The Biggest Mistake We Make With One Word

A 10 inch snowfall is pretty norm for Minneapolis in January and for the most part I love it.

It’s beautiful, but as I pull around towards Starbucks early in the dark, post-snowfall morning, the plows are struggling to do their thing, cars are fish-tailing, and I have to dodge people in the street cuz the sidewalks aren’t cleared. GRRR.

Four cars have taken up five parking spaces, using precious real estate, landing haphazardly without yellow lines visible. GRRR.

One car has it’s lights on, looking ready to relinquish his spot, but he doesn’t move. GRRRR.

I give up and drive by only to have him decide NOW is the time to move, and another car swoops in to take his place. GRRR.

I find a remote parking place (read 50 yards away) and slippy slide towards the coffee shop, but realize halfway there, I’ve forgotten my purse. GRRRR.


I am cranky and impatient and totally ashamed of myself.

Many of us have chosen One Word, this year or in the past. If you’re new to it look here.

My One Word this year is Fruit, as in “The fruit of the Spirit is…PATIENCE!” And it’s been a whole month for Pete’s sake! Why am I not transformed into a person with the Jesus-y glow of patience yet?

One Word is a catchy idea, and as with New Year’s resolutions we often start off with a BANG! This word will CHANGE MY LIFE! But unlike the Darling children in Peter Pan, we need to do more than “think lovely thoughts” in order to get off the ground.

The biggest mistake we make with One Word is to just choose it. 

Last year, I wrote about buying a special (oh so pretty) journal for my One Word reflections. That was a good step (highly recommend!), and so was the reminder on my calendar once a month to review my One Word, but mostly I ignored those prompts.

I’m thinking we may all need a little accountability.  I’m going to commit to posting once a One Word Challenge each month along with an easy prompt that we can all reflect on and respond to. I hope you’ll join me because we’re better together!

So this month, here are 2 simple action steps you can take to move beyond just choosing One Word. 

  1. Look up your word in a Bible Dictionary ( and/or ). Journal about the different ways your word is used in Scripture.

Example – here’s a little of what I found from those 2 sources for my word, Fruit:  The basic Greek word for fruit is karpos [karpov”], used literally of fruit, offspring, and figuratively of the consequence of physical, mental, or spiritual action.

A developing Christian character is fruit. If the goal of the Christian life may be stated as Christlikeness, then surely every trait developed in us that reflects His character must be fruit that is very pleasing to Him. Paul describes the fruit of the Spirit in nine terms in Galatians 5:22-23, and Peter urges the development of seven accompaniments to faith in order that we might be fruitful…

Right character will result in right conduct, and as we live a life of good works we produce fruit (Colossians 1:10). 

Those who come to Christ through our witness are fruit. Paul longed to go to Rome to have some fruit from his ministry there (Romans 1:13)…

We may also bear fruit with our lips by giving praise to God and thankfully confessing His name (Hebrews 13:15)… (Charles Ryrie)

2. Choose one verse with your word in it to meditate on.

Example. Here’s what I landed on. Crazy how often fruit is linked with patience and perseverance!

Colossians 1: 9b-11 We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,  being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience

Let me know how it’s going in the comments, and stay tuned for another prompt at the beginning of March! I’m cheering you on!


  1. This is making I should still choose a word— if I know I am going to be reminded/prompted and it’s not left Alone in my journal…

    • 🙂 Only choose a word if it’s going to be life-giving or transformative, not one more thing to do! I like One Word cuz it focuses us and it’s fun to be in it together – the power of community – but it’s not for everyone. Love you!

  2. Thank you! I need to “get going”. Choosing the word – patience- was easy. Now, I need to work it! Appreciate your direction & suggestions.

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