The three-foot rule starts deep on the inside of us. It is the head (thinking), the heart (emotions) and the hand (behavior) of who we are.
It begins with our thinking.
It moves out from there to our emotions demonstrated in our attitudes.
And affects our behaviors.
The three-foot rule is simply the fact that we don’t control much beyond the reach of our arms, or about three feet.
Let’s look at five things to think about when it comes to the reality that we are only responsible for what happens within about three feet.
- The three-foot rule is the secret to personal freedom.
You are not responsible for the whole world. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by everything going on in the world. The world is struggling and in trouble, but only God can change the heart of people. You should not go to bed at night feeling responsible for what another person thinks or feels. Now, if you did something, then you certainly need to apologize for what you did, but not for how they received it.You can find freedom when you live within the three-foot rule. It reminds you to that you are a hundred percent responsible for your thinking, for your emotions and for your actions.
- The three-foot rule starts on the inside.
It begins with that decision mentioned above – that first step in the intentional life, which begs us to ask the question: Who is in charge? It’s an ownership issue.
The three-foot rule puts God in charge.Lord, I submit to you. This is what who I am. This is what I believe you’re leading me to do, but I give the outcome to you.Maybe as a child, you grew up in a critical home and find a lot of negativities in your life because of it. Perhaps you beat yourself up emotionally and you find that being critical keeps you from really experiencing God’s best.This reminds us to take captive every thought on obedience to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:4-5). Paul tells us to be renewed in the spirit of our minds (Romans 12:2).
- The three-foot rule will improve your relationships.
When you allow yourself to no longer feel responsible for everyone, it allows you to be real with others. It allows you to be who God made you to be in your relationships.It’s not our job to play God’s role in our spouse or our children’s lives (and grandchildren’s lives, too). Sometimes when God is in the process of doing work in their lives, we try to play the Holy Spirit and we mess everything up.As you live your life intentionally, you can enjoy your relationships without feeling like you need to resolve everyone’s problems.
- The three-foot rule helps you to focus on the things you have control over and to let go of those things you don’t.
For those of us who wrestle with high control, this one hits home. We don’t control much. Sometimes we think we do, but we don’t.
- The three-foot rule keeps you on the hook (responsible) for:
- What comes out of your mouth.
Ephesians 4:29 says, let no corrupt communication come out of your mouth.
- How you use your time.
When you look back on your life, how will you have used your time. I admit, some days I’ve wasted time, and other days I’ve been very intentional.
That reflects on your priorities, your beliefs and your values, which was are so important.
- How you use the resources God gives you.
People talk about getting out of debt and they celebrate getting out of debt. They made a decision at some point to become very intentional about that. They made a decision, put a plan together. They started doing the next, right, one thing. They eliminated financial clutter, and over a period of a few months or few years, you hear them celebrating because they’re debt free. At some point of the decision, they became a hundred percent responsible.
We are responsible for what we do with the resources that flow through our hands.
The three-foot rule is the secret to personal freedom. It reminds you to put more focus on those things you have control over in your life that God wants you to have control over.