I like riding in old elevators, the ones with the red velvet carpet, the hand-crank, and the elevator operator sitting on the bar stool. It’s charming and a flashback to yesteryear.

Riding on an elevator with strangers probably wouldn’t make any normal person’s top 10 things they enjoy the most. Elevator rides are usually a mix of uncomfortable (avoid eye contact at all costs), sometimes horrifying (bad gas in a crowded elevator), but a great conversation opportunity if you’re with people you care about.

elevator-buttonOur lives can be a lot like elevators. As God calls us deeper into His story and fresh opportunities, we get to ride along through the highs and lows, constantly meeting people along the way and journeying with them for a bit until we go our separate ways.

As God takes your life further, you will notice there are people you need to let off the elevator of your life. Maybe they’re the ones who start pushing all your buttons (just like the brat pushes all the floor buttons in the elevator) and just look for some sort of reaction from you. Maybe they’re people who give you a bad vibe or they change the entire climate of your life as soon as they enter, and not in a good way. Maybe they’re people going in a different direction than you and you know it won’t last long, so you wish them well.

Letting someone off your life’s elevator isn’t a bad thing! We want to celebrate the people who have traveled with us and added value to our journey. You want to create room for the right people, people you want to be with you, to be in your life. That can’t happen if the wrong people are in your life.

So, how do you let people off your life’s elevator? It depends on how much they’re changing the climate of your elevator. It’s easy to show someone they exit to your life and put up really good boundaries if they’re being offensive and abrasive. It’s another thing if you know they’re detracting from the direction and potential God’s calling you to pursue.

Balancing tact and truth with the wisdom of the Holy Spirit is the best way to help let people off your life’s elevator. I’ve let several people off my life elevator, even lately, but not all of them are aware of it because it was by their own choosing and I didn’t object. I’ve also had good, direct conversations with other people to clearly communicate that we have no future together for a variety of long-term empirical reasons. Again, use your God-given discretion, the truth of Scripture, and wisdom from older godly people to give you advice on how to handle each conversation.

Next stop: who do you need to let off today? Be honest, be gracious, but be specific. And look for who God wants to join you on your next stage of life. Elevator rides can be a lot of fun and a great experience with the right people, just like life.