One Word 2011: WISDOM

One Word 2011 Wisdom

I’m not a big fan of New Year’s Resolutions. They don’t stick. If you need an arbitrary date in order to start working towards a goal, odds are that goal wasn’t very important to you.

If it was, you wouldn’t wait till January 1st to get cracking on it, would you?

I do, however, like the idea of focusing on a concept; an area of growth. To make it even more concise, why not pick just one word? Alece Ronzino came up with this idea last year and she’s at it again with One Word 2011.

Folks are chiming in left and right, so I thought that my first post of the year would be to join in the conversation. Here’s my word:


Wisdom is not to be confused with knowledge. I’m pretty good at knowledge. I’ll geek out with books and blogs all day long. I’ve got truckloads of information kicking around in my head. Unfortunately, all the information in the world is useless if its holder lacks the wisdom to properly apply that knowledge.

After King David died and his son Solomon established his throne in succesion, God appeared to the new king in a dream. Here was Solomon’s prayer:

Give me a God-listening heart so I can lead your people well, discerning the difference between good and evil. For who on their own is capable of leading your glorious people?

1 Kings 3:9 – The Message

He asked nothing for himself; not riches, long life, or doom for his enemies. He simply asked for God’s guidance so that he may lead his people well. The Lord was pleased in his selfless request. He blessed Solomon with wisdom beyond measure…

And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding beyond measure, and breadth of mind like the sand on the seashore…

1 Kings 4:29-30 – ESV

I’m no king. I don’t have rulers from all over the world coming to me for advice like Solomon did. I’m not a highly sought-after consultant in the business world. I’m not at the head of a Fortune 500 company. I don’t preach in front of a small crowd on Sunday mornings.

I’m just not there… yet.

What I do have is leaders sending me emails asking for advice. I have fellow entrepreneurs in need of help developing their businesses. I have friends who need support during difficult struggles. I have people in my life who need to know who Jesus is.

I don’t get to help any of those people with knowledge alone. I need something more.

All Solomon had to do was ask for wisdom and he got it. All I have to do is ask…

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

Matthew 7:7 – ESV

So, this is me asking God for wisdom this year. Now, its on me to abide in Him and to live a life of obedience. If I pay attention and listen to the Spirit in all things, I will receive that wisdom. I don’t know what its going to look like exactly, but He does. I can’t wait.

What’s your one word for 2011?

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37 Responses to One Word 2011: WISDOM

  1. tracee January 3, 2011 at 7:48 am #

    Great word Kenny!! Wisdom is something I think about a lot and pray for often. So excited to see what he teaches your heart this year! Wisdom runs deep!

    • Kenny Silva January 3, 2011 at 12:08 pm #

      Thanks, Tracee! I read your post about following and love it. You'll find that the closer you follow, the more people will follow your example. There's a reason why Paul told the early Christians to follow him as he followed God.

      Keep it up, Tracee. You're inspiring a lot of us.

  2. Laura Click January 3, 2011 at 7:49 am #

    A wise choice in words, Kenny! May God richly bless your 2011!

    Oh, and I chose three phrases to guide my year – be intentional, be balanced and be myself. I just posted about that today too:

    • Kenny Silva January 3, 2011 at 11:58 am #

      Thank you very much, Laura! I loved your post and those 3 phrases. I can't wait to see how this year shakes out for you.

  3. Grant Jenkins January 3, 2011 at 8:01 am #

    Absolutely love it, bro! Such a perfect word for you. I may hobo a little on your word, too. 🙂

    • Kenny Silva January 3, 2011 at 11:59 am #

      Haha I may have to hobo on yours as well. It's gonna be a good year, sir.

  4. @mattshiloh January 3, 2011 at 8:03 am #

    My word for 2011 is Obedience.

    To many Christians, the term they choose to live by is Sacrifice, however I believe that this term, while nice and fluffy, isn't the term a true Christian should adhere to on a daily basis.

    In the Bible the term Sacrifice is not just giving up something you would rather keep. In some context is merely means any offering to God. The offering may be difficult, and it may be hard. For example to some giving up chocolate in the pursuit of a new diet and making your body healthier can be considered a sacrifice, as can giving up smoking. In the Latin the term means, "that which makes holy." That is what Jesus did by sacrificing himself for our Sin. "but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself." (Hebrews 9:26) (cont…)

  5. @mattshiloh January 3, 2011 at 8:03 am #

    But I maintain that obedience, despite the feelings we have towards the word sacrifice is so much more important. There is a passage found in 1 Samuel 15:22 in which King Saul had failed to wait for Samuel in order to make an offering to God. Instead he chose when to make the sacrifice and did not have the right to do so as he was not a priest. When Samuel confronted the King about this he said, "to obey is better than sacrifice, and the hearken than the fat of rams." While in this particular passage he was clearly talking about animal sacrifices, what he was actually saying is that God wants us to obey him more than any spiritual or religious observance.

