It is always a marvel to me when I read where someone has selected one word to focus on at the start of a new year. There are books and blog posts and articles about choosing a word and fixing your attention on it for the entire 365 days.
Examples include: Peace, Grateful, Fearless, Grace, Joy.
And I have nothing against the concept.
It’s just I am not a woman of few words so trying to focus on one word has me jumping all over the place grabbing words like they are about to go extinct and I need to save them.
However; one year I did focus on a verse for an entire year.
And I came across it today in my All Things New workbook.
2 Corinthians 5: 14….
For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died.
Now give me some credit, because I did hone that down for my focus the year I chose it as my theme.
And so every morning of that year’s journal, my entry had the day of the week, the date and the words….
The love of Christ compels me.
I chose it based on the words of Oswald Chambers regarding this passage…
“Paul said he was overpowered, subdued, and held as in a vise by “the love of Christ.” Very few of us really know what it means to be held in the grip of the love of God. We tend so often to be controlled simply by our own experience. The one thing that gripped and held Paul, to the exclusion of everything else, was the love of God. ‘The love of Christ compels us…’ When you hear that coming from the life of a man or woman it is unmistakable. You will know that the Spirit of God is completely unhindered in that person’s life.” Oswald Chambers; My Utmost for His Highest, February 4
On my first reading of the passage, I would have interpreted it as more like “The love of Christ propels me….lurches me forward in a strong projectile motion” ….and nothing about that sounded appealing to me.
Because my whole life, driven by a brain that is in hyper-drive 24/7 and fueled by well-caffeinated emotions and an overactive imagination, hurtles me along a roller coaster existence most days.
So the idea of being propelled was not a great idea to me.
But thanks to Oswald, I stopped and dug into this passage and discovered that the world “compels” in Greek is sunecho. From two words: sun = “together” and echo = “to hold.”
Thus….The love of Christ holds me together….grips me tightly….
And I like that.
In my propensity to be on the brink of losing it or falling apart.
The love of Christ…
His love for me…
my love for Him…
holds me together.
It grips me tightly and brings purpose and meaning and …. quite honestly …. FOCUS…to my scattered thinking and haphazard living.
And as an added little mercy from God this morning as I am reminded of my year writing this verse every morning, as I typed the Greek word for “compels”…
my beloved autocorrect that frustrates me to no end sometimes…
changed sunecho to…
sun and echo…
that’s the whole point of the passage to me.
I want echo the Son.
Perhaps the idea of being held tight in the love of Christ seems restrictive to you.
Oh, I pray not.
Do you see the part where Oswald talks about being a man or a woman in whom God has His unhindered way?
It is the paradox of following Christ.
There is not greater place of freedom than being held fast in the beautiful bonds and boundaries of His Love <3