Lutheran Church Extension Fund

A New Year, New Words

Written by:  Dcs. Heidi Goehmann Reading Time:  3 minutes Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who live it will eat its fruit. Proverbs 18:21 A New Year, New Words. There have been years I’ve done the New Year’s Resolution thing, years I’ve made general goals, last year I claimed my word for the year.  It’s all good stuff.  I have little opinions on whether any one method is better than another.  To each his own. But I do like to embrace anything that will help me drown the Old Adam.  The more creative the better, because that Old Adam, he just seems to have a really hard time going down. We all have some perpetual sins.  Sins that sit and stay awhile, and create crotchety old men inside of young women.  The Old Adam has his knuckles clenched around these sins, holding strong, screaming, “But I don’t want to change!  It’s so hard.  So…much…work…I like my sin.  It’s cozy to some extent.  It’s familiar.” I remember Sharla Fritz writing in her book Divine Design about this concept, likening our Old Adam sins to cozy sweaters that are really quite itchy and uncomfortable when we stop and think about them. Words are like this for me.  Language.  I use so much of it, and sometimes, in all honesty, it’s not pretty.  It’s not cozy, it may be easy, but sometimes my words leave a wake of sorrow in their path.  Accusations, frustration and anger, Ill-conceived mediation in the wrong time and wrong place.  Words.  They can do so much good, but wow, can they burn. This year, I want new words.  While searching vaguely around the Internet last fall, I found an image that stated this simple concept… Make Each Word A Gift Words are powerful.  The Bible tells us in Wisdom Literature that they have the power of life and death.  They can build up or tear down.  They can destroy or give grace upon grace. Many of my words are good.  They share God’s love and mercy with those around me.  But enough of my words scream Old Adam enough to poke me in the conscience and make me want to turn around, to face the other direction, and by the power of the Spirit to walk the hard path of change. I want to make each word a gift. So, while I was getting ready for the live streaming event and podcasts through Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, I decided to make myself a visual.  Then I decided that it was something meant to be shared.  So, I made a bookmark…one side has gift wrap and the other side has duct tape (all be it pretty duck tape).  Sometimes, my tongue needs to reminder to just keep it zipped, but more often, I just need to invite myself to make each word a gift. Below are the fun bookmarks, in case you feel the hankering for a visual also.  I cut strips of wrapping paper and duct tape the same length (9.5″ x 2″) and stuck them back to back.  I attached a gift tag to the top in order to make it more visual. Blessings on this New Year with new words!!!