In the Beginning Was the Word

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Davalynn Spencer @davalynnspencer

Did you choose a “word for the year” at the beginning of 2023? Many people did. It has become a friendlier variation on the New-Year’s-Resolution theme.

Researchers say resolutions last between two weeks and one month. I was surprised they lasted that long.

However, a word is less threatening, less likely to hold failure over our head when we quit.

A word gives us the feeling that it will be our friend even if we don’t live up to it or, worse, forget about it.

In my Winter Newsletter last month, I shared my personal word for the year (Redemption) and asked readers to share theirs. A random winner was chosen from those who replied, and that person received a free e-copy of one of my books.

Out of 2,400 readers, nine replied. And surprisingly enough, none of their chosen words were duplicated.

Here is the list:

  1. Faith
  2. Peace
  3. Love
  4. Consistency
  5. Kindness
  6. Calm
  7. Organization
  8. Deeper
  9. Thrive

Some readers elaborated on their reason for choosing a particular word, and it was evident that each one took the challenge seriously.

The first person I know of to choose a specific word at the outset of something is John, the disciple of Jesus who penned the Gospel that carries his name.

In the beginning was the Word,
And the Word was with God,
and the Word was God (John 1:1).

In this context, there is a lot more to “word” than one might expect, for part of its original meaning in the Greek (logos) is “Divine Expression,” as in “Christ.”

And God Himself began creation with a word, as recorded in Genesis 1:3

            “And God said … ”

Pretty potent stuff, words.

Of course our words don’t pack that kind of punch, but they’re not powerless. They direct, guard, assist, encourage, and flavor our attitudes and speech … they touch the other people in our lives.

For example, look at word No. 5 – kindness. Imagine the difference in our world if people chose that word to guide their thoughts, speech, and actions.

If you haven’t already done so, pick a word for the year and see where it goes. It’s not too late. Don’t talk yourself out of it because January is gone and February is more than half over.

Start now, because now is all we have. We don’t get yesterday and tomorrow isn’t here yet.

Pick a word. Choose one from the list above or another one the Lord whispers to your heart. Let today be your new beginning.


If you’d like to share your “word for the year,” I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

And if you don’t receive my quarterly newsletter, sign up here for advance announcements and giveaways. And a free book!

Let today be your new beginning. Share on X

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Rather than allow discouragement to root, Mary flicked the reins on Sassy’s shiny back, eager to see Cañon City from a new

When she drove into town from the west end, horses and carriages shared Main Street with automobiles and bicyclists. The
thoroughfare was wider than she remembered, and muddy from the recent rain. No doubt it churned with slush in the winter. But a spring rain symbolized hope for new life and fresh starts. Hers in particular. ~ Hope Is Built


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(c) 2023 Davalynn Spencer, all rights reserved.

12 thoughts on “In the Beginning Was the Word

  1. Jeanie Dannheim

    Joy – not only do I want God’s joy, I need to live with God’s joy. Otherwise, how will I show that God is good if continuing to endure depression and look like it? Joy must be real to be seen, despite circumstances, and it must be real to attract others to saving faith in Jesus.

    1. davalynn

      Fabulous, Jeanie! The joy of the Lord is our strength.

  2. John repar

    Consistent would be my best word to choose and one that takes a lot work with the thought process working overtime. Everything in the process of getting out of bed, showering and dressed and eating three healthy meals daily requires consistency. Church related items to work adequately must have consistency: church attendance regularly, daily prayer and weekly Bible study , participate in communion. You miss any of these examples and you are not consistent. Thanks John

    1. davalynn

      A great choice, John. The little, consistent steps pave the way. Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

    2. Carlyn

      Thank you. I really need this reminder.

      1. davalynn

        Amen, Carlyn. Such great encouragement.

  3. Elaine Kiefer

    Forgiveness…which is as much for the person doing the forgiving as the person receiving it. Sometimes the hardest person to forgive is ourselves, but I am so thankful for God’s faithfulness and that His mercies that are new every morning.

    1. davalynn

      Amen, Elaine. Forgiveness heals us whether we are giving it or receiving it. So great is His faithfulness!

    2. Karen Gee

      My word for is Obedience.
      John 14:23 Jesus said “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him and We will come to him and make our home with him.
      John 15:10 Jesus is our example!( He was obedient to the Cross.)
      John 15:11 I have told you this so that my Joy may be in you and your Joy may be complete.
      Obedience is the key to a relationship with Jesus and God.

      1. davalynn

        Oh, yes. Such a strong word, Karen. If we love Him, we’ll obey Him. And what a difference in our lives!

  4. Deanna Sturgeon

    So many people are down and feel lost in the mess the world is in today! We need to be encouraged that God is always with us and has a plan for us, even in the hard times.

    1. davalynn

      So true, Deanna!


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