Faith

Take a Challenge On for Lent

When I think of my Lenten sacrifice it’s usually along the lines of food.  Give up chocolate or soda for 40 days. Or a habit that I don’t like, like swearing (boy do I have a sailor’s mouth). Besides showing that I have the discipline to do it, what does it show?  Does it bring me closer to God? There is something to be said about self-discipline. However, what does it prove other than I can use self-discipline against ice-cream for 40 days but not the other 325?

My Lenten sacrifices were just another to-do on my list.

This year, a Pastor recommended something that made me sit up and take notice.
  • What if we gave up selfishness for 40 days by doing something kind for 40 days.
  • What if we gave up separateness for 40 days by writing a letter a day for 40 days.
  • What if we gave up dissension for 40 days by only speaking well of people.
  • What if we gave up 30 minutes of sleep by giving God 30 minutes of prayer. or 15 minutes or 10.

Now that’s something I can get behind.  That’s a sacrifice that moves me closer to God.

First I had to be willing to give up something that my Flesh Woman craved.

I went to Galatians 5 for ideas. First Galatians 5:19-21, lays my faults right on the line.

‘The acts of the flesh are obvious; sexual immorality, impurity, and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies and the like”

It didn’t take but a second for one to make me wince.  While I have many faults and flaws, there was one in particular that I’m struggling with. I’d love to be able to give up that flaw for Lent but with what could I replace it with?

Galatians 5:22-23 describe the virtues of Christ –

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control”.

Which on of these virtues would I replace my flaw with and how?

The answer came to me. I knew what and how I was going to take on. I knew how to sacrifice my “fits of rage” that masquerade as petulant anger. I knew that forbearance would replace my under-the-breadth utterances.   I knew to whom my 40 days of kind acts would be focused on.

With so much discord and fear in the world, this is a Lent that I need to do something that balances.  I need to do something that moves me closer to God. I need tangible actions to replace what I’m giving up.

I’m daring you to do the same.

Beth

4 Comments

  1. I’m always happy to see a post about Lent. It’s a profound time of renewal and introspection for me, too. Day two, and I’m already struggling but in that struggle also finding quiet strength. Something real that brings us closer. That’s exactly what I’m trying to impart on my kids this season and take on for myself. Thanks for posting on this:-)

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