My One Word for 2013 — Restraint

I have written before about how I do not like resolutions. They seem like a list of things borne of guilty feelings, which resign you to more guilt and disappointment when you fail. I think resolutions drive the behavior of just doing things to say you did them, rather than learning from the process.

I prefer to make goals, because you don't always reach goals, so they give you something to strive for while having permission to not cross the finish line on time.

Having said all that, I found this "one word" idea (click on the button above to view the site), and it struck a chord in me. Rather than being a slave to a list, I'll meditate on one word and what God's Word says about it.

When I thought about what my one word could be, self-control came to mind; but that seems more like two words, so I chose restraint.

Merriam-Webster defines restraint as: 1) an act or means of restraining; a restraining force or influence; 2) control over expression of one's emotions or thoughts.

The Holy spirit is the force or influence that will help me in all those areas where I need to exercise more restraint -- with my thoughts, my words, what I eat, how I act.  And I definitely want to be able to have a clear mind so I can pray!
"The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled [have restraint] so that you can pray," (1 Peter 4:7 NIV, brackets mine).
So, what about you? Would you like to do "one word" for 2013? If so, what will you choose? I'd love to know your thoughts on this.


  1. What a good word for the year!!! I think my word would be "refocus". I tend to always focus on the negative, or what I don't have....and God is often gently reminding me to look at the blessings and what I DO have. Good post!! I will pray that you grow in restraint and God teaches you a lot through this word! :)

    1. Maria,

      I think restraint and proper focus go hand in hand.

      I almost chose "focus" as my word, thinking I could look at what I focus on, whether it is good or bad, keeping my focus on Jesus, on the straight and narrow, etc., and all that sounded so good to me. But I felt like God was leading me to use restraint (for reasons obvious to many who know me).

      I tend to be so impulsive, especially when I think of something to post here -- and all the good things I could write about the word "focus" came to mind. But the whole point is for this one word to change ME, not to be a springboard for my writing. So, since I was feeling impulsive about my word choice, I figured that was confirmation that I should pick "restraint."

      And the attack begins this morning, when I'm craving all sorts of things for breakfast that won't make a good start to my day . . . I'm excited to see how I grow through this!

    2. LOL! that's usually how it works!! Stay strong tho! You can do this! and I do agree that restraint and proper focus do go hand in hand. I'm excited to see how God changes us as we grow in our one word challenge! It's such a great idea! ;)


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