An author of a weekly business newsletter I read, frequently concludes it by saying, “I’m proud to be in ‘your space!’ Thanks for being in mine!” As I read that line last week, I started thinking about the things I allow in my space, in my life, on a daily basis. It gets hard sometimes to silence all the negative forces that constantly bombard my mind. However, I know that I have to be selective about who and what I willingly allow in my space. Here are some rules that can help us do that.
Pay attention to what you say to yourself.
We can sometimes be our own worst enemies when it comes to saying negative things about ourselves. Proverbs 18:21 says, that the power of life and death is in the tongue. Make a conscious decision to speak life when faced with negative circumstances.
Protect your mind.
The news shouts gloom and doom, magazines tell you what is wrong with you and movies can be too sexually explicit and/or violent. Exposing yourself to these outside forces on a daily basis can wreak havoc on your peace. They can have you feeling bad and depressed before you realize what hit you. What we allow in our minds determines our attitude toward life and ultimately God. Proverbs 23:7 says, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” It has never been more important for us to think about the true, noble, and pure as it is now. (Philippians 4:8)
Replace the negative with the positive.
It is not enough to stop saying, thinking, and doing negative things. The next step is to replace the negativity with something positive. We can find a good illustration of this point in Matthew 12:43-45: “When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there, and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it also be with this wicked generation.”
Set your own rules of engagement.
The military frequently uses the term Rules of Engagement to refer to when, where, and how to respond to an enemy. Even though you probably do not have any enemies in the military sense, it would be wise to establish your own rules of engagement. It is up to you to decide which people you will allow in your life and how they treat you. As the old saying goes, “Everyone does not deserve a front-row seat in your life.” It is important that as you love your neighbor you use wisdom when it comes to those who do not mean you well. (Matthew 22:39; Proverbs 2:12, 4:6)
Never forget that what and who you allow in your space affects your peace. And your peace is invaluable – let nothing take that away from you.