Last year I decided to start my year off by not making a bunch of resolutions, but by choosing a word I could focus on. I chose the word “Simple”. I’m really good at making things complicated and that usually leads me to frustration. By choosing to live by the mantra…simple…I truly felt calmer this past year. I kept my fitness routine simple by walking or jogging with the dog and playing tennis. I tried to keep my food choices simple by trying to choose God created food instead of processed food. My quiet time consisted of one devotional and my bible, instead of five books. It was easier for me to say “no” to something, because each day was qualified. My calendar was clean and….simple.
We are now in 2015 and while keeping my life simple has been working for me and I think I can continue in this way, another word keeps coming to my mind…listen. Trust me, I’ve tried to think of a different word to focus on, like Joy or Encourage or even Healthy, but this one keeps flashing its little letters in my brain. Listen. What in tar nation does that mean?
I’m thinking God is trying to refine me. I’m a big old blabber mouth. Superman often asks if I have a filter on my mouth. Our relationship becomes strained when I assume what he’s going to say next. I finish his sentences, usually with the exact opposite of what he is thinking. (Let me just say, that in 27 years this hasn’t worked out too well for me.)
In conversations, I think I’m listening, but I’m finding myself thinking about what I’m going to say. Then, because I lack self-control, I just talk right over whatever the person is saying! How rude is that?
I listen to the wrong voices in my head that tell me how no good, fat, ugly, and unworthy I am. When I should be listening to the only voice that counts: God’s. He loves me messy and pudgy. He loves me when I makes mistakes and when I fail. He loves me because I am not perfect and doesn’t expect me to be.
Although I love a noisy filled house, I realize that I need to hear quiet too. Quiet is good for the soul.
The world is filled with lots of crazy, sinful, awful and dirty songs, movies, books, articles and tv shows. What am I listening to?
Lastly, what do people hear from me? Do I gossip? Do I complain, put down and shame?
So, how am I going to practically focus on the word listen?
Know this, my beloved brothers, let every person be quick to hear and slow to speak. James 1:19
I am going to shut my mouth and just listen.
This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; Listen to him. Matthew 17:5
I am going to listen to the Holy Spirit that fills me. I am going to listen to what is true, not what satan wants me to believe. I will fight the losing words by memorizing scripture, reading more books by authors who are more knowledgable, and listening to what is true.
I am going to listen to new and beautiful music of all kinds. I want to read books that will excite and stir my soul. I will watch more things on tv, in movies or through the Internet that will open my eyes to the good in the world around me.
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion that it may give grace to those who hear. Ephesians 4:28
Truly listening to a friend’s thoughts and concerns could be the exact thing she needs. Just listening. My words can be hurtful or be encouraging. I want the words that a friend hears from me to build up, bring joy and hopefully be the light of Jesus.
But the Lord stood by me and strengthend me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. 2Timothy 4:17
This is probably the most important part of the word listen for me. I am called to bodly proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ so all may hear. I do believe. And If I know something so great, so wonderful and so life-giving, I should want to let everyone I come in contact to listen to me tell about it! But I get scared. So I guess my prayer for this year, is that I will share what I know about the love, forgiveness and grace of Jesus Christ to anyone who is listening.
My word for 2015 is Listen.
What is your word of the year?
Thanks for dropping by!