Word of the Year

 

I don’t know if this is a specifically Christian practice or if people who aren’t Christians do something similar, too, but it’s become a Thing in my church community to choose a “word” for the year. This is usually an area where we want to see God grow us, something to pray about and focus on as the months continue. Now, I realize that the way I’ve written this paragraph kind of sounds like I’m being critical about having a prayer word (as some call it, including myself), but I actually love the idea.

This year isn’t the first time I’ve had a prayer word. Last year my word started out as “maturity,” but then about a month in, it changed to “abide” and remained that way for the rest of the year. I had a Scripture passage to go with it (John 15:1-11), which I memorized and reviewed once a week. It was the right word for me for that time, and I did, praise Jesus, see some growth in my abiding in Christ.

Anyway, my prayer word for 2020 is “generosity.” I’ve had a desire for the last few months to be more generous; I love giving to others, but I want to be more intentionally generous, both with my time and my money. I also want to have more of a generous spirit. I don’t want to just give to others in my actions, but I want to truly see them “as more important than [my]self,” as Paul exhorted in Philippians 2.

Another goal of mine this year is to study the Bible regularly (as opposed to just reading it devotionally), and so I’ve decided, at least for the time being, to study a different verse/passage each week that relates to generosity. It’s been great so far! 2 Corinthians 9:7, in particular, has been a great encouragement to me, and I can’t wait to see what else I learn about generosity throughout the year. But, of course, I don’t want to just learn about it; I’m also praying God will help me to become a more generous person, from the heart.

I would love to know if anyone else has a “word” for the year, or if you have any ideas for generosity-related Scriptures I could study! 

There are 22 comments.

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  1. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Mine is, “No!” 😉

    • #1
  2. Allie Hahn Coolidge
    Allie Hahn
    @AllieHahn

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Mine is, “No!” 😉

    That’s a great one, haha!

    • #2
  3. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    I’ve been working on words I think we can do without especially if they promote or support thoughts or behaviors that we should work toward avoiding. I guess it resembles trying to reduce our sinful actions. Hate is the word that has my attention of late.

    • #3
  4. Hank Rhody, Badgeless Bandito Contributor
    Hank Rhody, Badgeless Bandito
    @HankRhody

    Allie Hahn: it changed to “abide”

    I guess that beats changing from “abide”.

    • #4
  5. Old Buckeye Inactive
    Old Buckeye
    @OldBuckeye

    Allie, we had a short mention of that in this post: http://ricochet.com/709514/whats-your-resolve/ 

    I’ve chosen a word for the year for many years, and used it as a spiritual/creative spark. There’s now a “random word generator” (also mentioned in that post) created by the same woman who has the “random saint generator”  in case you want a patron saint to guide you for the year. 

    http://wordoftheyear.me/index.php

    My word last year was compass and I think it played out well in that we moved house and had to decide in which direction to go when house hunting. 

    • #5
  6. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    I love your suggestion of generosity. I think the year 2020 will be very challenging as we all know. There may be a tendency to close up, withdraw, even hold bitterness.  You can’t be bitter or even indifferent, and be generous. It’s perfect.  Thank you for a great suggestion, and also to really study the Bible.

    • #6
  7. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    I looked up why modern Christians use the title “Lord” so much, thinking there is probably a better alternative in a time when “lords” are rare and don’t amount to much. What were the original Latin, Greek, and Hebrew names used? Here (PDF) is an explanation.

    I suppose “Lord” is as good as any.

    I respect the choice of some Ricochet Jews to write “G-d” rather than “God” out of similar respect. But then we might as well write “L–d” because neither is the name He offered.

    We should avoid cursing and other thoughtless references employing any of His titles. If we mention Him, it should be to call attention to Him — a courtesy due even to fellow human beings.

    • #7
  8. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    In the Catholic Church the Pope sometimes has a dedicated theme for the year.  I remember a few years back he called for a year of mercy.  I don’t know if we do this every year.  I would think it’s a good idea.  If we have one for this year, I’m not aware of it.  I like what you’re doing.  Bible study is something we should all do more.  I tend to read my way sequentially though the Bible.  No I don’t read the entire Bible in one year.  I try to progress a few books at a time in the Old and New Testaments.

    • #8
  9. Jim Kearney Contributor
    Jim Kearney
    @JimKearney

    If “abide” is word of the year, does the Bible get a Book of Duderonomy? 

    My 2020 word of the year: re-elect.

    • #9
  10. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    Do people really lack attention span, or interest to contemplate more than one word in a year?  

    Seems like a pretty weak plan to me.

    • #10
  11. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Do people really lack attention span, or interest to contemplate more than one word in a year?

    Seems like a pretty weak plan to me.

