At the beginning of this year, I was introduced to a new website/concept named One Word. The idea being that you focus on One Word to improve on throughout the year. Picking an accompanying Bible verse is suggested as well. If you focus on improving that one thing about yourself for the whole year you will see significant change in yourself. It didn't take me long to pick a word because the Sunday after I heard about this there was one word that I heard repeated by several people that morning. The word? HOPE. There are so many out there without hope in their lives and I have hope. So I need to be sharing and giving that hope to others.
The accompanying verse: Hebrews 6:19 "We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain,"
That anchor for the soul is what I need to be sharing with others. So with my word picked, I have been praying and thinking about that word. With June being the halfway mark, I have to say that I have not been thinking about it as much as I should in the last few weeks. However in this first half of the year, I have gone out of my way several times to give hope to people. I have taken the time to listen to what is going on in the lives of those around me. I have prayed for the right words and then used them. My family and I have sponsored a 2nd child and I am getting ready to go Honduras in a few days to spread some more hope to some really great kids down there. As a part of my trip, we have had to raise money. I have made the effort to present the needs of these children in an honest and heartfelt way. I don't really like the guilt trip approach, but sometimes the truth just works that way. I have presented truth and given people an opportunity to spread hope as well.
One difficulty that I have encountered is that even when I give this hope, not everyone receives it. I have tried in various ways to spread hope to those in my circle of influence. Some have received it and moved forward in their relationship with God. Others have listened closely and I knew that a seed was planted or watered. Other have listened, seemed to follow, and then fallen back into old ways. Those are the difficult ones. It is frustrating to see them making the same mistakes over and over again. Hope sounds like a nice fluffy word, but in order to give it you have to look right into the messiness of real life and meet people where they really are. I didn't know hope involved so many other aspects. I have most definitely grown this half year and I feel like I am a different person that I was just a few short months ago. I know that is because of my word, HOPE!
Did you pick one? How is going with you?
UPDATE: I had more to say than I realized. If you would like to hear more of the story, read this.