For the past couple of years, at the beginning of the year, I’ve developed a theme phrase that has guided my life throughout the rest of the year. Two years ago my phrase was, “Consume less; contribute more”. That totally revolutionized the way I lived my life. Last year my phrase was, “Take action”. After doing some reading (“My One Word”” by Mike Ashcraft and “One Word That Will Change Your Life” by Jon Gordon) and listening to a sermon from Craig Groeschel, I decided to slim things down a bit this year and have a theme word instead of a theme phrase. In fact I took it a step further and came up with a theme word for my life, as well as one for the upcoming year.
The one word for my life I settled on was “Closer”. It came to me after spending time with God one morning. The one thing I want to constantly be achieving in my life is a closer relationship with God. I want to walk more closely by His side and follow more closely in His footsteps. More than anything in the world, I want to be closer to my Creator, my Savior, and my Lord. If I never do anything else in this life, if I can only draw closer to Him who loves me best, I will have achieved everything.
I know if I consistently draw closer to Him, my life will reflect all that He is. I will love and serve people better. I will be more humble. When you are close to someone every day of your life, their habits become your habits. You take on their mannerisms and figures of speech. It’s why your parents always warned you about being careful of the company you keep. You will become like those to whom you are closest. So why not choose to be closer to God?
In a subsequent message, Pastor Groeschel encouraged people to develop a mantra of sorts to repeat throughout the day that would help remind them of their “one word”. Mine is simply, “I am drawing closer to God every day”. Whenever a decision or temptation presents itself, simply reciting this a few times brings clarity to make decisions, and strength to turn away from temptation. It’s hard to rebel against God when you are speaking your desire to be more like Him! Finally, I developed a clarifying sentence that I review multiple times during the day: “I will glorify God with every thought, every word, and every action.” Making this my first and last thought of the day, as well as reading it before meals, helps reinforce my purpose and intention.
Having a “life word” can be very helpful when things begin spinning out of control or you find yourself in the depths of despair. It brings focus, clarity, and purpose to all that you do. I encourage you to try this practice in your own life and let me know how it works out. Choose a word that you will never regret. There are no rules, you can always change your word in the future, but I encourage you to prayerfully consider what word should define your life, regardless of the circumstances in which you might someday find yourself. The goal of this practice is to keep you focused on Jesus and His Lordship. Satan wants to discourage us in carrying out our mission. Ask God to give you the tools and the strength to help you resist Satan and live fully alive in Christ.