    Today we don't slaughter the fatted calf, or bleed out a ram on an alter to Lord, but we say we sacrifice in going to Church or reading The Word, or going on our Christian Walk. I propose that it is the obedience to God that is more important. It is more important than sitting in an assembly of Christians, as church is completely worthless without the pure obedience to the Lord. (cont…)

  6. @mattshiloh January 3, 2011 at 8:04 am #

    Nothing we say or do in this life will earn us Salvation. No amount of tithing, charity work, kind words to others, or devotion of time and energy to good deeds will earn us our forgiveness from Sin. Only Jesus Christ's sacrifice on the cross can do that for us, and our obedience to Him and to the Father is the key to our salvation. In John 14:6 Jesus clearly states, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." This clearly states that in order to be free of our sins and to have life everlasting that we are to be obedient to Christ and His teachings. Christ himself only made His sacrifice in obedience, in that he said, "For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me." (John 6:38) Christ also made this very clear when he said, "If you love me, you will obey what I command." (John 14:16) (cont…)

  7. @mattshiloh January 3, 2011 at 8:04 am #

    In my own life I find that I must work on my obedience to the Lord. There are times I find myself in difference to God's teachings, not wanting to do what is commanded because of pride, arrogance, or downrigh selfishness. But Jesus made it clear that nothing but pure obedience is to be tolerated. So this year, as I continue my spiritual growth as a new Christian, and I attempt to improve my walk with the Lord through my actions, my thoughts, my heart, and my soul, I will hold steadfast to the term obedience and make it my mantra.

    • Kenny Silva January 3, 2011 at 12:03 pm #

      Thanks so much for the thoughtful response, Matt. I used to think that obedience was about following someone's rule-book, but its so much more. It is a true response to the precious gift we've been given. That response leads to amazing spiritual growth because it forces us to sacrifice our pride and arrogance in order to obey. I'm looking forward to seeing you grow this year, Matt. God bless.

  8. cshell January 3, 2011 at 8:19 am #


    • Kenny Silva January 3, 2011 at 12:05 pm #

      Great word, Chuck. Being truly selfless means dying to ourselves and letting the Spirit do the work in us that only He can do. I'm excited to see the continued transformation that this year will bring.

  9. alece January 3, 2011 at 10:22 am #

    love your word, kenny. wisdom. the kind that can only be found in Him… such a powerful focus for your year.

    • Kenny Silva January 3, 2011 at 12:09 pm #

      Thanks, Alece. This was a great idea that I'm very happy to take part in. You'll have to get Grant to organize a meetup for the one word community sometime this year. He's good at that stuff… 😉

  10. Mike January 3, 2011 at 4:00 pm #

    "I’m no king. I don’t have rulers from all over the world coming to me for advice like Solomon did. I’m not a highly sought-after consultant in the business world. I’m not at the head of a Fortune 500 company. I don’t preach in front of a small crowd on Sunday mornings. I’m just not there… yet."

    While there are obviously people of wisdom in high and sought after places, those type of lofty positions and the people that occupy them often have nothing to do with wisdom. Wisdom can be had by a simple layman, shepherd, repairman, peasant, a socially awkward introvert, or any person doing work that is not recognized or praised by the masses. The minute we believe wisdom will raise us up to be recognized or sought after is the moment we may very well lose it.

    I pray for a wise and discerning heart every day and I figure it is for God to use for his purpose, whatever that may be.

    Thanks for the thought provoking post!


    • Kenny Silva January 4, 2011 at 11:53 pm #

      Thank you for the very thoughtful reply, Mike. I agree. Wisdom can be found in the most "unlikely" of people and places; not always those whom the world has appointed to positions of high authority. The challenge is to intentionally seek out that wisdom from those unlikely sources and to receive it.

      • Mike January 6, 2011 at 2:29 pm #

        And you've just hit on my word this year: Intentional.

  11. Allison January 4, 2011 at 12:05 am #

    I love this post and love your word!

    My word is Focus.

