It’s become a bit of a trend for people to choose a focus for the upcoming year in the form of a “word of the year”. I jumped on that bandwagon this year. Boiling down my goals into one, easy to remember word, helps (or is supposed to help) keep me focused in my personal life and in my work. I’ve never chosen a word of the year before, so I took my time in choosing this one, praying and listening to God, and thinking about my goals for the year. The word I eventually came up with was... “word.” Seems like a bit of an odd choice, right? Usually it’s something deep and inspirational like “renewal” or “flourish” or “joy”. Like, who picks their word of the year to be “word”?
A word-nerd linguistics major, that’s who.
“Word” started popping up with a few verses that kept showing up in my life, and that I was continuously being led back to.
Let the message [word] of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. – Colossians 3:16-17 NIV
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. – Hebrews 4:12 NIV
Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose. – Proverbs 18:21 MSG
The Greek used for “word” is “logos”. “Logos” has a broad meaning, and is used in many contexts. It can mean a spoken word or the act of speaking, a decree or order, reasoning with the mind, a doctrine or teaching, and a report or account. It comes from the root verb “lego”, to speak, which also means to affirm, teach, exhort, call. “Logos” is also the word used to refer to Jesus when He is called the Word.
So, with those verses and definitions in mind, here is what “word” means for me this year.
Word for Me
On the surface level, I’m just trying to get more words into my life. I love reading and writing, I always have. So I’m placing a bigger focus on putting those things in my life. This year I’m reading more for pleasure, reading more for learning, and writing more for both of the same as well.
But deeper than that, I want to focus more on God’s word, the Bible and Jesus. Colossians 3:16 says we are to “let the message of Christ dwell among you richly”, and this also means that we are to dwell in the word! We are to be constantly residing in the word. I am so passionate about God’s word – it has got some really great stuff in there! But really, I want to spend more time in the word digging deeper, really making it a part of my life. I want to spend more time reading and memorizing my favourite verses that bring me comfort and encouragement. I want to spend more time learning about the “less exciting” parts of the Bible (Leviticus, anyone?). They are in there for a reason, and the reason is often so much deeper than we thought! I want to spend more time in prayer, talking and listening to the Word. I want all these things to bring me into closer relationship with God, so I can know Him more and more.
And beyond learning and knowing the word, I want to share it. I want to use my gift with words to reach others with the word of God. I get so stinking excited about the new things I learn and the new revelations God brings me, that I have to share them with my friends (that means you, too!). There is a lot of responsibility that comes with sharing the word. Dwelling in the word is essential to sharing it, so that will always be my top priority. I need to know well so I can share well. Colossians 3:17 says I need to use all my words for Jesus, so that is what my goal for 2018 is.
Do you have a word or goal of the year? Share it with me down below, and what it means to you!