2016 Scripture Verse of the Year by Theresa Ceniccola

Galatians 5:22-23

Fruits of the SpiritYou’ve probably seen the growing trend of choosing a word as a focus for the year, rather than setting traditional New Year’s resolutions. I’ve been practicing the Word of the Year since 2010 and have witnessed the power and clarity that comes from meditating on a single word throughout the year. In fact, I’m such a word nerd that I make a huge deal out of selecting my word, journaling about what it means to me, creating a vision board and even buying jewelry to keep the word visible all year. But a few years ago, as I was searching for my word, I realized I had left out an important part of the process. I was choosing the word based on my dreams and goals. But I wasn’t asking for divine guidance. I wasn’t waiting for God’s whisper so that I could set my compass in his direction. So I decided that if I’m going to pick A Word then I should start in THE Word. Hence, the scripture Verse of the Year was born. I invite you to join me, and hundreds of Christian mom entrepreneurs around the globe, in choosing a scripture verse to guide you through the coming year. Over the next few days, we’ll share some of our verses with you as inspiration and motivation. May 2016 be filled with God’s promises for you, your family and your business or ministry!

My Verse of the Year Galatians 5:22-23

“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!” (NLT)

Paul reminds me in Galatians that the Holy Spirit is at work within me. He challenges me to seek out the character traits of Christ – not through hard work or ambition, but rather through a continual commitment to knowing, loving and living like Christ.

Choosing Galatians 5:22-23 as my Verse of the Year was an exercise in examining my priorities. When I consider the fruits of the Spirit, I am convicted to focus on what matters most – not success or accomplishments. What matters most are matters of the heart. The Fruits of the Spirit are an invitation for me to cultivate the character of Christ in my heart. And it’s a calling to plant these seeds in the hearts of others.

What I also love about this verse is the context in which it was written. The intention of Galatians was a plea to put an end to religious conflict and proclaim that God’s word is for all people. In today’s world that is divided by religion and politics, Galatians reminds us that we are not saved by our deeds but by our faith. We are so quick to judge others by their actions, labels and behaviors – yet, only God can judge our hearts.

So, as we embark on 2016, I choose to focus on the condition of my heart. I choose to invite the Holy Spirit to produce fruit in my life. And I ask the Spirit to work through me to encourage others to seek the character of Christ.

My Word of the Year 2016: Choose

Choose-3With Galatians 5:22-23 as my guide, my 2016 Word of the Year is CHOOSE. My word is a constant reminder that I must choose. I must consider my options and make a choice that supports my priorities.

This may sound like a simple and obvious task, but for those of us who are prone to over commitment, this is a ticket to freedom. Choosing requires saying yes to the things that matter, but it also requires saying no to anything that isn’t in alignment with your goals and priorities. So, I am looking at 2016 as an opportunity to reexamine every choice and make sure I am focusing on the things that matter most.

I think sometimes I do things because I don’t realize I have a choice. I don’t necessarily “choose” to do them – I just neglect to make a decision. So, by default, I fill my days with activities and obligations that do not lead me closer to my objectives. They merely fill my time.

The daily reminder to “choose” will help me be intentional about how I spend my time and energy. It will remind me that I have been given the privilege of freedom in Christ – and that I should choose to use that freedom to serve others in his name.

What about you? Have you chose a Verse of the Year or Word of the Year? If so, I’d love for you to share it in the comments! 

Need Help Choosing a Verse of the Year or Word of the Year?

Goals-Guide-1Need some help choosing a Verse of the Year or a Word of the Year? Start by downloading this free gift – Divinely Inspired Goals Guide

Read more on How to Choose a Word of the Year here.

My previous Words of the Year:

2015 – Listen

2014 – Nourish

2013 – Unity 

2012 – Light 

2011 – Support 

2010 – Balance

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