Discipline, Confession, And Honesty

23 Feb

“Lent is a time for discipline, for confession, for honesty, not because God is mean or fault-finding or finger-pointing but because he wants us to know the joy of being cleaned out, ready for all the good things he now has in store.”  ~ N.T. Wright

So many people look at Lent in a negative way.  I used to be like that as well.  I would see that Lent was nearing and I would immediately think about having to give something up and being forced to spend more time in church.  To me, Lent was a chore and I entered it quite reluctantly.  I think that was because everything back then was mandated.  The nuns told us students what we were going to have to do.  My parents told us what we would be doing.  There wasn’t really a choice involved and because of that I rebelled.

God doesn’t want us to feel forced to embrace Lent.  He wants us to feel invited.  Lent is a great opportunity to draw closer to the God who loves us completely, intimately, and unconditionally.  Who wouldn’t want to draw closer to someone like that?  Who wouldn’t want to spend extra time with someone who accepts us as we are and gives us what we need to grow?

Perhaps your past experiences of Lent have been somewhat negative and, because of that, you didn’t really begin anything last week on Ash Wednesday.  Guess what.  One of the beautiful things about Lent is that you can always begin:  a week later, mid-Lent, or even on Holy Week.  God’s not concerned as much with quantity as he is with quality.  He wants you to draw near to Him when you are ready.

If you have not entered the Season of Lent fully yet, consider taking the plunge.  You will find a loving God waiting to wrap His arms around you.

FAITH ACTION:  Make a true assessment of yourself and what you have done since Ash Wednesday.  If nothing, what can you do?  If you have been working on your Lenten resolutions, what more can you do?