When I was in middle school, two of my friends and I were signed up for track and field - with competition coming up we figured we should start training. We went for a jog and about a mile down the road decided to take a break and walk around in a local grocery store. While we were in there we saw free samples of donut holes so that’s where we headed. We each shoved probably three or four into our mouths and immediately one of my friends walked over to the trash can and spat his donut holes out. It was in the middle of Lent and apparently, he had given up sweets. Lent is the season in the Christian faith leading up to Easter. For about 7 weeks its common for people to abstain from certain foods, drinks or practices to remind them of the sacrifice of Jesus for humanity.
My friends dedication blew me away, even now, I’m still impressed by it. I’ve tried giving things up before: pop, social media, and fast food just to name a few. Each time I caved and cheated before Easter, but I never really cared too much. To me, giving up something for Lent was nothing more than a fad, just something that people did for the sake of doing it.
About 3 or 4 years ago another buddy of mine started talking about what he was doing for Lent: Instead of giving up something he was adding something. He always struggled in his prayer life, so he decided to set ten minutes aside each day to spend in conversation with God. I loved this idea. We give things up for Lent so that we can better focus on Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf but often we forget about that second part.
This Lenten season I want to encourage you to give up through addition. If you’re going to give something up, try adding something in its place. If you give up social media, try spending the time you’d usually be on Facebook reading the bible or in prayer. If you give up fast food, try giving the money that you’d usually spend on McDonalds to a charity. Maybe you don’t want to give anything up but want to add a daily devotional. That’s awesome too! Try making Jesus the focus of this season.
Trying something different for Lent?
Let us know in the comment section below!