What are you giving up for Lent?
Have you heard this question a few times lately?
Though some churches put more emphasis on a Lenten sacrifice than others, it is certainly a big topic of conversation. While my family does chose to participate in giving something up, I pray that we all remember our reason for doing so.
What is our attitude when we sacrifice something for Lent? Do we give up chocolate because we really need to lose weight or give up Facebook because we have been spending a little too much time online? Will either of these put us in mind of Christ and His sacrifice for us? Nothing we do will make a spiritual difference if our heart isn’t in the right place.
We need to give something up that will put our focus on God each time we desire it. If every time I deny myself chocolate I remind myself of Christ’s much greater sacrifice, rather than the calories I’m saving, then I am on the right track. If I use that time that I would normally be on Facebook to read a Lenten devotion, I will gain much more than the value of online news. (Just for the record, neither of these are what I plan to give up but popular examples.)
My prayer for all of us during this Lenten season is that we spend extra time focusing on Christ and what He has done for us, not only through the events leading up to Easter, but every single day of His life! His work has never ended as He continues to intercede for us, care for us, and lead us to everlasting life.
Sometimes I find myself saying, “I could never give up that for six weeks. That would be too difficult.” Thank God my Savior had a better attitude and higher level of dedication than I do!
Lord, please be with us and help our Lenten sacrifices to give glory to You and keep our mind on everything you have done – and are still doing – for us.