“But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” — Joshua 24:15
It was January 2 and I was listening to Jon Gordon’s podcast, “Positive University.” Jon was interviewing his two guests and they were explaining their “one word” concept. One gentleman stated that 80 percent of individuals make New Year’s resolutions. Of those 80 percent, 90 percent will break their resolution before January 15. That’s only two weeks!
I was one of those individuals. For the past 20 years, I would make a list of my New Year’s resolutions. I wanted to read my Bible every day, eat healthier, floss every day, quit biting my fingernails. I had great intentions, but I was one of the 90 percent who couldn’t make it past January 15.
As I continued listening to the podcast, I became more intrigued with this “one word” concept. The advice was for us as listeners to select our word for the new year. It wasn’t a mission statement or phrase. It needed to be just one word. A word that you would claim for the upcoming year. It’s simple, concise and, unlike making a list of resolutions, it would be something that would hopefully last longer than just two weeks.
Immediately my mind went to a number of words: passion, honesty, integrity, character. My list went on and on. I prayed and asked God to help me decide on my “one word” for the upcoming year. I chose “serve.” I immediately thought of Joshua 24:15 when Joshua says “choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve … But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”
It’s amazing as I think back on that year and how much the word “serve” meant to me. God profoundly opened up my eyes and heart to serve Him and serve others. My word was becoming my lifestyle. I found myself intentionally looking for ways to serve my wife, my kids, my family, my players, my staff, my co-workers. It’s amazing how one word can change your life when you allow God to be involved.
I challenged my wife, my kids, my family, my friends, my co-workers and my players to select their one word for the year. I was extremely encouraged as they shared with me their word and why they chose it.
And now I ask you — what’s your word? If you don’t have one, pray and ask God to reveal a word for you. There’s no need to make resolutions any more, but rather choose one word for the upcoming year. May it become more than just a word but a lifestyle. I promise it will change your life. I can’t wait until next year for my new word.
— Jim Good
If you would like to submit a reader devotional, please email all submissions to