People will either hinder your call or help your call. The people you build relationships with aren’t just bodies filling up spaces, they are spirits that influence atmosphere’s. The people you let into your relational spaces are influencing the spiritual atmosphere of your life more than you think. Bad company ruins good character. When the Apostle Paul was writing to the church in Galatia he said, “You were running well, WHO hindered you?” (Gal 5:7). Notice he didn’t say WHAT hindered you but WHO hindered you?
God blesses you through people but Satan can also curse you through people as well. It takes sharp discernment to know the difference. Not every person that enters your life, should you turn your landing lights on for. Unfortunately, I, like many other Christians have believed that we are to have relational space for every person that passes our way because we are supposed to ‘love our neighbour as we love ourselves’ and we are to be accepting of people in whatever form they come in. The biblical mandate to love and honour each other is unchanging, however God did not build you to have relational space for everyone. Your spirit has infinite capacity to connect with God but you do not have infinite capacity to include every passerby in your relational space.
Some people are allies, some are acquaintances, some people are partners in the call God has placed upon you and some are simply ‘no fly-zone’ people. Just as a country has controlled airspace that stops foreign military aircraft from drifting across its borders, we should have some controlled relational space that doesn’t allow unhealthy co-dependent relationships to develop. Never drift into a relationship without thinking, ‘What space in my life will this person occupy?’
Every relationship in your life belongs in a certain space. It’s what I call ‘Spacial Relationships’. Spacial miscalculations could cost you dearly in more ways than you realize. Hello Abraham and Lot!
When God called Abram to leave his family and go to the promised-land, he did not invite Lot to go with Abram but Abram did and it cost both Lot and Abram dearly. Never invite someone on the journey God hasn’t invited to go with you. Conflict arose between Lot’s growing family and Abram’s growing family and they had to part ways. It wasn’t until after Lot left Abram that God spoke to Abram again about his calling. Sometimes it isn’t until certain people leave your life can God speak what he needs to because God’s fresh revelation might be polluted by the influence of uninvited people. When God declared his intention of destroying Lot’s place of residence, Abram felt responsibility to rescue Lot. Whatever relationship you author, you have to perfect, but whatever relationship God authors, God’s spirit helps perfect. As Lot and his wife flee the town that is now burning sulfur, Lot’s wife looked back and became a pillar of salt. A Hefty price to pay for a spacial miscalculation.
Take responsibility for your relational space and look for kingdom connections. God’s got a global dot to dot plan and if we tune into his call, He will partner us up with the people He wants us to be in relationship with.