I didn't really search out a word, but I knew change was what I wanted. I was tired of the extra pounds I had gain, tired of my lack of exercise, and tired of being 51 yet feeling much older on most days.
I set a goal for the new year to try to get a bit healthier. I began on January 1st by instituting a daily exercise routine. Although it was slow and very beginner like I knew I needed to begin somewhere. I agreed with some friends to be held accountable for the next four weeks as to what I was eating, drinking, and how much exercise I was actually doing.
I was sure God was telling me that CHANGE was my word. I didn't like it. I didn't want to know what else would come with such a tough word.
It's been almost a month into this new way of life. I've lost some weight slow but sure and feel a sense of accomplishment as I watch my clothes loosen up a bit and my body feel stronger. Yet, slowly I could hear that still small voice telling me that change was not what the Lord was leading me to. Although changing my lifestyle was huge, it was not meant to be my word for the year.
Today I realize that the Lord has lead me to a word that I know without doubt is meant for me to focus on and meditate on daily. My word for 2012 is humility.
It's funny how God works. He slowing and steadily was showing me that being proud is a sin. It's wrong to be proud in the face of others about what you know, who you know, and the things you have accomplished. I believe the Lord desires for me to reflect Christ in all things and pride is the complete opposite of what Christ is. Not only does the Lord desire for pride to be cast out of my life, but He desires for pride to never be held up as a substitute for His goodness and His grace.
I recently read that many people have the wrong idea about God, the Bible and humility, or being humble. They think being humble means groveling in front of others or thinking we're no good and others are good. That’s not how the Bible demonstrates being humble.
God says when you are humble, you are free from pride and arrogance. You know that in your flesh you are inadequate, yet you also know who you are in Christ. You are able to be a peacemaker without needing to fight for your rights. You are able to walk humbly in the power of God’s Holy Spirit, not your own personal power.
Godly humility is being comfortable with who you are in the Lord and therefore putting others first. The meaning of humility in the Bible is one of loving others.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves (Philippians 2:3).
Being humble allows me to not feel the need to always be right in every argument, nor do I need to always win.
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger (Proverbs 15:1)
Being humble means that I can respond to unfair treatment without being overcome by bitterness. I do not need revenge.
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you (Ephesians 4:31-32).
Being humble means that I do not have to act like a big shot. Because in knowing God I have nothing to prove. I can also deal with my failures without being emotionally hurt.
Being humble allows me to ask for forgiveness no matter how much or how little I might have been wrong.
Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift (Matthew 5:23-24).
Being humble allows me to talk with a gentle spirit and in love even if it means I need to be firm and strong. Again, I do not need to prove anything.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen (Ephesians 4:29).
Being humble allows me to act in a godly manner and therefore I will not regret my words or my actions.
So, with all this being said, I can only pray that each day the Lord reveals these things to me in such ways that I cannot close my eyes to them, but rather have a teachable heart and a heart that is open to change (there is that word again). May I be a teachable child of the King and may humility be seen in the things I say and do. I have a long road to walk and much to learn, but in Christ all things are possible.
Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble (1 Peter 5:5).