Exit Strategies (Part 1)
2016 was about getting rid of things that were holding us back. I called this year, the year of EXIT STRATEGIES. What is an exit strategy?
An exit strategy is a planned approach to ending a situation in a way that maximizes whatever benefit remains and minimizes possible damages that can still occur. The idea of having a strategic approach to ending something can be applied to leaving any situation behind. Most of the time exit strategy is used in a business context.
It is done when an investor chooses to settle up assets. They cut their losses. We are all investors. We invest our lives, money and time into people, information and things. Sometimes, what (or who) we invest in costs us more than the asset is worth. That is where we must decide how to get out of the situation or liquidate the asset before more damage can be done to our lives, money or time. This process is called an exit strategy.
Now here is the thing, whatever you are endeavoring to leave behind you is also inside you. You must determine what inside you led to that situation in the first place and you must rid your life and heart of the thing that got you into the matter. You must identify your internal “hook.”
You see it is one thing to get out of a situation. But it is quite another thing to get the situation (or hook) OUT OF YOU. Only after you do this can you truly move on. In fact, once the hook is gone, you can begin the process of moving on even if the external circumstances have not changed. This is because your external realities must EVENTUALLY CONFORM TO THE INTERNAL REALITIES.
So if you are trying to leave a relationship for example, there are elements of that relationship (hooks) that are a part of you. They helped shape who you are. So it is not wise to leave the relationship without dealing with the elements of the relationship (hooks) that exist inside of you. What you carry inside of you (hooks) becomes the seed for the next relationship.
Next, you have to determine what continues to be profitable about the current situation. So you can maximize profits while eliminating losses. What about this situation is hurting you and limiting your ability to grow? Answering these questions is vital. They let you know what can be fixed and what needs to be abandoned. Now you have the key to being ready to move on.
A few years ago, I was trying desperately to get out of a particularly situation. One day Holy Spirit spoke to me and said, “I can get you out of this situation, but until you get the situation out of you, it will be just as if you were still in it.” I had to identify what got me there or my negative internal realities (hooks). Where was I bitter (hook)? Where was I living in denial about my contribution to the situation? Where was I fearful (hook)? How had my own fears shaped my life? All of these negative things are hooks that must come out of us even as we are trying to get out of negative situations.
Next, I had to master the ability to love others beyond their faults. I needed to release the LOVE of God to those who hurt me. This was essential to getting the SITUATION (hooks) out of my heart. This thinking makes me like Christ, hook free. (Matthew 5:44-45)
Jesus put it this way. Shortly before heading to the cross, he told his apostles, I’m going to leave you soon, we must hurry because the enemy is coming, but never fear there is nothing in me that he (satan) can attach to (NO HOOK). Jesus was indicating that Satan did not have any residue or any material substance inside his (Jesus’) heart. Jesus could exit this world, complete his assignment and enter into the joy of the Lord. Here he defined his heart condition as he stepped into his exit strategy. (John 14:30)
Hooks are like roaches, you can pack up and leave your current house because it has roaches, but if you do not deal with the infestation before moving, you will take roaches into the next house and before long, it will be like the last one. Jesus made sure that his heart was ready for the next thing. Jesus had no hooks.
So as you prepare to enter yet another New Year, here are some questions designed to help define your exit strategy even as you eliminate your “hooks.”
What do you need to leave behind?
What has held you bound and/or back?
What are your hooks?
What conditions of the heart led you into the situation in the first place?
How did fear play into your internal situation?
How do you see yourself in the situation today?
What does freedom from the situation look like?