Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. 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

    Mine is, “No!” 😉

    • #1
    • January 27, 2020, at 5:47 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  2. Allie Hahn Coolidge
    Allie Hahn

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Mine is, “No!” 😉

    That’s a great one, haha!

    • #2
    • January 27, 2020, at 6:13 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  3. Bob Thompson Member

    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
    • January 27, 2020, at 8:11 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  4. Hank Rhody, Freelance Philosop… Contributor

    Allie Hahn: it changed to “abide”

    I guess that beats changing from “abide”.

    • #4
    • January 27, 2020, at 9:21 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  5. Old Buckeye Member

    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
    • January 28, 2020, at 6:26 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  6. Front Seat Cat Member

    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
    • January 28, 2020, at 3:21 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  7. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron MillerJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    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
    • January 29, 2020, at 8:35 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  8. Manny Member

    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
    • January 29, 2020, at 9:27 AM PST
    • 1 like
  9. Jim Kearney Contributor

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

    My 2020 word of the year: re-elect.

    • #9
    • January 29, 2020, at 10:06 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  10. Skyler Coolidge

    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
    • January 29, 2020, at 11:01 AM PST
    • Like
  11. Arahant Member

    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
    • January 29, 2020, at 11:08 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  12. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron MillerJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    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
    • January 29, 2020, at 11:18 AM PST
    • 1 like
  13. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western ChauvinistJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    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
    • January 29, 2020, at 12:12 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  14. Skyler Coolidge

    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
    • January 29, 2020, at 3:45 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  15. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western ChauvinistJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    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
    • January 29, 2020, at 3:50 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  16. Skyler Coolidge

    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
    • January 29, 2020, at 4:19 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  17. Manny Member

    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
    • January 29, 2020, at 6:48 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  18. Manny Member

    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
    • January 29, 2020, at 6:49 PM PST
    • 1 like
  19. Allie Hahn Coolidge
    Allie Hahn

    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
    • February 8, 2020, at 6:40 AM PST
    • Like
  20. Allie Hahn Coolidge
    Allie Hahn

    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
    • February 8, 2020, at 6:45 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  21. Allie Hahn Coolidge
    Allie Hahn

    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
    • February 8, 2020, at 6:47 AM PST
    • Like
  22. Allie Hahn Coolidge
    Allie Hahn

    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
    • February 8, 2020, at 8:42 AM PST
    • 1 like

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