a little, if you don’t like what they are doing.” “Go play in another room if you want some more space.” But as adults these thoughts don’t normally cross my mind as I interact with friends and acquaintances. We just learn to deal with it and try to prepare for the next invasion.
As I was pondering these thoughts, God showed me that not only do we allow people to invade our space without permission but we allow them to invade our mind and emotions without permission.
I definitely know I have not been asked permission before someone says a rude comment or a criticism to me. And I think my jaw would drop if someone asked me permission to hurt my feelings before they spoke their hurtful words.
Now we sometimes cannot predict or prevent hurtful words or actions that come our way. We aren’t given the opportunity to grant or deny permission, but what we are given is the right to allow the words or actions to come into our thought lives and mess with our emotions. We can prevent them from changing our thoughts and our lives.
We normally allow those hurtful moments to come in and change the way we think, change the way we view ourselves or change the course of our day. We can continue to operate this way or we can deny them access to our inner thoughts and emotions. We can first take those thoughts and emotions to the Lord and ask Him to pull out the truth and help us get rid of the lies. We can have Him be the gatekeeper in our lives, teaching us what to allow into our lives and what to deny permission to.
Now I am not saying that the next time someone does or says something hurtful to you you tell them “no, thank-you” or you go “play” in another room. But what I am saying is allow God to help you know when to give a thought, word or action permission to go into your heart, soul or mind. When we allow God to protect our personal space, we do not cloud our thinking or set our emotions up for a roller coaster ride. We allow God to bring freedom to our soul and mind and we help prevent unwanted wounds from bruising our heart.
Today will you allow God to be the teacher that is protecting your personal space? Will you allow him to show you what to allow in and what to deny access to?
Allow God to teach you how to live out 2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV) We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
I am not normally a Message Bible type of girl but I think this describes the world we live in today well and what we need to do to fight it.
2 Corinthians 10:3-6 The world is unprincipled. It’s dog-eat-dog out there! The world doesn’t fight fair. But we don’t live or fight our battles that way—never have and never will. The tools of our trade aren’t for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture. We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity.
Is your life an all-access pass or a restricted, permission only pass?