Giving Up for Lent
As we enter the period of Lent, it is important that we pause and evaluate our faith journey. Lent is an intentional time of reflection ahead of the glorious celebration of Easter. Lent traditionally lasts 40 days (plus Sundays), from Ash Wednesday to Easter. This year, Lent begins March 1. There is the common idea of giving up something for Lent. Often, however, what we give up is truly inconsequential to our lives and our continuing journey of faith. In my reading, I came across the following article that challenges us to think about what we give up a bit differently. (original at http://www.dailyworld.com/story/opinion/2017/02/16/19-things-give-up-lent-arent-chocolate/98005614/ )
Ponder These Things by Monsignor Keith Derouen
Two years ago someone sent me 19 suggestions regarding Lenten penances. With Lent right around the corner, I thought I would offer them again to you readers. I published them again in our Queen of Angels Church bulletin, but someone from Lawtell suggested I put the list of 19 things in the paper. So here they are 19 things you might consider giving up this Lent and beyond:
- Fear: God is on my side. In Him I am more than a conqueror. (See Romans 98)
- The need to please everyone: I can’t please everyone anyway. 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 onto 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 and bring 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 fall 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.
Editor’s note: Since the initial publication of this column, it’s been noted that the suggestions above were originally published as part of “40 Things to Give up for Lent: The List” by Rev. Phil Ressler at www.greaterthings.today. To find the full list and a link to Ressler’s book “40 Things to Give up for Lent and Beyond,” visit https://www.greaterthings.today/40-things-to-give-up-for-lent-the-list/.
Contributed by Pastor Brian Siegle