My word of the year is “fight.” I know. Weird. But I take it from 1 Timothy 6, where Paul tells his young protégé, Timothy, to flee from the teachings of people of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth. Rather, pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. “Fight the good fight of the faith.”

Specifically, I want to fight for our democracy. And I want to fight for the real Jesus, not the counterfeit one.

If you follow my writing at all, you know how I feel about democracy’s threat, so I won’t elaborate on that now. I just want to fight for our country.

But let me explain a little more about the second fight. I’ll start with a story.

Just before Christmas, the library where I work had an Ugly Sweater Day, so I donned a pretty hideous one. (I didn’t win. Oh well.) But what I noticed is I didn’t have much competition. Most of the staff dressed up on Halloween, but there’s a “steer clear” vibe about anything religious. (Not to say that ugly sweaters are religious, but you know what I mean.)

And I get it. Religion is getting a terrible name. The war in the Mideast. The political scene here. But get this. “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” James 1:27.

To look after hurting people and to look inside. Pretty straightforward.

A friend recently told me, “You see a lot of billboards around here with the Ten Commandments, but none with the Sermon on the Mount.” A lot of do’s and don’ts but little heart. I’m not saying the Ten Commandments don’t still stand. They absolutely do. But Jesus brought fulfillment of the Law, which is about grace and compassion. It’s the how-to. It’s not about pharisaical finger-wagging. It’s about the Jesus who loves the misinformed. That’s what I want to fight for.

What’s your WOTY?