Now that Lent has arrived, I’m passing along something a friend shared on Facebook. It’s called 20 Things to Give Up for Lent:*
- Guilt – I am loved by Jesus and he has forgiven my sins. Today is a new day and the past is behind.
- Fear – God is on my side. In him I am more than a conqueror. (see Romans 8)
- The need to please everyone – I can’t please everyone anyways. There is only one I need to strive to please.
- Envy – I am blessed. My value is not found in my possessions, but in my relationship with my Heavenly Father.
- Impatience – God’s timing is the perfect timing.
- Sense of entitlement – The world does not owe me anything. God does not owe me anything. I live in humility and grace.
- Bitterness and Resentment – The only person I am hurting by holding on to these is myself.
- Blame – I am not going to pass the buck. I will take responsibility for my actions.
- Gossip and Negativity – I will put the best construction on everything when it comes to other people. I will also minimize my contact with people who are negative and toxic bringing other people down.
- Comparison – I have my own unique contribution to make and there is no one else like me.
- Fear of failure – You don’t succeed without experiencing failure. Just make sure you fail forward.
- A spirit of poverty – Believe with God that there is always more than enough and never a lack
- Feelings of unworthiness – You are fearfully and wonderfully made by your creator. (see Psalm 139)
- Doubt – Believe God has a plan for you that is beyond anything you could imagine. The future is brighter than you could ever realize.
- Self-pity – God comforts us in our sorrow so that we can comfort others with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.
- Retirement – As long as you are still breathing, you are here for a reason. You have a purpose to influence others for Christ. That does not come to an end until the day we die.
- Excuses – A wise man once said, if you need an excuse, any excuse will do.
- Lack of counsel – Wise decisions are rarely made in a vacuum.
- Pride – Blessed are the humble.
- Worry – God is in control and worrying will not help.
I thought this was really neat. A little more overtly “religious” than is my tendency, but I still loved it. While giving up more tangible things is still totally valid (caffeine, chocolate, foul language, social media, whatever), this post made me look at Lent a little differently. Another alternative would be to add something: be more kind to people, do laundry more regularly, eat more greens. Whatever folks decide to do for their Lenten observance, it’s a really great thing.
*Photo is mine; content source is here.