That was my one word for 2013, representing a goal to fully embrace the current moment. To be thankful for what’s right in front of me, not regretting yesterday and not fearing tomorrow.

Overall, it was good to have one word banging around in my head, keeping me focused on a single ideal.

Honestly, though? I still found myself distracted and more mentally distant than fully present with the people who matter most. I’m sure learning to take advantage of the present moment is a life-long discipline…not just a one year goal.

Looking forward to this next year, as one is apt to do, my mind fills with plans to make life better. To love joyfully. To simplify more. To live healthier. In my usual way, the goal is to get everything 100% right. Do it all and do it well.

But maybe again I need to focus on one thing. If I was going to pick one thing, then I think there is only one way to get it “right” …stick with me…

Last week reading in Matthew 13, Jesus’ parables struck me in a different way. He told two stories, one about weeds (Matthew 13:24-29) and one about a net (Matthew 13:47-50). Both stories include two groups of people who are separated by angels. The wicked ones thrown into a fiery furnace and the righteous ones who will “shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father.” (Matthew 13:43)

When I read that God will divide everyone into two groups and those groups are labeled: wicked and righteous. It made me want to look up more verses on what it means to be “righteous”, just to be sure I’m in the kingdom group and not the “weeping and gnashing of teeth” category (not that I was questioning my salvation, mind you…more of an inquisitive mind kind of search). 

This summer our church read Romans and it struck me how “righteous” means to be “right with God”. And in my own efforts and sinful state I can never be right with God. He is too holy and I am, well, not holy.

But just because I’m not holy doesn’t mean I’m not important…and loved. Because God made a way for me to be “right” with him. He sent Jesus, who is holy, to stand in the gap for me. To be the “righteousness” I can never be.

 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

{2 Corinthians 5:21}

Fortunately, through faith in Christ and His perfection I am made 100% right with God.

So this year the goal isn’t to get it all right.

But remembering “the righteous live by faith.” (Heb 10:38). Live by faith. Live–an active verb–a moment to moment faith. A believing in Christ and trusting God in all the things that will happen this year.  Right (eous) living is faith-living.

As each day comes I want to believe God.

Believe He will make it right because He has already made me right with Him.

Those times when I’m overwhelmed with responsibility, I will live by faith. Trusting God will give me strength for the tasks which matter.

When the boys are speaking harsh words and fighting, I will live by faith. Trusting God can change hearts towards Him & need to say less, pray more.

When a friend’s marriage is failing or another friend is healing physically or evil takes the life of a little one, I will live by faith. Trusting God will make all things right. Ultimately, knowing He is in control.

And what about the times believing God does not come naturally?

I can pray: “Lord, help me with my unbelief.”

So making 2014 the year where you get it all right? Comes down to believing God. Faith. Because the righteous…the “right with God”…they live by faith.

It’s not my “one word” for the new year, but a phrase. Since it is 2014, it can be my hashtag for the year…


Will you join me in this daily faith-walk and getting it right in 2014?