One Word for the Year
We recently just finished our first full month in 2018. Statistically, by now around half of people who made New Year’s Resolutions have already broken them. Honestly, I haven’t done “official” resolutions for quite some time now, much for that reason. Instead for the past few years, I’ve approached the New Year in a different way. I come up with one word, kind of a theme word, to focus on for the year.
The idea is to come up with a one word vision to focus on for the entire year. I got the idea from a bible devotional that I read on my YouVersion Bible app, called “One Word That Will Change Your Life”. It was a quick, simple 4-day reading plan. “Change your life” was a bit of a dramatic claim. I can’t say I experienced any life-altering evolutions, but subtle changes, yes. I’m a firm believer that lasting change happens little by little anyway. However, it truly did change how I approached the New Year, and my focus truly did last all year as opposed to a fleeting and failing resolution.
How does a person pick their word for the year? Ideally, God will reveal your one word to you as opposed to you just randomly picking one. However, I think that even if you struggle with determining if your “one word” is truly divinely inspired (as I did one year) or even if you just pick a word that seems good, I believe that God will work with that to teach, grow, mold, and change you over the year. Try to listen for God to speak to you about your one word.
How I came up with my one word each year
A Different Approach to Bible Reading
During the first of the year many Christians often resolve to be more purposeful in their spiritual growth. The Bible dedicates a significant amount of scripture to the importance of reading and meditating on God’s Word daily and spending quality time with God through prayer and praise. Because we know this, one of the main spiritual goals or resolutions at the start of a new year is to start a regular bible reading habit. Often people get off to a good start. Then, like many New Year’s Resolutions, what started off as a good intention gently fades, and it never quite becomes a habit or routine.
Two years ago I wrote a post on Tips to Start Reading the Bible on a Regular Basis. This might be a good time to go back and revisit that post for some great tips and a story about how and why I started my bible reading practice. This week I’d like to resume and expand on that discussion because I recently gained some more insight on a better way to approach bible reading.
Typical approaches: Duty & Application
My pastor, Whit George, just shared a different approach with our church. Pastor Whit said that many of us approach bible reading in a couple of different ways. First, many of us approach our quiet times and reading like a duty, out of obligation or out of guilt. This approach is not as meaningful. It is not really “delighting” in God’s Word as Psalms teaches.
“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.” Psalm 1:1-2 (NKJV)
Secondly, others of us approach scripture like reading a self-help book or instruction manual. We read it only for application. Reading for application is not bad—it’s actually a good thing. However, this approach doesn’t work when you read something that you can’t apply or when you don’t get anything out of what you read that day. To be perfectly honest, I have been guilty of both the “duty” approach and the “application-only” approach.
A better approach: Read for relationship
Funny Friday: Fun New Year’s Resolutions
Forget setting regular goals like becoming more organized and losing weight! I think these will make for some fun New Year’s resolutions!
“For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?…” Isaiah 43:19 (NLT)
Funny Friday: New Year’s Resolution
Have a very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year!
“Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.” Deuteronomy 28:5 (ESV)