Three different people said this phrase to me this past week. Each were using it to justify a decision that adversely affects their life. What they are actually saying is that someone else or something else made a decision for them — this phrase is a virus to your future.
It communicates, “I’m not powerful”
Being powerful does not mean that you are controlling, loud, or overbearing. In a kingdom sense, being powerful means I’m confident and bold yet humble and responsible. This is the kind of life that we are called to live.
Many powerless people hide behind the facade of intentions. As pastor and best selling author Andy Stanley says, “direction not intention determines destination.” Meaning the decisions you make and the actions you take are ultimately what matters as you navigate your life.
- I know you want to grow closer to God but are you spending time with Him?
- I know you want to be pure but do you have accountability?
- I know you want to make good grades but are you studying?
- I know you want to preach but are you serving at your church?
- I know you want to lose weight but are you cutting back on your eating?
If the answer is no then you are at a stalemate with the future you desire and this year will look an awful lot like last year. 1 Corinthians 4:20 says, “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.” Although the context is different, the principle remains — talk is cheap, action is required.
But why? Why do we settle for a life of powerlessness rather than taking responsibility for our actions? Fear of failure. You see, as long as we remain powerless there is always someone to blame. We condition ourselves to put the burden of our success in the hands of others.
- “if he hadn’t of pressured me then…”
- “if she wouldn’t have cooked then…”
- “if they hadn’t of invited me then…”
- “if you would have woken me up then…”
The path of regret is paved with good intentions. And as men and women of God we have got to step up and take responsibility for our lives. But first we need to have an honest evaluation of where we are.
HERE ARE 7 INDICATORS YOU MIGHT BE A POWERLESS PERSON:
- You fear what people think of you.
- You frequently use the words, “I can’t”, “I have to”, or “I’ll try.”
- You live in a constant state of anxiety.
- You enter relationships based off of what you can receive rather than give.
- You feel like you have no control of your future.
- You get hurt easily.
- You make decisions based off of your feelings.
If three or more of these statements are true then you might be a powerless person. Now that you know, we have got to begin a process of healing.
HERE ARE 4 WAYS TO BEGIN THE PROCESS OF BECOMING A POWERFUL:
1. USE POWERFUL LANGUAGE
This might take time, but begin changing the way you talk. When you make decisions use words like, “I will” and “I can.” There is power in your words, so this serves as a great springboard into a becoming a new person.
2. TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR DECISIONS
Begin making decisions based off of what you know to be good rather than what feels good. Oftentimes the decisions we hate give birth to the person we love. If you don’t believe me just trying going to the gym daily and avoiding sweets.
3. GIVE RATHER THAN TAKE IN YOUR RELATIONSHIPS
Change your approach from “what can they give me?” to, “how can I help them?” Live intentionally when it come to your encounters with everyone — family, friends, strangers. No one is an exception.
4. DON’T CONTROL OTHERS
Being powerful is not synonymous with controlling others. Controlling ourselves is hard enough, we’re certainly not called or qualified to control those around us.
Becoming powerful doesn’t happen overnight. If you want to change your life then start with the small habits — they make a big difference overtime. If this is a real struggle for you, getting accountability will be necessary. Although this isn’t an easy journey, it is worth it. You got this.
What are some other habits you have that help make you powerful? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!