I stopped making resolutions years ago. Instead, I decided to adopt a word or phrase with an accompanying scripture passage. I did not hasten to zoom in on my “word or phrase” but decided to let God lay it on my heart in His time during the year. Sometimes it didn’t come for weeks; other times I knew from the get-go. I discovered that New Year “words” were more common than I realized. I began hearing folks asking, “What’s your word for this year?”
I was rather impressed with one writer/publisher who chose the word “refine” for 2021. She said she wants to incorporate the concept into her personal and professional life by asking the question: What is the treasure I will give generously to Jesus in 2021? She began thinking about her “word” during the Christmas season likening it to the Wise Men who brought treasures to the newborn King.
As I pulled out my handwritten blue notebook of Great Verses and saw my words from years gone by, I decided to share some of them with you. Perhaps they will inspire you to develop your own word (if you haven’t already) for 2021 – a word that can give focus to your activities throughout the year and provide insights into God’s. You can be sure He will show Himself through the word you choose. I can attest to that! I recommend writing down your word so that you can do as I have done to go back and see it from previous years. I smiled remembering the reasons why I chose it or the outcomes that came from my words that particular year.
Here are some of my words: Power – God gave me a vision with this one following my choice. I wish, I wish, I wish I had recorded the vision but alas, I did not. The verse is quite fitting: “May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do” (II Thess. 1:11). I often reminded myself that His power resided within me. Not only was I humbled by that thought, but I was also, well, empowered.
Look for the joy – This phrase caught my attention from having repeatedly read scripture referencing joy. I adopted the phrase for the year. Soon after doing so, the devil roared loudly with a dreadful encounter involving a dear friend who was going through a hard time. She left me dumbfounded with her harsh words and bold accusations. Through my tears, I searched for the joy to surface. It finally did through an apology and heartfelt words. Needless to say, that year helped me grow spiritually as I sought the joy sometimes in desperate circumstances. “Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything” (II Cor 6:10).
Thankfulness – a small wooden plaque perched in front of my computer monitor at work that read “In Everything Give Thanks.” I decided to reinforce that idea throughout the year. Not only did I put it into practice, but I found myself encouraging a few others that visited my office to do the same. Certainly it helped put things in perspective. “Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus (I Thess 5:18).
Blessing – The memory of my cancer journey, my healing from it, and the development of my Ewe R Blessed Ministry branded this word in my heart and mind. I sometimes struggle with accepting the blessings from God that He pours out upon me. I know He loves me and wants to bless me; I also know it is a blessing to do the same for others. “You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head” (Psalm 139:5). Here’s one more before I reveal my word for 2021.
Prayer – That year I focused specifically on the Lord’s Prayer. I wanted to learn how to pray better and deeper so I looked to the model prayer. I took each phrase throughout the year and gave it contemplation. This was a different approach from what I had ever done but proved profitable. The scripture came from Matthew 6:9-13.
And now for the big reveal. (All of a sudden I feel like I’m at a gender reveal party!) Because of the year we’ve all experienced, because of the societal isolations, distance, and protection we had to implement, my word came easy.
Reconnect – Friends will no longer be put on hold. Lunch dates will resume and vacations will return. It’s an action word pointing to the time for me to reconnect beyond my lame attempts throughout 2020. I’m looking forward to doing so not only with friends and loved ones but with God in new and exciting ways.
Now that I’ve shared with you, tell me what your word is going to be for 2021?