Sharing the Teachings of Jesus Christ through everyday events that shape our lives
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Open doors & closed doors

“Open doors, closing doors” are biblical phrases used by its’ writers to refer to divine guidance. Those sincerely seeking Gods will for their life accept the “open door/close door” experience peacefully. (Isaiah 45:1,2, Acts 14:27, I Corinthians 16:9, II Corinthians 2:12, Colossians 4:3, Revelation 3:8). We use the term in the secular world to ask questions. “How did you close the door”? What we mean is, how did the conversation, relationship, or deal conclude.

I believe “how one closes the doors in their life has a lot to do with how God opens the doors for their life”. Just something I’ve observed after 30 yrs.

If it’s within our control, we should close doors of work, relationships and situations as gently and Christ-like as possible. First, because it honors God. That alone should be reason enough. But for those wanting a “WIIFM”, (What’s in it for me?), it means putting ourselves in a position for God to open the door in front of us because we’ve been Christ-like in the way we’ve closed the doors behind us.

Sometimes closing doors behind us mean forgiving, learning from, becoming wiser, & knowing we can walk back in those environments with integrity.

I served 3 other churches in my past. In each there were great experiences that shaped my life and difficult days that tested me. In every departure, I thanked the pastor privately before leaving for the privilege he entrusted to me while on his team and was provided a “farewell” experience from the church where, like Paul (Acts 20:25-38) I thanked the people also.

In the secular world, I’d resigned from 3 different work environments as a student. In each case, leaving was hard because the experiences were enjoyable. From 2 of those I worked the last 2 weeks notice without pay as a “thanks” for the privilege. Six months after leaving one of them, the owner died in an accident. Even though they had many employees, I was asked to be a pallbearer because his wife said he respected the way I departed. I never realize then how important that was until years later.

I’m convinced the way we close the doors in our life (which is our choice and reflection of our character) has so much to do with the way God opens the doors for our future.

So here’s the advice. If you’re moving on, do it wisely, honorably. If you’re closing a chapter in your life, make it the best exit you possibly can.

One reason I write this is because of I’ve seen the experiences of both lately. I recently watched a young lady in early 20’s leave a doctors office job and erase all of the data on the computer, leave on a Friday without notice, and then boast about how she injured them. I could see bitterness beginning to grow in her. What she didn’t know was that she was revealing her true character in her actions, and that she’ll reap what she’s sown ahead. And then a few weeks ago I listened to an older retired man describe to me his experiences in traveling the world and all he’d learned. He’d worked in dozens of interesting places and various fields. What struck me was when he leaned back, smiled widely and said, “I never left a single job without thanking God and thanking my boss”. I couldn’t help but notice how at peace he was with his past and how secure he was in the present. As I reflected on the amazing doors God had opened for him in his lifetime, I sensed it was time to write these thoughts for you today. The incredible doors my friend had been through in life, probably were opened because of the character in which he displayed in closing the doors of his past.


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    July 13, 2011


    John McLemore said:

    I loved this, plan to teach it at my next Masterbuilt Bible Study. It hit home for me, BIG TIME.

    Thanks John

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    July 17, 2011


    nelda said:

    This is absolutley true, I have walked away from many areas and people and jobs, not causing harm but just shut the door and walked away. Now it is one the biggest stumbling blocks in my life, no way back and no way forward. Very good lesson.

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    July 17, 2011


    Mike said:

    Pastor-I have been aware of this concept, but until a week ago when I got terminated, and did the right thing, multiple times before I left the building, I hadn’t truely felt the benefit of the “sowing and reaping” like I have this past week. Great reminder of how God honors doing the right thing.

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    September 1, 2011


    Wanda said:

    Thank you so much for this word of wisdom! My husband and I have just given notice that we are leaving our position as pastors in a church we have been serving in. There is a lot of hurt involved on our part, and the temptation to be unkind because of the way we have been treated. Thanks for reminding me that we will reap what we sow. God is so good.

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    September 1, 2011


    Karen Bailey said:

    I believe this is so true, how you act is a direct link to your future. We had an issue we could have been bitter about, however we chose not to be, and to go to God every step of the way, let him handle it~ It could have cost a future and a life of freedom, but God took a mess and has turned it into amessage. God will take care of those who take care of others. Bless all you can bless and live life in an honorable way~

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    October 4, 2011


    Lenore said:

    I enjoyed the article. Thank you . . . and I appreciated others sharing their experiences. I wish I could say I have always acted with integrity when doors closed . . . I wish I could say I was like the man at the end of the story . . . but I can’t. However because of Gods AWESOME GRACE, I can the next time! :-)

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    April 2, 2012


    Linda said:

    God bless you for this article. I have to close a door today, and due to my reading your article this morning, my response will be so different than I had originally intended. My response will be more Christ-like.

    I saw the Sunday morning worship program on worry. God bless you for this. This is so needed by the people in this day and time!


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    April 13, 2012


    Chaplain Jerry Vance said:

    Thanks Brother Bill for sharing your wisdom with us. It was an honor meeting you last year at THE ICM Awards Show in Nashville. We subscribed to your leadership series and have truly been blessed. Hopefully we will tour down your way later this year. Your Open Doors Closed Doors article is another fine example of your leadership for which we are all so grateful. GOD Bless, Jerry

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Bill Purvis is the pastor of Cascade Hills Church, located in Columbus, Georgia - just 1.5 hrs. outside of Atlanta. If you’re ever in the area, we’d like to invite you to visit us!

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