Last year some ladies on a message board I look at chose something called a “word for the year.” What they did was pray about the direction God was leading them into…thought about an area of their life that especially needed focus, and chose a word based on those things. This would could be something that you want to work on, something that the Lord is nudging you to do, something you want to dedicate yourself to doing.
The ladies chose some interesting words. Some of the words I have seen chosen are restoration, patience, kindness, devotion, perseverance, reconciliation, fellowship. You get the point.
Last year I did not participate in this idea, but this year I’m feeling impressed to do so. I think for me, it will be neat to have “starting point” in my walk with God for the new year. This will give me something to pray about…something to study in my Bible…something to think and meditate on. I’ve been thinking about and praying about what the Lord wants to work in my heart. I hope to post regularly about what God is teaching me about this word for 2009.
So…my word for 2009. Drum roll, please.
Now, even recently I have had people tell me they think I am compassionate. And, towards certain things/people I am. I have a heart for the poor and needy, I have a heart for missions, I have a heart for children in bad situations.
However, the Lord has revealed to me in the past few weeks that there is an area in my heart that is not full of compassion. This is hard for me to admit, because it isn’t pretty. But, I have a hard time having compassion on those that have hurt me in the past. Ugg…I don’t even like to admit that. But, it is true. The Lord has revealed to me several situations in my life where I have had a lack of compassion. It has been hard for me to see this in myself…but I know it is there.
Along with compassion, another word that goes along with this situation in my life is grace. I have a hard time extending grace in difficult relationships or situations. The Lord has reminded me how time and time again, He offers those in scripture (and me) this unconditional grace and love. He loved the baddest of the bad. He had mercy on the prodigal son.
He had mercy on me. And that is where my heart kind of skips a beat. How dare I thank God for that grace that He bestows so freely on me, yet withhold it in my heart towards others? At the same time, I want to acknowledge that this is very hard for me. The hurts in my heart run deep. I have a hard time forgetting. Yet, I know my Lord does not.
So, for these reasons I have chosen the word compassion. I want to have compassion in my heart towards all in my life, not just those who make me happy. I want to extend grace when grace is not deserved or earned. I want to have a true and genuine love in my heart that goes beyond what my wants and needs, because it isn’t about me.
Lord, help me. I can’t do this without You. But, I want to be more like You. And this is just one more area in my life that you are revealing to me that is ugly. Make me more like You…more compassionate…more full of grace.