In Others’ Words: Time to Start Thinking About One Word for 2016

1 Samuel 1814 NASB 2015

One Word.

Yes, it’s that time of year again when I prompt you to think about selecting one word to focus on during 2016.

This is my eleventh year to focus on one word — and right up until last week, I was thinking, “I’ve got no idea what my word for 2016 is going to be!”

Not. A. Clue.

And then as I read through a chapter in the Bible, one word jumped off the page. But … before I tell you what my word for 2016 is, here’s my annual recap of my One Word in years past:

2006: gratitude – I kept a gratitude journal and found my “glass-half-empty” attitude revolutionized.
2007: simplify – A severe illness turned this word into survival. I embraced simpler things in ways I never imagined.
2008: content – as in “be content with such things as you have” (Hebrews 13:5) I bought a lot less that year!
2009 & 2010: forgiveness – I had a lot to learn and unlearn about forgiveness.
2011: hope – A word I clung to when life hurt or when my heart ached for others who were hurting. There were times I could have asked “Why?” Instead, I asked myself, “Are you going to abandon hope?” My answer: No.
2012: trust – During a year of change, I faced doubting versus trusting — and chose to trust. I also began posting trust quotes on my Facebook page to encourage myself and others.
2013: confidence – I feel so much stronger emotionally after keeping my heart and mind set on “not throwing away my confidence.” (Hebrews 10:35-36) And yes, I continued the tradition of posting confidence quotes on my FB page.
2014: think – I tried to anchor my thinking to truth more and more, rather than letting my thoughts go wandering.
2015: collaborate – to work jointly on an activity, especially to produce or create something. Synonyms: co-operate, join forces, team up, band together, work together, participate, combine, ally.

My word for 2016 is: prosper.

I Samuel 18:14 says: David was prospering in all his ways for the LORD was with him.

But here’s what I found interesting: the word “prosper” means acting wisely. So read that as “And David was acting wisely in all his ways for the LORD was with him.”

Changes things, doesn’t it? I like to think of “prosper” as material wealth, or even accolades. It’s not often — if ever — that I think of prospering as acting wisely. The upcoming year is going to be interesting as God teaches me the new meaning of the word prosper.

In Your Words: If you chose a word for 2015, how has that one word changed you? What’s your one word for 2016 — or are you still thinking about it? 

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  1. Renee
    October 1, 2015, 12:07 pm   /  Reply

    Yes, it is that time again. And this has plenty of pith to sink your teeth into. I’ve actually been praying this very thing for a number of months based on Isa. 55:2. A prosperous soul = fatness of soul,- lavish,extravagant joy!!!! And God is answering!!!

    • October 1, 2015, 3:03 pm   /  Reply

      Renee: Oh, how I love how you deepened the understanding of prosperous for us today!

  2. October 1, 2015, 4:39 pm   /  Reply

    My word for 2015 is clarity. I wasn’t sure where it would take me as I stepped out. The Lord has chosen to open my eyes to numerous things around me that I needed His ‘glasses’ to see. My new awareness is allowing me to set goals and move toward them. Praise God.

  3. October 1, 2015, 6:21 pm   /  Reply

    I hope it’s a good and fitting choice for you, Beth, truly.

    I’m going to pass on the ‘one word’ thing; anything I can think of seems like either a sort of hopeless defiance, resignation, or an appeal to the Almighty to deliver me from what has become a physically very trying situation.

    All are true; none are complete enough to avoid having the word become either a mental prison, or something I choose simply as a public face, while really ignoring it in daily life.

    Life will go on, and I would just like to be here for it.

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