Some of the words that continually came to mind were:
Patience (okay, so I didn't seriously consider making that my word)
Finally in the past few days, I decided to go with “diligence”. It doesn’t make you think ouch! like self-control, or a “p” word (we have a joke at our women’s Bible study about the dreaded P words!), but it’s still a challenging goal and it encompasses the other harder words.
Webster’s definition is “1: persevering application; 2: the attention and care legally expected or required of a person”. Other definitions include conscientiousness or determination or perseverance when doing something, a zealous and careful nature in one's actions and work, decisive work ethic, budgeting one's time, and willingness/ability to work steadily and carefully.
Then I started looking up diligence and diligent in the Bible. My eyes popped out to see that exact word used here:
"Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: ….he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness." (Romans 12:6-8)
Even though I’ve lead Casa de Amor since I was 20, I do not want my first passion to die down. Actually during our administrative meeting last week, after we all reflected on the challenges and triumphs of 2009, we decided that the first five years could have been foundation building and that we’re just now poised to really carry out our vision and mission. We need continued diligence to move forward.
There are many other wonderful verses that use the word diligence. Here are a few:
“Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.” Romans 12:10-12
“For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister. And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” Hebrews 6:10-12
"But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love." 2 Peter 1: 5-7
"Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble." 2 Peter 1:10
So this year...
I want to be more diligent in reading the Bible. Since I can’t remember the last time I read through the whole Bible within one year, I’ve started through a set schedule to ensure that happens.
I’m being more diligent in eating less, healthily, and well.
Practicing “early to bed, early to rise” takes diligence.
Read each staff report with diligence and attention even when it's #15 in a stack of 20
Work through our 2010 goals and objectives for Casa de Amor with diligence.
I'm sure I'll think of many more, but these are what come to mind right now.
I've always remembered a sermon preached by Dudley Hall probably 7 or 8 years ago titled "Pay Attention". This is the year to wake up and pay attention! :)
What word is the Lord giving YOU this year?