An Open Door Policy


I have worked with two types of principals. Those with an open-door leadership style and those without. In general, an open-door policy is a culture, a management style in which leaders or managers are accessible to their employees. In schools, the open-door policy is usually literal. The door to the principal’s office is left open most of the time. A closed door meant the principal had either stepped out or a sensitive meeting was taking place.

At my favorite school, the principal’s office had two doors. One opened to an outer office and the other opened to the hallway. Lots of classes passed this door on their way to lunch, music, or the gym. Young children had no reluctance to call out a greeting to the principal as they passed.

Neither did I ever hesitate to enter that door to ask a question, raise a concern, or share a story. My principal was easily accessible. An open-door policy was natural for me later when I held management positions.

But do I have an open-door policy with God?

 My door was always open to coworkers and students. These days, it’s open to family, friends, and sometimes strangers. But my door is not always opened to God.

My door is not always open to God. Click To Tweet

Oh, the door is wide open during prayer time, church time, and times when I desperately need Him. But I don’t give God total access to my daily life. I don’t compartmentalize Him by any means, but I do get caught up in daily tasks and sometimes forget to open the door.

And I have to admit there are times I choose not to open the door. I’d rather not have God along when I’m annoyed with bad drivers on the road. Or when I’m on the phone frustrated with a not-at-fault customer service representative who doesn’t know where in the world my new mattress was delivered.

As if He doesn’t know my every thought and action already.

You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways (Psalms 139:2-3).

Allowing God Total Access to Our Life

God wants total access to our lives, and it shouldn’t be hard for us to allow. He always there, waiting on the other side.

Behold, I stand at the door and continually knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him and he with me (Revelation 3:20).

Start each day by opening the door to God. Let’s invite Him to ride along as we run errands, do our work, play with the children. Let’s include Him in every conversation, not only the difficult ones. Let’s sense His presence, hear His voice, and welcome Him into our day.

Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you (James 4:8).

This is what He desires! But it’s up to us to swing open the door.

The LORD is with you when you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you, but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you (2 Chronicles 15:2).

A Prayer to Start Each Day and Pray Throughout the Day

Lord, I invite you into this day. I love having you by my side to guide me in the way I should go, to react in the way I should react, and to love in the way you would have me love. I want to allow you access to all I do.  Amen.

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  1. This subject came up in my Bible Study last night. I think the Lord is telling me something. Be intentional about making him part of every aspect of my life.

  2. Some great thoughts and observations here Ms. Candyce. As I thought about your comments, I recognized how I do “close my office door” at times. Sometimes, it seems I slam it in God’s face. He’s standing there in a situation, and instead of inviting Him in to reason with me before I respond, I walk head long into it, in a “I know how to handle this” mindset. Then, after I’ve made a mess of things, I go to Him, hat in hand. Oh, how grateful I am that He does not remember my transgressions, but always bids we welcome when I poke my head into His office, which is of course, always open. Wonderful post ma’am.

  3. I appreciate these insights on having an open door with God–so important! I know what you mean about principals with an open door policy too. these were and are the ones who are most helpful and most loved!

    1. Having an open door with God is important for our spiritual growth. I have to be intentional about it because it’s not yet an ingrained action. Thankful God is always accessible to us!

  4. Oh, my, you could have written this just for me. I catch myself being selective about when “my door” and heart are open to God. Yesterday was a good example. After a call where I was chastised for something I didn’t do, I did manage to control my temper. I worked on solving the issue (it was a failure to communicate on the part of another person), but after the resolution, I sent a text explaining the solution. However, I ended with an unneccesary terse comment–not rude, but it coud have been kinder. It was only afterward, that I felt guilty about not exemplifying the “Fruit of the Spirit” (goodness and kindness in ALL things). Thank you for this confirmation that I need to do better.

    1. We can all do better, and I’m thankful for the grace God allows us. A part of that grace, I think, is allowing us to learn through the mistakes we make.

      Thanks for sharing with me that I’m not the only one who sometimes struggles with this! Sounds like you worked through your situation with a positive resolution for all. A good principle I learned a long time ago — but have trouble following in the heat of the moment — is to “Seek first to understand” (Covey).

  5. Candyce, I’ve been meditating on this principle! Surrendering my day to God as I run errands etc. is a constant battle. I love this analogy with a needed reminder to surrender to God’s full access. He does have access and sees all. But we often miss the blessing of acknowledging Him.

    1. Yes, we miss the blessing of acknowledging Him. How happy as it must make Him to be included in every facet of our daily lives. As for us, we gain peace, joy, and emotional safety by being in continual communion with Him.

      Blessings to you!

  6. We do seem to not want God around during those times of frustration and annoyance. But He is there listening and seeing whateverwe do so our best option is to go to Him to help us resolve those feelings. Candyce, thanks for sharing this heartfelt prayer to guide us toward right motives.

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