It seems like everyone I interacted with back in December was talking about their “word for 2016”. I had never really heard of having a word for the year and didn’t really understand why everyone seemed to be talking about it.
Basically your word for the year is a single word (or in some cases a phrase) that will help you stay focused on your most important things for the year and what you would like to accomplish. Crystal Paine (of Money Saving Mom) chose the word Rest for this year. She has entered a season of rest and wants to make sure she remembers to rest instead of rush and overburden herself. I have another friend who chose the word Focus as her word and uses the acronym Follow One Course Until Successful to define what that means to her. I love that acronym! I know someone else whose word for 2016 is Prioritize.
At first I wasn’t interested in adding another thing to my plate to come up with. What good will a silly random word do for me? But then I started feeling a little jealous. Everyone kept talking about their word and I wanted one too.
I pushed past my jealousy and moved on with the New Year, forgetting all about trying to come up with a silly word for the year. Until a few weeks ago, the word Diligence suddenly settled into my soul. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. When I was struggling to focus at work, diligence. When I didn’t feel like getting up off the couch to clean the dishes, diligence. When I wanted to sleep in instead of get up and read my Bible, diligence. Over and over, God kept pressing on me to be diligent in every area of my life. I had found my word.
The dictionary defines diligence as constant and earnest effort to accomplish what is undertaken; persistent exertion of body or mind.
The verse that kept coming to my mind was Colossians 3:23, “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.” (NLT) In my mind I kept exchanging diligently for willingly. God calls us to complete all of our work as though we are working for him. I don’t work for my employer, I work for Him. I don’t clean my dishes for myself and my family, I do it for Him. I don’t spend time in the Word because my pastor told me to, I do it for my relationship with God.
To be diligent in our work means that we work hard, we remain focused, steadfast, and alert. We pay attention and we persist in our efforts until the job is done. That is exactly the message that I need to be focused on this year. I have a lot of life going on and often feel like my head is spinning trying to keep up. I make a daily schedule, but get distracted before I even get started. I begin all kinds of projects but never actually complete anything. I change my personal goals nearly every week. Diligence is a good word for this year if I ever want to accomplish anything.
I hope to share more throughout the year as I use my fancy new word to keep me focused and on track this coming year.