The Bible tells us the power of a word in no uncertain terms.
Words According to the Bible
Right out of the Book of Proverbs 18 (v.21), we read:
Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.
Words aren’t something we necessarily give frequent thought to, let alone pause and intentionally decide upon.
A Resolution Or WOTY?
Many of us are resolution-makers and goal-setters, bright and early at the beginning of a new year. For quite some time, that was me, too: I would choose a goal and hope and pray to have enough steam to pursue the goal all year. However, as we all know, resolutions don’t always work long-term!
So I decided to change it up. Now, I choose a Word of the Year (WOTY!). It just made sense to me. By selecting a word (or sometimes a couple of words!), I find it’s much simpler and more effective to maintain an area of focus for myself. It’s an easy, daily reminder of what’s important to me. I don’t have to feel guilty if I fall off the resolution bus; I have my word for the year!
I like to review my previous year’s successful and not-so-successful endeavors, and my WOTY will often reveal itself through this process. In seeking a word, I dig deep and allow the Lord to work in my heart. It feels like a natural extension of where my heart is and where I should focus for the upcoming year.
I’ve found that discovering your word is an intentional practice. Take time and step away from your daily busyness, reflect on where you’ve been, and envision where you want to go. Then listen. Be deliberate about your listening and reflecting. Finally, take the time to pray and ask God for direction in choosing your word.
Once you’ve settled on a word, write it down and reflect again. Can you commit to this word for the entire year? Unlike a New Year’s Resolution, which tends to fizzle out quickly, a Word of the Year can bring intentionality all year long – and sometimes, it rolls right on through to the next!
Once you’ve worked through the process and discovered your word, write it down and post it where you can see it – in multiple places! In your office, on your bathroom mirror, on the refrigerator. Give yourself visual reminders of your word, and repeat your word often.
Tracking Your Words
If this is your first time choosing a WOTY, I encourage you to find a place to track your words for each year. I have a running list of my words over the years, and it’s a blessing to see how God has brought me through and then to the next thing; all weaved into my words of the year!
2023 is unique for me. Rather than a WOTY, God gave me a phrase of the year: peacefully scared. Isn’t that a lovely thought? Even in the midst of situations that would typically cause fear in me – I choose to stand in faith and receive His peace. Over everything. When things look out of control from the outside, I can remain peacefully scared in His presence.
Please Share Your Word
How about you? What God-inspired or insightful word have you chosen for your year?
We’d love to hear the 2023 word (or words) you chose and why!