Pastors Corner: One Word

The New Year is in full swing, and with it comes personal promises to be healthier, form new habits, start new projects, or improve certain aspects of our lives. 

Pastor David Werner

These promises are referred to as “New Year’s Resolutions”; a new resolve to be better than previous years. While gaining a new resolve and sparking new desire is important for personal growth, we have all experienced the inevitable decrease in motivation to see our goals fulfilled. We make resolutions for the new year and by Valentine’s Day, we’re already eating spoonfuls of cookie dough in shame.

In recent years, resolutions have begun to decrease. This could be attributed to people being more aware and honest with themselves. Someone might talk themselves out of exercising or eating healthier because they know that they’ll cave and give up a few months in, as has been their custom. What if the problem isn’t brute honesty but lack of focus?

The problem with resolutions such as “be fit” or “eat healthily” is that they are too broad, vague, and otherwise unhelpful in moving us in the right direction. General goals lack focus, direction, and a basic “how-to”. The more specific a goal is, the easier it becomes to take the necessary steps to accomplish it. It’s easy to get bogged down in details so much so that we lose sight of our goals. While goals should be specific, they should also be simple and easy to remember.

How might this year be different if instead of resolutions, we each chose one word that encapsulated the change that we want to see in the coming year? Words like “Health,” “Family,” or “Faith.” Thankfully, Jesus gave us many words to live by: “Seek” (Matt 6:33), “Abide” (John 15:4), “Love” (John 13:35), and “Follow” (Matt 4:19).  Each of these imperatives is simple yet packed with meaning and direction. If our decisions throughout the year were filtered through the one word we chose to define the year, how might our lives change?

The words of Jesus have the potential to create lasting change in our hearts, lives, and communities. In this new year may we all immerse ourselves in the words of Jesus and make every decision through the filter of The Word.