What’s Your Word For This Year?

January 13, 2014 in Creating Simple Living, Simple Religion by Lorilee Lippincott

Image: David Castillo Dominici FreeDigitalPhotos.net

A few weeks ago we went to a church service where the speaker was talking about the New Year.  I loved what he was sharing and it really helped me as I looked into this coming year.

Usually this is the time of year when people start resolutions. I’m not against resolutions, but it is busy time of the year and most people’s immediate focus right after Christmas is diet and finance.  Health and money are important parts of life, but often these resolutions are focused on the negative and the craziness of the holidays paired with trying to get back into schedules make these hard to keep.

I think any day of the year is a good day to make a change in your life for the better.  Many times changes don’t happen as easily or as quickly as planned, this is just life.  The idea is to keep moving in the right direction.

But the speaker wasn’t talking about resolutions.

Instead, the speaker asked people to think about what ‘word’ God was giving them for the year.

Usually resolutions are self-focused.  They have to do with changing ourselves or making our life better.  The question was “What is the idea God is giving you this year?” instead of “Where do you think you should do better in your life?” or “How can you become a better person?”

This really clicked for me.  As I look back through my walk with God I can see word ideas that He has shown me at different times.  It can take weeks or months (or longer) to understand the concept, but it seems like God works with these ideas to teach bigger concepts.

Some words I have worked through in the past few years include:

  • Grace
  • Love
  • Sin
  • Faith
  • Fear
  • Trust
  • Purpose
  • Simple
  • Forgiveness

I can look back and remember times when I was struggling with these concepts and how God has taught me more about them.  What is so different about this idea is that it is God who initiates and teaches these ideas.

I can decide to try and be healthier but I can’t decide to figure out faith.

If I can manage to be disciplined enough I can figure out home organization or budgeting but these don’t make the big changes in my life.  I am searching for a personal growth that goes further than these external things.

My words:

I don’t think God is confined to our calendar, or to teaching us a concept for the whole year, but the New Year is a good time to take some time to figure out where you are, where you have come from, and where you are going.

As I sat there I could come up with words very quickly.  Right now I am working through a better understanding of the words:

  • Follow
  • Obedience

These are both difficult for me because I don’t always handle change well and I like logical reasons for everything.  However, I am starting to understand them better :)

What about you?

What words have you learned more about in the past year?

What words are you words or ideas are you working with now?