One Word for 2019

Twelve months ago, when I prayed about One Word for 2018, God gave me “Trust.” I learned so much last year about trusting God, family, and friends.

Last week, I started thinking about a new word for 2019. I wondered what God had in store for the new year.

While I was contemplating the idea, one of my twin daughters asked me a question. “Mom, when did you start to feel grown-up?”

Has your child ever asked you such a whopper of a question? Truth be told, I still don’t feel grown-up. Well, what am I waiting for? Maybe it’s time for me to grow up in 2019.

Searching the Scriptures

I began thinking more seriously and praying about this idea on Sunday afternoon. What does the Bible have to say about growing up?

On the Bible app, I searched for the phrase “grow up.” It directed me to 1 Peter 2:1-3:

“So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation—if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.”

If I needed any confirmation that the Bible is the place to look for advice about growing up, this was it.

A passage from Ephesians came up next:

“…we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.” Ephesians 4:14-16

Paul was not just talking about individual growth but growth in the body of believers. My eyes gravitated to the words “builds itself up.” Hmm… what else does the Bible say about building up?

A quick search for “build up” led me to a passage in Colossians which carried a similar idea:

”Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.” Colossians 2:6-7

Many Applications of UP

I began contemplating the simple word “UP” and the many ways it is applicable to my life right now. I need to wake up to the life God has in store for me.

I need to build up my own faith and that of those around me.

”Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11

I should lift up my eyes to God for help, both for myself and for others.

”I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.”

Psalm 121:1-2

I need to look up to God, asking Him to direct my steps.

”Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.”

Proverbs 3:5-6

I need to clean up my life and my home. Raise your hand if your house should be cleaner than it is! Not only does my home need attention; my body does as well. God has blessed me with so much to care for.

”…Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

As my daughter’s question reminded me, I need to grow up. It’s time to plan the grown-up tasks and follow through on them. It will be a challenge to stop making excuses. And I suppose I should stop spending hours doing what I want to do rather than what I should be doing.

Does this mean I need to give up all my childish whining and complaining in favor of an attitude of gratitude?

”When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.” 1 Corinthians 13:11

God gave me a little word for 2019, but it’s going to be a big year. I can’t wait to see what God will accomplish in my life as I focus on Him.

Can you think of other ways to apply the word UP in your life this year? Please share them in the comments.