I am sure that you are aware that Lent officially started yesterday. I discovered this late on Tuesday. You see, I am Baptist, Southern Baptist to be more specific, so I did not grow up partaking in Lent. I really had no idea what it even meant until the past few years. I always thought it went with other denominations. This, to me, is very sad.
I decided to do a little research, read a few blogs, figure it out a little more.
And I am still figuring it out.
In my research, I ran across a blog from a year or so ago by John Piper where he says, “Lent or no Lent, not doing some things you feel like doing is the daily pattern for the disciples of Jesus. Yes, daily. ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me'” (Luke 9:23).
It’s a really big word.
So what are the things that I need to not do that I daily feel like doing?
Here are my “gut instinct” answers. You know like in school when you were taking that really big test and they said always go with your “gut instinct”?
I loose my temper
I am ungrateful
I am unloving
I am selfish
Those are just a few, really ugly things. Those are the things that I should daily be denying. And not just for Lent.
I’ll be honest and tell you that I am not sure that I am going to give up Coke (original, fully loaded) or chocolate or Pinterest or Facebook. I may………I may not. But what I am going to do is to try very hard to prepare myself for the Easter season. Focus more on Christ and what He gave up for me. I found a devotional called “40 Days of Lent” on YouVersion — we’re doing this as a family.
I will try, and will probably on some days fail, to give up some of these tangible and not so tangible things. I will try, when I do give these things up to remember to pray. It may be a prayer of thanksgiving that the Lord gave me the strength to deny that one thing for that moment in time.
What about you? Do you give up things for Lent?
Author Ann Voskamp, who’s blog and writing I enjoy immensely, has written about Lent here.
I encourage you to discover what Lent is all about. Prepare your heart for the glorious Easter season. Prepare your heart to be focused on Christ.
Joy to you!