GIVE UP GIVING UP STUFF for LENT
Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of a period of 40 days (not counting Sundays) where believers have for centuries…
Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of a period of 40 days (not counting Sundays) where believers have for centuries focused on their relationship with God.
Want to join me on an experiment this Lent? I’m cutting some stuff out – but it’s not dessert.
A key to drawing close to God is the idea of repentance. It involves a two-fold act in which we turn AWAY from something and turn TOWARD something else.
We turn away from sin and turn toward Christ.
We turn away from habits and patterns of selfishness and sin in order to turn our habits and hearts toward new ways of thinking and living.
People often “give up” something for Lent. But it might be more potent if we turned AWAY from something while simultaneously turned TOWARD something that would truly help us be more fully given to Jesus.
I’m not saying you can’t give up Oreos for Lent. But what if we turned away from specific habits of the heart and consciously turned toward some other things that would do more to retrain our hearts toward God?
Here is a working list of some things you could FAST FROM (do less of) and some ideas for that to FEAST ON (do more of).
- Fast from judging others; feast on seeing people as children of God.
- Fast from the burdens of physical limitations; feast on gratitude for every breath God has given.
- Fast from words that cut and hurt others; feast on sentences that build up and restore relationship.
- Fast from grumbling about how bad you’ve got it; feast on ten thousand mercies and reasons for thanks every day.
- Fast from worry; feast on trust.
- Fast from bitterness; feast on forgiveness.
- Fast from information that depresses and discourages; feast on the Word of God and uplifting news of hope in Jesus.
- Fast from mindless web browsing and social media consumption; feast on intentional reading or listening to scripture or music.
- Fast from saying things you later regret; feast on wise silence and purposeful words.
- Fast from angry outbursts; feast on patient responses.
- Fast from problems that overwhelm; feast on prayer that strengthens.
- Fast from habitual sins that leave you feeling defeated; feast on the grace of Christ that purifies and motivates toward right living.
Which one seems most important to you right now?
How can you remember to turn FROM and TO in the next 39 days?
What would YOU add to your list?
3 thoughts on “GIVE UP GIVING UP STUFF for LENT”
Fast on prayer that isn’t communicating with God. Feast on having an authentic conversation with Jesus.
Fast wallowing in your own good deeds. Feast on the righteousness that is freely given.
I appreciate the thought you put into compiling such a meaningful list, Ben. And I like the fast/feast concept. Thanks for the inspiration.
Fast from what do I need from God and feast on what can give to God.