In late 2014, I decided that I would carry with me one word or theme through all of 2015. I chose gentleness. I thought about gentleness. I prayed about gentleness. I taught about gentleness. I read about gentleness. I routinely asked myself, "what does gentleness look like in this particular situation?" and then tried to act accordingly. I didn't always succeed, but I believe it was a worthwhile endeavor. Heather and I were talking about this yesterday and she asked me, "so do you think you are more gentle?" and I said, "yes, I think I am." Thankfully, she agreed.
My goal is to choose a word of the year and to soak in that word for 12 months. Much to our frustration, change comes slowly to us all. The biblical metaphors for sanctification support the gradual change process. Meditating for an extended period allows us to rest in the redeeming and transforming work of the Holy Spirit. We may not perceive day to day change, but over time, we grow.
I am praying about my word for 2016, but I haven't pinned it down quite yet. What about you? What would be your word? Will you spend 2016 focusing on gentleness? If not gentleness, here are a few other suggestions: kindness, peace, joy, patience, self-control, humility, surrender, truth, or wisdom to name a few.
If you are interested, pray that the Spirit would reveal to you an area where He wants to take you deeper.
Just prior to posting this, I found this website, My One Word, which looks to be promoting the same idea.