This is the first blog in our Month of KYLO series! If you’re reading Keep Your Love On with us, this corresponds to Chapters 1-2: “Powerful People, Powerful Relationships” and “Turn Your Love On.”
Happy New Year!
We’re three days into 2019, and I’m curious—how are you entering this year so far?
Is your heart full of expectancy for this new season?
Or are you still a bit deflated from the struggles and disappointments you weathered last year?
Have you been you trudging ahead, head down, already caught up in the demands of work and other daily tasks?
Or have you taken time to pray, take inventory of the highs and lows of 2018, do a little internal house-cleaning, and breathe in fresh hope and vision for the days ahead?
The way we end a year and begin a new year says a lot about our mindset. The unfortunate truth is that most of us end up slipping into a mindset where life happens to us, rather than us happening to life. It’s easy to do—we get tired and overwhelmed by the gravitational forces of our circumstances, with their endless struggle and surprises, and eventually drift into survival mode.
But taking time to look back and forward, as we do with a new year, is a great and important opportunity to wake up and stop the drift. And stop it we must if we hope to move beyond mere survival and actually build the thriving life we want to live in.
In Chapter 1 of Keep Your Love On, “Powerful People, Powerful Relationship,” I introduce the concept of a powerful mindset. A powerful mindset isn’t just the foundation for building healthy relationships—it’s the foundation for building everything good in our lives. It’s the mindset that enables us to keep happening to life and never be adrift, no matter what is happening to or around us.
As we head into 2019, I urge you to refocus on strengthening this mindset by choosing the following 3 things:
Powerful Choice #1: Confronting Powerlessness
In Chapter 2, “Turn Your Love On,” I tell the story of Dave and Anne, a couple whose marriage had drifted into disconnection after years of disappointment and struggle. Before I could offer them any help to reverse this situation, I needed them to make the powerful choice to own the fact that they had allowed their powerless, self-protective posture to define the goals in their relationship.
Being willing to see and admit that you are living powerlessly is a powerful act. It takes courage, humility, and hope for change. So many people stay living as victims of their own life because they can’t admit that that’s what they’re doing. They can’t take ownership for the state they’re in.
Let’s start this year by being willing to let the Holy Spirit, and maybe even the people around us (!), shine a light on areas of our life where we are acting powerlessly. Where do we find ourselves saying things like, “I can’t,” or “I have to” or “I’ll try”? Where do we see ourselves hiding, isolating, walking on eggshells, or running from issues we know we need to confront? Where do we see ourselves trying to control, manipulate, or punish people into meeting our needs? Confessing and owning these things is the first step toward freedom.
Powerful Choice #2: Realigning our Thoughts
When I use the term “repentance,” I mean “change your mindset.” This is what the Greek word for repentance—metanoia—means: a new way of thinking.
At the heart of repentance is a spiritual battle. Changing the way we think is not a simple matter of upgrading our mental software. Truth must displace lies, and this does not happen without a fight. Consider the language John uses in 1 John 4:18—“Perfect love casts out all fear.” He doesn’t say perfect love replaces or dissolves or nudges fear. He uses the same language that describes an exorcism.
Moving from powerless to powerful is the same battle. We need to go after victim thinking like Jesus went after rebuking unclean spirits in people.
The beautiful thing is this: when we truly encounter the truth, lies don’t stand a chance. As Jesus promised, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32 NKJV).
Let’s start this year by asking the Spirit of Truth to encounter us with the truth. In every place where He shows us that we are thinking, speaking, and acting powerless, let’s ask Him to replace it with His truth that frees and empowers us to change.
Powerful Choice #3: Recommitting to our Yes
Powerlessness naturally disconnects us from our goals and purpose. After Dave and Anne took ownership of the powerlessness in their relationship, their next powerful choice was to take ownership of their relational goals. In fact, it was to return to the goal they had originally had for their marriage from the beginning—to create a safe, loving, intimate connection.
One of the reasons many of us struggle to make New Year’s resolutions is that the shadow of yesterday’s failures hang over us. We tried to tell ourselves what to do and then do it, and it was hard. We didn’t hit the target we were going for.
But we must remember that any attempt to be powerful in reaching our goals was not failure. The only failure is to stop pursuing them, to abandon our purpose and surrender our power.
So as we launch into this year, let’s shake off yesterday’s disappointments and remember that yes, it’s a really good day when we can tell ourselves what to do and do it. We may need to adjust some of our expectations around our goals and purpose, but we absolutely must not let go of them. Instead, let’s refocus and recommit to what we’re saying “Yes” to this year.
And let’s Keep Our Love On!
I also want to give you guys a study guide to follow along this month! This study guide is a simple but helpful resource for you to use as you go through the book. For each chapter, we’ve created a guide with an outline of the chapter content, self-check questions for personal reflection, and space for you to write out a relational goal you want to pursue as you move forward.
P.S. Remember that KYLO is 50% off during the month of January! Get your copy here!