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09 Jan

Choosing My Guiding Word for 2017—Bless

bless rainbow

I’VE COME ACROSS the idea of a guiding word several times in reading my favorite blogs recently. Seems like everyone is looking to simplify their New Year’s Resolutions and find a word that will guide them through the muddle of life in 2017.

My word came to me when I wasn’t even thinking about it. I just suddenly knew the word. But if you are looking for a guiding word and nothing is standing out, take a look at “How to Choose One Word To Define & Guide Your Year Ahead” on one of my favorite blogs, “A Pair and A Spare.”

Bless is my word. It can overarch my goals for the year quite nicely when used to receive blessings as well as to give blessings.

But what does bless actually entail? First, let’s define it.

Bless
verb (used with object), blessed or blest, blessing.
1. to consecrate or sanctify by a religious rite; make or pronounce holy.

2. to request of God the bestowal of divine favor on:

Bless this house.

3. to bestow good of any kind upon:

a nation blessed with peace.

4. to extol as holy; glorify:

Bless the name of the Lord.

5. to protect or guard from evil (usually used as an interjection):

Bless you! Bless your innocent little heart!

6. to condemn or curse:

I’ll be blessed if I can see your reasoning. Bless me if it isn’t my old friend!

7. to make the sign of the cross over or upon:

The Pope blessed the multitude.
My use of the word is contained in the third definition, meaning to bestow good of any kind upon. This year, I’m desiring to bless the people God has so graciously put in my life, and to extend myself for the good of others, even those I don’t know. So, giving of my time and my treasure to the people who are in need, and to provide good things for those I love.
Jesus, when speaking of what is commonly called the Beatitudes, said the following.

Matthew 5:3-12King James Version (KJV)

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

My goals for this year mean that I want to become like those Jesus was speaking about: poor in spirit, comforted in mourning, meek, merciful, pure in heart, a peacemaker, and even persecuted for His sake.

If I were to choose a guiding word that I think is prophetic for America for the coming year, I would probably say chaotic. I’m not a doomsayer, and I’m not predicting doom. But I do think that our political climate has become toxic, and that it will sift down through every facet of our lives.

How can it not?

So for Christians, I think we have been called to be light and salt in uncertain times, showing the way by our actions and love, and preserving our land through our prayers.

Will you join me in blessing America this year?