Giving Things Up For Lent

4 Mar

“Letting go isn’t about giving up.  It’s about accepting that there are things that cannot be.”  ~ Anonymous

There are many practices associated with the Season of Lent.  One of the practices is to do something “negative”.  By that, I mean that we “take something away” from our daily lives.  There are also “positive” practices involved with the season and we will discuss those on another day.

The common things that people give up are pop, sweets, caffeine, snacks, and the like.  There are always jokes made about giving up things that we don’t like.  Of course, that would not be a sacrifice at all.

There are probably other things that we should consider giving up for Lent.  As a matter of fact, many of these things should begin in Lent and carry on for the rest of our lives.  They speak to a darker, more base part of our humanity that needs so desperately to be cleansed.

Some of the things I propose that people attempt to give up include:

  • Fear.  When we allow fear to guide our actions, we miss out on what live has to offer.  The devil often uses fear to his advantage to keep a soul from drawing close to God.
  • Anxiety.  There are many things that we worry about.  No amount of worry will change anything.  However, worry does change us.  It gives us high blood pressure and heart disease, for one thing.  It also keeps us from seeing things as they truly are.
  • Gossip.  We destroy more people by talking about them than any other way.  A reputation can be destroyed in a matter of moments.
  • Envy.  We need to quit looking at what others have because, in doing so, we fail to see what gifts we have been given by God.  If we do not see or appreciate our gifts, we will not utilize them.
  • Selfishness.  God gave us gifts for a reason: to give to others.  When we refuse to use our gifts, we deprive others of the things that God wishes us to share.
  • Grudges.  Holding something against another absolutely does no good.  All it does is fester inside of us and makes us bitter and mean.  Grudges do not hurt others.  Grudges hurt us.

Hopefully this short list will help you to “prime the pump”.  After all, if we are going to get into the Season of Lent as completely as possible and if we are going to choose to give something up, why not go all the way.  Give up the kinds of things that we often cling to even though they harm us so.

FAITH ACTION:  Think about what you have decided to give up this Lent and determine if you need to modify any of your choices.