    Your ADHD doesn’t allow you to concentrate on something for a full year? 😉

    • #11
  12. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    Manny (View Comment):
    In the Catholic Church the Pope sometimes has a dedicated theme for the year. I remember a few years back he called for a year of mercy. I don’t know if we do this every year. I would think it’s a good idea. If we have one for this year, I’m not aware of it.

    Sometimes the Pope designates a day for special focus as well. 

    • #12
  13. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    I haven’t had a “word of the year,” but I have focused prayer in one direction (using the same word) for extended periods. Last year I had a phase where I prayed each morning to “delight” the Lord. “Help me to delight You in some way today.”

    The last several months the focus of my prayer has been “trust.” “Increase my trust that fill-in-the-blank serves Your glorious purposes.” The fill-in-the-blank typically is some personal hardship or disruption in the (RC) Church or the nation or the world. I actually started this before beginning our Small Catholic Community’s study of Saint Therese’s Little Way, which emphasizes trust in God’s merciful love. 

    • #13
  14. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Do people really lack attention span, or interest to contemplate more than one word in a year?

    Seems like a pretty weak plan to me.

    Your ADHD doesn’t allow you to concentrate on something for a full year? 😉

    That’s a good lawyer’s flipping an argument!

    • #14
  15. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Do people really lack attention span, or interest to contemplate more than one word in a year?

    Seems like a pretty weak plan to me.

    Your ADHD doesn’t allow you to concentrate on something for a full year? 😉

    That’s a good lawyer’s flipping an argument!

    Yeah, but Arahant’s not a lawyer (I don’t think), so it’s just good!

    • #15
  16. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Do people really lack attention span, or interest to contemplate more than one word in a year?

    Seems like a pretty weak plan to me.

    Your ADHD doesn’t allow you to concentrate on something for a full year? 😉

    That’s a good lawyer’s flipping an argument!

    Yeah, but Arahant’s not a lawyer (I don’t think), so it’s just good!

    Yes.  I was complimenting him.  :) 

    • #16
  17. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Do people really lack attention span, or interest to contemplate more than one word in a year?

    Seems like a pretty weak plan to me.

    I think it brings a certain focus.  I bet the Allie considers more than just that one word during the course of the year, but having that one word to return to makes a theme stand out.

    • #17
  18. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    I haven’t had a “word of the year,” but I have focused prayer in one direction (using the same word) for extended periods. Last year I had a phase where I prayed each morning to “delight” the Lord. “Help me to delight You in some way today.”

    The last several months the focus of my prayer has been “trust.” “Increase my trust that fill-in-the-blank serves Your glorious purposes.” The fill-in-the-blank typically is some personal hardship or disruption in the (RC) Church or the nation or the world. I actually started this before beginning our Small Catholic Community’s study of Saint Therese’s Little Way, which emphasizes trust in God’s merciful love.

    That’s pretty cool, WC.  I like that.

    • #18
  19. Allie Hahn Coolidge
    Allie Hahn
    @AllieHahn

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    I’ve been working on words I think we can do without especially if they promote or support thoughts or behaviors that we should work toward avoiding. I guess it resembles trying to reduce our sinful actions. Hate is the word that has my attention of late.

    That’s a cool way to look at it, too!

    • #19
  20. Allie Hahn Coolidge
    Allie Hahn
    @AllieHahn

    Manny (View Comment):

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Do people really lack attention span, or interest to contemplate more than one word in a year?

    Seems like a pretty weak plan to me.

    I think it brings a certain focus. I bet the Allie considers more than just that one word during the course of the year, but having that one word to return to makes a theme stand out.

    Yes, I certainly hope to grow in more than one area in 2020 – if you could see my list of goals for the year you’d probably think I’m trying to do too much. 😅 However, I like to have a particular area to focus on and hopefully see significant growth. 

    • #20
  21. Allie Hahn Coolidge
    Allie Hahn
    @AllieHahn

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):

    I love your suggestion of generosity. I think the year 2020 will be very challenging as we all know. There may be a tendency to close up, withdraw, even hold bitterness. You can’t be bitter or even indifferent, and be generous. It’s perfect. Thank you for a great suggestion, and also to really study the Bible.

    That’s a great point, too! And I’m glad I was able to be an encouragement to you. :)

    • #21
  22. Allie Hahn Coolidge
    Allie Hahn
    @AllieHahn

    Manny (View Comment):

    In the Catholic Church the Pope sometimes has a dedicated theme for the year. I remember a few years back he called for a year of mercy. I don’t know if we do this every year. I would think it’s a good idea. If we have one for this year, I’m not aware of it. I like what you’re doing. Bible study is something we should all do more. I tend to read my way sequentially though the Bible. No I don’t read the entire Bible in one year. I try to progress a few books at a time in the Old and New Testaments.

    One of my goals for this year is to try to finish reading all the books of the Bible I haven’t read yet. I have some I know I haven’t read all the way through, and some I’m not sure about, so I’m reading them again just to be safe. 

    • #22

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