Lent is rightfully associated with sacrifice and self-denial. It is intended to remind us of the sacrifice Christ made for us and for our sins. It is a time for us as Christians to repent and reconcile ourselves with God. Part of that tradition is to deny ourselves a convenience or two in the hope of growing closer to God.
What are you ‘giving up’ for Lent?
I will do exactly that for the next few weeks. However, when someone asks, “What are you giving up for lent?” I proudly respond – “Nothing! I am letting go of a thing or two but, I am not giving up anything. Rather, I am gaining faith and growing closer to God!”
Gaining spiritual fulfillment
The point of letting go of a favorite food, hobby or other material indulgence is to remind us that we can be plenty happy without those things. Letting go of such things leaves room for spiritual fulfillment. And spiritual fulfillment can be much longer lasting.
When I eliminate watching TV during dinner (my personal Lenten ‘sacrifice’), I gain the opportunity to have a meaningful conversation with my wife. And such a conversation is spiritually fulfilling. When I let go of a favorite dessert, I gain an appetite for something healthy. When I let go of almost any extraneous material desire, the void is filled with a greater love for Christ.
Lent is a wonderful time of the year. I don’t have to “give up” a thing. Rather, I “let go” of some things and what I gain in return is a Divine bargain. I would love to hear what you are “letting go” and what you hope to gain in return. Happy Lent everyone!