Why A Word Matters

A new year. A new word.

Each year I think, pray and contemplate what God wants my focus to be in the upcoming year. As many do, I like to summarize this into one word. This word helps me as I make decisions and use my time. It helps give me focus on an area God wants me to grow in.

Last year, the word God gave me was “risk“. It seemed like an odd word, yet it was what inspired and propelled me – mainly to have hard conversations. I tend to be safe when it comes to talking to people. I want to avoid conflict, awkwardness and rejection.

I felt God calling me to have hard conversations particularly with my family that included 4 teen/tween boys and a daughter about to be married. I knew there were topics we needed to discuss. I wanted them to feel it was ok to discuss things with me. I knew that started with me having the courage to bring it up and for them to know they could talk to me about hard issues.

Did I always have the conversation the Holy Spirit prompted me to have? No. Did I take risks more often, specifically around hard conversations and discussions? Yes!

While I still want to be a risk taker in my conversations, turning the calendar to a new year means I want to focus in on another particular area of my life. I wasn’t sure what this would be until I recently read the book, Awe by Paul David Tripp.

Here are some quotes from this book. I think you’ll be able to guess what my word is.

“Writing this book reminded me that my weight gain was a spiritual issue, a matter of my heart before God. Sadly, I had to confess the sin of gluttony, put food in its proper place, and cry out for the grace to worship the Giver, not his gifts.”

“Awe of God is very quickly replaced by awe of self. This is the great war of wars.”

“Created awe has a purpose; it is meant to point you to the place where the awe of you heart should rest.”

“Awewrongness (AWN) is failing to give praise where praise is actually due and giving praise to something that could not have produced the thing that has caused you to give praise.”

“AWN causes you to feel unable, alone unprepared, and afraid, while awe of God produces courage, hope and forthright action.”

“It’s only when my heart is captured by the awe of God that I will view my identity rightly.”

“Awe of God will make you feel unworthy for the task. It will confront you with a healthy inability. Not only does that sense produce trust in God’s wisdom, power, and grace, it also makes you humble, approachable, patient, kind, passionate, and willing.”

“Here’s the good news: God’s forgiving rescuing grace is infinitely more powerful than the AWN that kidnaps the heart of every sinner. And that really is the best of news!”

Tripp, Paul David. Awe. Crossway, 2015. 

Yes, my word for this year is Awe. I am asking the Lord to show me how to have more awe of Him.

I love how God works. He had been preparing me for this word, even before I had begun think about what my word would be. I had gotten a book for me and a few friends that was actually a study guide to help memorize chapters of Psalms. I had decided I wanted praise for God to be on my heart and in my mind and Psalms was a great place to be for that to happen.

I was also inspired by another article to start writing three things I’m thankful for from the day before and post them on my Instagram story each day as a way to hold me accountable and hopefully inspire others to choose gratitude.

This was all taking place and then I began to read the book, Awe. Praise and thanksgiving are excellent ways to keep my awe focused on Him. I knew that needed to be my word.

Do you choose a word to focus your heart and mind on for the year? Would you like help to determine your word? Go here for a quiz to determine your word for the year.

I’d love to hear the word God has given you this year – share in the comments below!

2 thoughts on “Why A Word Matters”

  1. Susie, thank you! I love this idea of a word for the year! My word is listen. I am excited to hear what God is going to do in my heart thru His word, LISTEN in 2024!

Leave a Reply