“When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him . . .” –Luke 10:5-6
My wife told me something interesting the other day. During a busy and hectic day, she described to me how she visited a friend’s house and instantly felt at ease—as if she entered into a spiritual space.
I smiled when she said this because it resonated with something I’ve been learning lately.
When it comes to designing our space to be more spiritually conducive, we resort to behaviors such as making everything simplistic or setting up scented candles. In other words, we’re more concerned about how we externally manufacture our surroundings.
Yet, what I’ve learned is, designing your spiritual space is more a result of your character, not your external surroundings.
Yes, you can light candles and string Bible verses all over your walls, but ultimately, your heart is what defines the space you’re in. If you are stressed out, your space is going to reflect that. If you are someone who does not like company, your space is going to reflect that.
This is why I believe designing your spiritual space is more about designing your heart.
You know you’ve established a spiritual space when people can enter into your space and feel at peace, like my wife did. There are three characteristics of your heart you can refine to help establish this space.
Hospitality, as described by the Bible, is the art of bringing peace to a place. One way to establish peace in your place is to make your guests feel welcomed and wanted. You communicate this feeling by inviting someone and caring for them once they enter your space.
In many situations today, people can force others out of their house by being unwelcoming. They don’t give their guests food or drink. They can give subtle cues for them to leave. And they can even not have enough seats for their guests. All of these are indications that you are not welcome and there is no peace to be had in this environment.
A spiritual space is where peace resides. Help craft peace by simply being welcoming to your guests.
A truth is, people feel at home when they can be themselves in a space. The number one space where we are truly ourselves is when we are in our own homes. But this feeling of home can be established anywhere by fostering a sense of trust with people. For instance, if you come to my house, I can make you feel at home by creating a space where you can confide in me. The more people can invest in you, the more they can feel at home.
A spiritual space is where people can feel like themselves. Help create this space by fostering a non-judgmental and trustworthy atmosphere. Place yourself in a loving posture to give people the freedom to be themselves.
One reason why I believe the disciples stuck with Jesus was because He didn’t pressure them with change. He wasn’t a dictator barking orders at them for transformation. Their transformation involved Jesus’ patience and grace to mess-up.
People can oftentimes feel uneasy in a space where they feel like they’re being watched. Without grace permeating the space, they can feel restrained. But a spiritual space is one where people are given freedom—not a freedom where they can do whatever they want with no consequences, but a freedom that says if they mess-up, they’ll be forgiven.
You can create a grace-filled atmosphere by telling your guest, “My home is your home.” Give them autonomy in your space. And if they disobey that freedom, offer them the grace and patience to try again. It is in this space where transformation is made possible.
A spiritual space is not an environment where only you benefit. It is where others benefit also. That’s how the economy of Jesus works: He doesn’t just do actions for Himself. He does actions for others.
With this in mind, build a spiritual space by focusing on these characteristics and letting others inhabit this space with you. Let them feel at ease and you’ll know your space is God-filled and divine.