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ONE WORD: Flourish

Editor’s Note: This post is part of the series “ONE WORD,” a two-week long effort hosted by Self Talk the Gospel in collaboration with the good people at One Word 365. Keep track of the series here and check our daily e-mail newsletter for all posts. Don’t subscribe? Sign up!

A few months ago, I discovered a little shop online named “She Does Justice.” You can read allarielabout what they do here, but in a nutshell, they exist to help those in need by donating 10% of their proceeds to selected organizations. I have a little dream of doing something similar (another story for another day), and naturally I was attracted to their business model and mission. As I browsed their apparel, I came across a t-shirt that read “Speak Life.”

Speak Life.

I stopped there for a moment. 

Do I speak life? Do my words bring life or death? Do I speak in a way that helps build others up, bring life, encouragement? Or are my words harsh, critical, cynical, and sarcastic?

Words matter. The words we speak and the words we think about ourselves and others can bring life or death. They can stifle and steal, or they can nourish and nurture.

 

The words we speak and the words we think about ourselves and others can bring life or death.

 

As I started thinking about the New Year, and what I want to focus on–not only for this year, but for my life–one word kept coming to mind:

Flourish.

…to thrive

…to grow

…to prosper

…to be healthy

…to be in one’s prime

I have the privilege of meeting with so many people throughout the week, using a lot of my words in relationships, in teaching, in writing, in exhorting, and in prayer. I want to steward all that I’ve been given to help others grow, and that includes my words.

 

I want to steward all that I’ve been given to help others grow, and that includes my words.

 

I want to steward what I speak to help others flourish.

As I continued to meditate on that word flourish, I started to realize there is much I can steward to help others flourish.  My words, yes but, also my life. I have been given specific gifts, purposes, experiences, relationships, talents, time, treasures, etc. to steward. As I begin to piece together a little bit more and more by the day why God has placed me on this earth, I began to see every little thing in my life is given to me to help others flourish.

I am entering in a New Year with a few filters that will help me say “yes” to certain things and “no” to others. I’m asking myself the following questions:

Is what I’m doing helping others grow to become all that they’re created to be?
Are the decisions I’m making daily helping me to flourish? Are they helping others to flourish?
Is the way I spend my time helping myself and my community flourish?
Am I speaking in a way that helps others grow and be built up?
Am I living in a way that helps others grow and be built up?
Are there things that keep me from flourishing?  What do I need to say “no” to this year to fulfill God’s purposes for me? What do I need to say “yes” to?

 

Is the way I spend my time helping myself and my community flourish?

 

The fun and wild thing about the Christian life is that we’re all unique, given different gifts, experiences, and places in life that will help others grow. My days will look different than yours, my passions and compassions may be different. But, like a field covered in tons of different wildflowers, the different is what makes it all beautiful–when we all flourish next to each other in our own ways.

How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers. (Psalm 1:1-3)

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. (Ephesians 4:29)

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Image Credit: Ariel, Creative Commons
Some changes made.


Melissa Danisi

About

Melissa Danisi is the Co-Founder of Self Talk the Gospel and serves at The Well Community Church, encouraging and equipping women by teaching God’s word and shepherding leaders. Her greatest passion is to see women walk in the freedom of the Gospel and grow in their love of Jesus through the study of Scripture, which led to writing bible studies on Ephesians, Philippians, Sermon on the Mount, Spiritual Disciplines, and most recently Genesis. She recently received her Master’s Degree in “Pastoral Care to Women” from Western Seminary and has been married to her very Italian husband since 2006.


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