We all know words are powerful. The right ones can build someone up, while the wrong ones can tear someone down. Some people use words to purposely hurt others, while all of us at times have used words to express something that another person has taken the wrong way or interpreted in a different way than we meant it.
I've recently learned to take the concept of words even further. (And for a writer that's really something!) I finished reading a book a few days ago by Debbie Macomber - not one of her many novels, but a non-fiction book called "Knit Together". In it Debbie talks about her faith and the lessons she's learned over the years, and encourages us to find our purpose and be who God created us to be.
One of the concepts she introduced was the idea of choosing a single word to focus on each year. She's been doing this for long time and it has enhanced her life and the lives of others every year. This concept intrigued me so I decided to choose a word for 2012. As Debbie says, God assists us in choosing the right word. There are so many words that it would be difficult to pick only one without asking God to lead us to the right word. Sometimes a word will come to us in prayer, or God will have the word show up over and over again in our daily lives to drive home the point.
After plenty of prayer, watching and listening for God's direction, I realized my word for 2012 is ACTION. I was led to the Bible to read John's prodding not to use only words, but to show love through our actions. The word showed up in just about everything I read or heard. And as soon as I decided upon this word, the next tune on the radio was the old Toby Keith song, "A Little Less Talk and a Lot More Action".
In thinking over my word, I also realized something else. I'm a philosopher by nature - which means I spend a lot of time thinking, musing, and writing. This is all good, but there have been times when I overthought things and didn't DO enough. I was afraid to actually follow through, so I kept THINKING about it instead of ACTING on it.
This word is God's way of telling me that although I still must think and pray about decisions, I need to move past the fear and put plans into ACTION. If He tells me to do something, then I should do it. It's amazing how excited I am about this year and focusing on the word God chose for me!
By the way, after reading this book I went to Debbie Macomber's website, where I discovered that she has a new book coming out on Tuesday, "One Perfect Word", in which she focuses entirely on this concept. So God once again uses his perfect timing to teach me an important lesson.
I hope you will join me in choosing a word to live by and focus on for 2012. I'd love to hear what word you choose as well! Happy New Year, and may 2012 be filled with blessings!