A Word for 2012

This post at Red and Honey was the kick in the pants I needed to finally put this post into words before the new year actually starts, sharing the idea I have been mulling over for the last month of choosing a word for the year rather than making a resolution.

The thing with taking a word is that it covers so much more of my life than making a resolution. Resolving to pay down debt doesn’t affect whether I sleep or read during my commute, and resolving to eat well won’t change how I treat Matt when he comes home late after a long day.

And so, my word for the year is kindness. Not to be confused with niceness! Heaven knows people generally think I am so nice already. But very often I think niceness is a social smokescreen to avoid doing the harder work of kindness, and for all the people I am nice to it would be better for my soul if I could manage to be kind instead.

So what does kindness mean to me? Ultimately I think it boils down to remembering that others are image-bearers of God – that I am an image-bearer of God! – and that how I treat others must reflect that. Focusing this year on kindness means I will not let sarcasm slip into cynicism, that when I catch myself looking down on or thinking badly of others I won’t simply let that be.

Most of all, I think reflecting on kindness and recognizing my failures to be kind will keep me running back to God. Without his help, kindness is impossible for me, and I know that only by soaking up God’s kindness that I can never earn or deserve will I have any hope for change. I could resolve to be kind, sure, but where would I start? My willpower sucks. My regard for others is generally not that good. I don’t always even want to change!

So my only hope is like I said, to soak up God’s kindness and goodness until I am so full that those things are what seep out of my life. Not judgments or put-downs or sarcasm but love. Or at least love’s little brother, kindness.

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Comments

Susan 01-01-2012, 19:59

Great thoughts again! I'm so glad you're writing. I was talking to Lori G. about your idea of a "word" rather than a resolution, and have a thought for my year too. I just need to try it on for a little while before I write about it too.

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loveeverysecond 04-01-2012, 20:39

Beautifully written. Good word!

Here's to a year full of a little more kindness! 🙂

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2012 in Review | Moving With GodMoving With God 31-12-2012, 12:53

[…] 2012, but it’s tricky because… what to focus on? Although I very sweetly thought that Kindness would be my word for the year, I never implemented any kind of follow-up to check in throughout the […]

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