I recently met some friends for a long overdue coffee, and a person I work for happened to come in at the same time to the coffee shop. I greeted my friends with a smile and a hug, as we have all had a rough few weeks and needed to reconnect with one another.
The person I work for made the comment, “Oh I don’t get greeted that way when I meet her for coffee.”
And for a moment, I felt really bad, so I prayed in that moment for His truth to be revealed.
Then I remembered the above quote,
Not everyone is to get the same access to you.
and I realized two things.
- There are an awful lot of people out there who are lonely, and looking for genuine connection.
- I was completely okay to not greet someone I do casual work for the same way as I greet my best friends.
In the same way, we are cautioned in the Word on how and when to share what’s on our hearts.
A right time to shut up and another to speak up… Ecclesiastes 3:7b
A person I meet on the bus is not to get the good news that I get a promotion or pay raise before my husband. My family should not be the last to hear that I want to go back to school.
But before anyone else is to get access to me, God wants me to come and connect with Him each day. There are so many times where Jesus slipped off to a quite place to spend time with His Abba, and maintain relationship before ministering to people again.
Just to be clear, everyone I meet needs to hear about and experience His love. Showing respect and kindness to all is a given. But not everyone needs to know your dreams, or should be able to access you 24/7.
I like to explain this using an onion as an example.
The most important part of an onion is the core. Which is you. All your feelings, hurts, hopes, dreams, skills, gifts all wrapped into one.
The next layer is you and God, for we are to be closer than family with Him. And I can safely bring everything to Him, knowing His love and care extends to every area of my life.
The next layer is my husband. My best friend, he has committed to being with me for the long haul, and he deserves access next to me before any other person.
Then come my kids, my best friends, my parents, and my church. My support network. In it for the long haul. They have my back, and I have theirs.
And only then do my bosses and coworkers, then extended family and acquaintances get access to me.
The new people you meet out and about are the outer layer of the onion.
The ones you spend the last amount of time with are to get the least access to the core of who you are.
In today’s society, many people give their all and most access to their work. Or share things with their friends or coworkers that they don’t tell their spouse. Which throws important relationships onto the back burner, causing avoidable hurt and weakening that which is supposed to be most important to us – our marriages and families. The people and commitments which were designed to matter most to us, as relationship matters most to God.
Recently, I have been reevaluating my priorities, asking God for His input and guidance. When He prompted me to make some overhauling changes to my work, I have chosen to obey Him, and follow where He is leading me.
I started with ensuring I have regular uninterrupted time for my hubby, and my family. I am restructuring things for more regular time with my support network. I have put boundaries around work access, and am equally comfortable saying no as I am yes now.
Because I want my relationship with God to be tight. I want my marriage to make it til death do us part. I want to have a close relationship with each of my kids, and my best friends. I want to remain connected with my support network, not feeling untethered in life’s storms.
I want to be able to bless, work and minister with my gifts and skills – but not at the expense of WHO is most important to me.
What areas do you feel you need to change or limit access to yourself? Do you have boundaries in place to keep what and who is most important in the forefront of your life?
The good news? Every day you make a change for the better makes your future look brighter, and changes the negative impact by refusing to keep on with the same old, same old route. We are NEVER too old to make a positive change, as we are children of the Eternal Never Aging God, who is always more than able to answer a genuine heart cry, guide those who seek, set free the prisoners, heal the hurting, break the bad habits, and give live to the weary!