Can one word change your life? Your outlook? Your goals? It may seem too simplistic. A word is just a word, right? At first thought, I wondered how one little word could change much of anything,but then, memories of words uttered in my past come back to me to remind me of how powerful words can be.
Scripture has much to say about the power of our words. We can choose to speak life or death into the lives of those around us, and the same holds true for the way we speak to ourselves.
The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.
Proverbs 18:21 NIV
In the book, “One Word That Will Change Your Life” by Jon Gordon, he shares that every year 87 percent of adults – more than 206 million people – create goals and resolutions for the New Year. Unfortunately, we also learn in this book that 50 percent of those resolution makers will fail by the end of January.
I have been one of those 50 percent. How about you?
When I started the year off with a perceived failure, I spoke words of death over myself and created negative thoughts and attitudes that Satan could then use to discourage and devour me. Negative thinking breeds self-contempt.
So how do we break that cycle?
For the last two years I have given up on resolutions and chosen instead to pick one positive word as a focus for the upcoming 365 days. This practice has proven to be life giving and life changing for me. No more broken promises, unmet goals or negative self-talk. Just a singular focus on viewing a year in my life through the lens of one simple word.
I will share just a little bit of my journey with a word each of the past 2 years:
In 2018 I chose the word Simplifybecause my life at the end of 2017 felt busy, chaotic and stressful. I felt that I needed to slow down and simplify my life in order to have more peace. God led me right into January and into an unexpected job offer to start my year in a much more peaceful environment where I could thrive away from the rat race of corporate America.
In 2019 I chose the word Openbecause I had lived way too many years hiding the real me. This year I have learned to share my story, my heart and my mind without being fearful of the opinions of others.
I have been prayerfully making my list of possible words for 2020, and I am drawn to one word that I pray defines life in 2020 for me. That word is Create. I have lived with a false belief since childhood. I believed that I was not creative, but I plan to put that false belief behind me as I focus the lens of my life in the coming year on creating a space for myself to dream and to strengthen my right brain that has been left dormant for too long.
Do you see the beauty in the progression? I slowed down and worked to simplifysome things in my life, then shifted focus to being opento new opportunities to learn, grow and change. Going forward I can build upon things learned as I begin to work toward using the gifts that God has given me to create.
Have youmade a new year’s resolution in the past that failed? Do you have any false beliefs about yourself that you want to overcome? Consider embarking on a new journey with a singular focus on one word this year and watch how YOUR words progress. Words are powerful! They can devour us if we let them, or they can change us for the better.
God’s Word tells us that kind words are like honey. They are sweet to the soul and healthy for the body. So, choose to speak kind words to yourself in the coming year.
Kind words are like honey – sweet to the soul and healthy for the body. – Proverbs 16:24 NLT
What one word could change your life in 2020?