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Franciscan Spirit Blog

10 Verbs to Live By

Apr 19, 2022
young girl blows dandelions | Image: jplenio from Pixabay
Life is for living. Do it boldly with these 10 verbs.

With so much advice out there in the world—everything from Pinterest memes to motivational plaques for your home office wall—we at Franciscan Media thought we’d simplify it for you. Life is about living, right? The ups and downs of COVID-19, war in Eastern Europe, and how our lives have changed has certainly taught us that. But to live and to be fully alive requires action. And that means adding more verbs to our vocabulary.

Here are the 10 that we picked to help guide you on your way.

Seek. Never stop being curious. Every day offers discovery. Shake off the lethargy and explore the world around you. God can be found everywhere you look.

Laugh. Life is serious, but living it is supposed to be fun. If the last year has taught us nothing, it's that we need laughter, joy, and levity to lifted our battered spirits. Don't feel bad about wanting to feel better.

Ask. No one knows everything—thank goodness! Questions are not only OK; they’re the key to learning and growing. Be curious. Ask questions. Never stop moving forward.

Forgive. It’s often hard to do, but it’s worth the effort. In Ephesians 4:32 it reads: "And be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ."

Try. It wasn’t very popular in a galaxy far, far away, but it’s popular with us. If we didn’t try new things, we’d all still be in onesies and kid shoes. God loves our efforts!

Help. It’s easy to feel that there’s too much to do, that there are too many problems to solve. But even the least confident among us can usually agree there’s some way we can help—somebody, something, somewhere.

Create. Making something from scratch—whether it’s a meal or a piece of art or an essay—is essential to a fulfilling life. It’s a participation in God’s work of creation. It keeps us from getting stuck in a rut of living someone else’s story.

Reflect. Take time on a regular basis to stop whatever you’re busy doing and look at the big picture. Think, pray, write in a journal, talk to a friend. Find one of a hundred ways that works for you.

Thank. Gratitude, love, and humility all are intertwined. God, our friends, our family, our coworkers—there is always someone deserving of a “thank you.”

Listen. Before we can love someone, we have to know that person. To know someone, we have to listen. And sometimes the best listening we do comes through prayer.

For more tips on self-improvement, enjoy this video featuring Father Clifford Hennings, OFM.


Mary Elgin
Tue, 04/19/2022 - 09:40 AM
Mary Elgin
Thank you for ten active verbs. The phrase "Trying is lying" was quoted at me too often by a well-meaning CBT client and relative. Such a relief to hear you say "God counts the endeavor as much as the result." (John Chrysostom)
Brother David
Tue, 04/19/2022 - 09:43 AM
Brother David
I love your list. I would add PRAY
hank hohenstein
Tue, 04/19/2022 - 03:33 PM
hank hohenstein
Great list and some action verbs need to be combined. I would add to forgive the action verb forget. Love, hank
Tue, 04/19/2022 - 11:54 PM
How odd; is loving not action? " O Divine Master, grant that I should not so much seek to be loved as to love."
Wed, 04/20/2022 - 05:59 PM
The list is very essential. I love it. Forgiveness in my opinion tops the list next to thankfulness!

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