    So excited to see how everyone’s words play out this year!

    • Kenny Silva January 4, 2011 at 11:54 pm #

      Me too, Allison. Focus is a great choice. I just spent some time on an airplane reading about the importance of focused thinking. I'm looking forward to seeing you grow this year. Thanks for stopping by!

  12. Pastor_T January 4, 2011 at 2:11 am #

    I admire your word choice Kenny as wisdom is not the easiest road to travel. Praying it's a breeze for you though :-).
    God bless 2011!

    • Kenny Silva January 4, 2011 at 11:54 pm #

      Thanks, Toby. I appreciate you taking the time to read this and your prayers.

  13. @sonnylemmons January 4, 2011 at 8:26 am #

    Man. Your word takes me back quite a few years…

    Yes, I prayed for wisdom a LOT during my undergrad & grad school days, but that's not what I'm talking about. Wisdom seems to be such an "innocent" thing to pray for – but then we have to have the fortitude and courage to follow through with what we are granted wisdom on. Your word, my friend, can lead to some danger. GOOD danger, to be sure, but it sometimes puts us on a road that might not be what we expect.

    Even if your word is some silly old word in English. 🙂

    • Kenny Silva January 4, 2011 at 11:55 pm #

      I love me some danger. 😉

      Thanks for reading, Sonny. Shalom!

  14. Stacey January 4, 2011 at 9:55 am #

    I love reading Proverbs to help me learn the difference between biblical fools and biblical wisdom. I love the truth they speak.

    Love how you humbly ask with expectancy!

    • Kenny Silva January 4, 2011 at 11:55 pm #

      There is so much wisdom to be gained from reading Proverbs. I can spend a lot of time in that book. Thanks for commenting, Stacey.

  15. moweezle January 4, 2011 at 10:46 am #

    great word! Love it and definitely need more too 🙂

    • Kenny Silva January 4, 2011 at 11:56 pm #

      Thanks, Maureen. 2011 is going to be a great year!

  16. CMLudwick January 4, 2011 at 4:04 pm #

    Kenny I love the choice of your #oneword. Wisdom is I think one of the most important things missing in our lives. I'm looking forward to seeing all that you gain (and also give) throughout this pursuit of wisdom!

    • Kenny Silva January 4, 2011 at 11:58 pm #

      Thanks, Christina. I love your word as well. I've spent a lot of time over the past few months dwelling/meditating/praying over purpose. I can't begin to explain the power of having a vision for the future and a strong sense of purpose. It will pull you through so much and keep you on course. I can't wait to see how that plays out for you this year!

  17. bahava January 4, 2011 at 11:04 pm #

    Ohh! I've been reading about asking for your word over and over the past few days. I've been reading and meditating on James and James 1:5 fits so perfectly with your word!
    Oh and I so hear you on the not wanting to just gain information or knowledge…one of my strengths is "input" so I love gathering information, but when you utilize it and put it to action that is when the amazing God-stories can start happening. I'm excited to see where this year leads you!

  18. Kenny Silva January 5, 2011 at 12:00 am #

    Thanks, Katy. My strength is certainly input. It's time to take the next step and process the input into real wisdom and thoughtful output. Thanks so much for reading!

  19. @KristaBurdine January 6, 2011 at 4:58 pm #

    Wisdom is a great #oneword2011. I think many of us have chosen aspects of the same thing, attempting to follow hard after God with every fiber of our being.

    Maybe God is blessed by our desires to honor him not just with our lips, but with our whole selves. I pray he gives us strength to pursue him, and that maybe he can even use us to change the world.

    • Kenny Silva January 6, 2011 at 10:12 pm #

      I agree. He can and will use us to change the world. We just need to pursue Him relentlessly and let Him do what only He can do. Thanks so much for your comment, Krista.

  20. MichaelDPerkins January 7, 2011 at 3:25 pm #

    Man, this is such a good thing to focus on this year.

  21. Sharkbait January 12, 2011 at 5:06 pm #

    Your opening paragraph sounds a lot like mine.

    Good word. Very wise choice. 🙂

  22. Eva Fernandez August 13, 2011 at 8:50 pm #

    Mi mama acaba de iniciar y le gusto, soy cristiana de nacimiento , ahora tengo 19 años y me quiero involucrar en los principios de Dios.
    Me da gusto que hagan estas paginas para los que no conocen , renueven su mente y toque a cada uno . saludos desde Mexico, mil bendiciones a todos los que contribuyen en esto =)  

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