Note: This post was previously published in 2014 and is republished as I take some time off to be with family during the holidays!
In a post I wrote a while back about a Word of the Year, I explained how I refocus and move forward in the new year.
In this post, I’m going to share how coming up with that one word helped me to focus on a brand new life verse!
Time and again in the Bible, prophets talk about foundations. Even today, the foundation of a building is essential to its function. If it cannot stand, it cannot serve as a protection against the elements, a home, a center for business and trade, or whatever reason it has for its existence. I’ve watched my husband build more than a few foundations over the years. The amount of planning and work that goes into them is pretty amazing, even though once the foundation is complete it doesn’t really look like much was accomplished (a rather interesting irony…). But I digress…
I found lots of verses referring to foundations, but I have to admit that 2 jumped out at me:
He set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved. Psalm 104:5
Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life…guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, 1 Timothy 6: 18-20
So what does that mean for my New Year?
Well, in the coming year, I will:
- strengthen my personal foundations, that I might not be moved. This includes developing and strengthening relationships with people that both hold me accountable and help me keep my eyes on the race.
- focus on generosity: of time, talents and treasure. Not to the point that this becomes a “works” mentality, but, as Timothy exhorts, to “lay up treasure as a firm foundation”;
- guard what has been entrusted to my care. I have to admit to a tendency to over-commit, combined with a difficulty saying “no.” This can be dangerous when you add raising and educating 3 children at home, and other family responsibilities!
- turn away from godless chatter…opposing ideas…false knowledge. This doesn’t mean hang with people who all feel and think the same way! It means (to me, at least!) to learn to speak and think and act in ways that please God.
I do notice, as you might, too, that some of these seem to contradict each other. For example, combining a “focus on generosity” with “guarding what has been entrusted to my care” could very well conflict, no?! Well, there’s my challenge for the year! Stability and balance are also by-products of a solid foundation. And I’m pretty convinced that creating and maintaining this balance can only be done by spending increasing time with Him and having friends who will support me in these goals.
So there you have it! “Foundations” aren’t hip, or trendy, or sexy…not exactly advertising copy, I’ll admit.
But foundations are a filter that I can use to become more in tune with God’s plan for my life, and a way to serve Him more closely in the coming year.
What are you trying to work on personally this year? Did you come up with a word – or words – to work towards or focus on this year?