I’m pumped to once again be linking up with Jenn for Mercy Mondays. If you need a little Monday morning inspiration, hop on over to her site and check out all the other submissions in this series.
I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions (no really. I don’t even secretly form them in my head and not tell anyone), but I’m really intrigued by the One Word 365 notion. This movement suggests you land on one word – a feeling, an inspiration, a goal, whatever – and commit to keeping it in your cross-hairs for an entire year.
The first word that popped in to my head was “grace” because I’m not excellent or even just okay about giving the people around me grace. Alas, I abandoned this word pretty quickly because it felt like the top floor in a building with no first floor. How the heck is deciding that “grace” is my word going to make me more graceful? I needed to take the elevator down and identify a better starting point.
That brought me to a second word: “control“. I realized that most of the time I fail to forgive people, to give them grace, because to do so feels like giving up control. If you cut me off in traffic and I shake my head (really. it’s my head I’m shaking. not my middle finger) and say “what an idiot!” I’m in control. Because I’m the good driver and you’re the one to be pitied or the target of my road rage. If, instead, I have to admit that maybe you made an honest mistake cutting me off, may be I was driving too fast or not noticing your turn signal, I no longer have the upper hand. I need to stop clinging to control, but that word was smoke from a doused flame – I can see it, I know it matters, but it has no energy behind it.
After control came “mercy” and then “kindness” and then “gentleness” and slew of other words central to my belief in God, but somehow not inspiring to me at this juncture. How could that be? If I really, REALLY believe that God sent Jesus to save me from all the dirt and that gift is so great that it should inspire me to point back to God with everything I do, how could it be that I can’t get excited about showing people more grace, mercy, kindness, gentleness while giving up control?
How could it be if I really BELIEVE…? Boom.
There’s my word. What a great mercy it is that I don’t have to toil away at changing my dirt-filled heart with empty resolutions and self-help books. I just have to believe – really, truly believe – and the spirit will work on me.
Galatians 5:22-24: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.