What are you giving up for Lent?
Those seven words have brought me many mixed emotions growing up. Being raised Catholic, Lent has been a regularly celebrated season in my household. I always thought I understood exactly what it was. We pick something to give up for the 40 week days in between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday and we suffer through it. Right?
WRONG. So wrong.
What Lent is NOT About
Lent is not about cutting things out of our lives completely for five and a half weeks and feeling miserable about it the entire time. It’s not about trying to prove to ourselves that we have self-control. It’s not about trying to impress God with our awesome ability to sacrifice material things.
It’s not about us.
Lent is about Him.
The reason we give things up for Lent is to humble ourselves before Christ. He made the ultimate sacrifice for us–He died on the cross for our sins so that we could be redeemed. Nothing can ever exceed that.
We make sacrifices each Lent to honor Him and glorify His most perfect, sacrificial love for us. Our small sacrifices–whether it be giving up our smart phones, cutting sweets out of our diets, unplugging our televisions, etc–are all ways in which we can draw closer to Christ.
Lent is a time of preparation. It is a solemn season, yes, but it is by no means depressing. Our sacrifices should be made with joyful hearts because they are our stepping stones toward Christ.
“If Lent was just about giving up stuff then I wouldn’t find any grace. . .
But because Lent is about life with Jesus Christ, these crosses, these small inconveniences or struggles help me grow in virtue and holiness. They help me become a whole person. They make me come alive.”
– Ryan Miller, LifeTeen author
Are you ready to come alive with Christ this Lent?