How to Choose a "Word of the Year"
Written by: Krissie Stempuzis Wendel
hu·mil·i·ty | \ hyü-ˈmi-lə-tē , yü- \
Definition of humility
: freedom from pride or arrogance : the quality or state of being humble
For the past 12 years or so, when October rolls around, I usually begin a personal inventory of that year. During that process, I examine different areas of my life, such as spiritual, relational, personal (physically, emotionally, mentally), and professional. I take time to remember what I grieved and what I celebrated. Taking inventory helps me to see what I need to reduce and what I need to increase. Going through this process helps me to move into the new year in the most healthy way possible. And with that comes choosing my “word of the year”. This is just a small way I can focus on being intentional in a specific area of my life in the upcoming year.
2020 had a way of shining light into some personal, deeply-rooted, and unhealthy tendencies of mine. Recognizing and acknowledging those behaviors allowed me to begin dismantling my own layers of racism, prejudice, entitlement, and hatred that had unknowingly been growing in my heart and that were keeping me from fully loving people right where they're at the way Jesus did and still does.
Humility. That's the word I’ve chosen for 2021. As I weeded through the unkind, unloving, un-Jesus-like behaviors in my own heart, I began realizing that intentionally practicing humility in my daily thoughts, words, and actions would be a good way for me to keep weeding through any unhealthy tendencies that may try to sprout back up, while also pointing me back to Jesus and loving others the way He does.
If you’re someone that wants to choose a word or phrase for the year, ask Jesus for help. Then take some time to do inventory on what you’ve experienced and how you’ve lived this past year. As for putting your word of choice into action, a few of the ways I weave it into my daily life is by continually asking Jesus for help, sharing that word with a friend, putting my word somewhere I can see it daily, reading what the Bible says about my word of choice, and doing regular self-checks throughout the year.
Choosing your word, phrase, quote, or verse of the year doesn’t need to wait until a new year approaches or begins. You can choose it whenever you want and begin implementing it whenever you want.
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