Why I Don’t Give Anything up for Lent

jam-doughnutGrowing up Catholic, I was used to giving up something for Lent. As a kid it was chocolate or donuts or some other treat. One year it was comic books–that was hard. For years after I left the Catholic Church I continued the practice of giving up something over those forty days. At some point, however, I began to question why.

While I love the symbolism behind not giving into the temptation of eating chocolate for forty days, how does that deepen my relationship with God? These are things I might be doing for myself or my own benefit. The focus isn’t on God at all–at least not for me.

That’s why I made a plan that worked better for me this year. My promise these forty days is to spend more time in the Word and in prayer. Here is my goal:

  • Half hour each morning dedicated to focusing on the Word
  • Ten minutes in prayer each morning
  • Half hour before bedtime dedicated to focusing on the Word
  • Ten minutes in prayer each evening

These are not huge commitments by any means, but they work into my busy schedule and put my focus during that time where I want it to be–on God. If I commit to this schedule, then it becomes a healthy habit.

Whether or not to give something up for Lent is a personal choice. It wasn’t a practice I found valuable in my walk as a Christian, so I turned it into something I pray will have a greater impact on my relationship with God and my family and as I interact with others throughout the day.

“…that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.” (Phil 3:10-11)


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Why I Don’t Give Anything up for Lent — 2 Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing this, Cheryl, I love your perspective. I think it’s a matter of the heart. There are many different ways we can draw closer to God during this season, and whether it’s giving something up, or making a commitment to spend more time with God, it’s about where we put our focus and how it will help us grow spiritually. I love your example of spending intential moments with God.

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