In 2013, I worked through a passage from 2 Peter which describes spiritual growth. For each quality, I took a month or two to explore the meaning of the world and experiment with its application.
At the end of the year, some circumstances in my life had changed. But did I change?
Did I just engage in activities, or did I actually become more trusting, more persevering, and more loving?
As 2013 drew to a close, I frequently prayed against distraction. I felt like each day held a million things to do, and I could never decide on what was most important. I knew God was at work in my life, but it was so hard for me to focus.
I’m excited to share with you a tool that has renewed my focus. Mike Ashcraft, pastor of Port City Community Church, and co-author Rachel Olsen explain the tool in their book My One Word: Change Your Life with Just One Word.
The premise is simple. You pick one word that captures how you think God wants to grow you in the year ahead. You focus on that word daily for the remainder of the year. You place visual reminders of the word around you. You let Scripture refine your understanding of how the word applies to you. You keep this word in mind as you form goals and make choices. And you record your journey. (The authors highly encourage journal keeping.)
Ashcraft introduced this concept to his congregation several years ago as an alternative to New Year’s resolutions. He indicates he thought of the idea himself.
I’m not certain where the one-word idea originated, as other books and online communities also present the concept as their original thinking. But there are some things that set apart Ashcraft and Olsen’s book. It places God squarely at the center of the process. This is not a self-help book. It’s a God-cooperation book. And if you’ve read this blog very long, God-cooperation should sound familiar to you.
Since the concept is so simple, you might wonder why read My One Word. First, it’s encouraging. Ashcraft and Olsen share their own experiences and those of others. God is at work in specific ways. People need to tell those stories, and we need to hear them.
Second, the authors address several issues in detail:
- Choosing your one word
- Remembering the word
- Obeying what God shows you
- Responding when the meaning of the word changes
- Journaling even if you consider yourself a non-writer
I’m practicing what I’ve learned in reading My One Word. My word for this year is invite. I’ve let the to-do list go on a number of occasions so I can accept invitations to spend time with people. I’ve invited God into my daily details. I’ve asked Him to make me His living invitation to the world. I’ve been more conscious about opening up in conversation to allow others to get to know me. I find God has something to say about every aspect of my life through this word.
I liked this book so much, I want to give a copy to one of you readers. If you’re interested, check out the giveaway.
This post is part of the series Setting Godly Goals. Want more? Check out these posts: