My word for 2015 is "FORGIVE."
Forgiveness is something I have struggled with for a large portion of my life. Ever since I can remember, I was not friends with someone because they did X,Y, and Z to me a year ago. With some people, I couldn't even remember what they did anymore and I still wasn't ready to forgive them. Sure, I can let little things slide off my back without care, but that person that didn't even RSVP to my wedding? I'll hold it against them for a good year just so they know they hurt my feelings (even though I probably won't even tell them that).
When I became a Christian, this changed. I knew forgiveness was something I needed to work on. Not just to be more like Jesus, but to free myself from the bondage and weight it was holding me under. It doesn't come easy now that I am a Christian, but just reminding myself that God forgave me when I didn't deserve it makes it somewhat easier for me to forgive others.
So, 2015 is the year of forgiveness. Here's how I'm quantifying what the word "forgive" will look like for me this year:
F. Freedom from the bondage of holding things against others. Tangibly, this will look like a lot of apologies to others who I felt like owed me an apology. There will be a lot of me reaching out to people I have been holding grudges against, without expecting them to ever acknowledge the thing they did that hurt me.
O. Openness about forgiveness and how it is going for me. I want to be authentic with those around me so that I can be held accountable for how I am living out forgiveness during 2015 on a regular basis. I'd love for you to ask me how it's going.
R. Read books on forgiveness. I have read quite a few already, but I really want to immerse myself in books on the topic this year. Suggestions are welcome.
G. Get better at saying, "I'm sorry." If I can't even ask for forgiveness myself, how can I expect to forgive others? This is something I am admittedly awful at doing; just ask my husband. Bless that man for dealing with my pride so well.
I. Inviting God into the dark places of my heart that keep me from wanting to forgive someone. I want to repent for my lack of forgiveness and ask Him to show me how to forgive even those that hurt me the worst.
V. Vulnerable. I want to be vulnerable with those that upset me and explain to them that my lack of forgiveness wasn't on them, it was on me. I want to be able to confidently say that my lack of willingness to be vulnerable about how they hurt me was probably even worse than what they did to me in the first place. That it was my pride and selfishness that prevented us from moving on or restoring the relationship for so long.
E. Establish some sort of regular way of checking up on myself throughout the year. I can't expect my only accountability to come from others. I'm not sure how this will look yet. It might be incorporated into my monthly goals. It might be something I blog about from time to time as an "update."
What is your word for 2015 and how can I help keep you accountable?