Thank goodness right?
I’ll let you read that AGAIN to yourself aloud this time.
Jesus DID NOT ask YOU to give up Coffee for Lent.
He did, however, ask you to give up one thing.
He asked you to give up yourself, and follow him.
For those of you not familiar with the Lent Season. It is a 40 day period between Ash Wednesday and Holy Saturday. It is supposed to mark a time of humility, repentance, peace, self denial and soul searching.
As one is SUPPOSED to take this time to DRAW NEAR to Christ during this time. It is modeled after Christ’s 40 day fast in the desert and ends on Good Friday.
Do you Observe Lent?
Are you giving something this year?
Do you know WHY? Like the REAL reason why?
I love the idea & concept of Lent. Especially as a Health & Wellness coach, as most people give up their unhealthy food and try to exercise more! Which in itself is a wonderful thing to do for your body.
But why are you doing this? Do you even know?
Basically you are giving up something for 40 days that you enjoy, or depend on, something that you are addicted to- Like coffee, chocolate or social media.
But most people leave out THE ONLY ONE IMPORTANT reason of why they are practicing Lent. It can be so easy to fall into the religious practice of just doing something for the reason of doing something. To check off that box. Or because everyone else is doing it, or because your pastor suggested that you to do it. Or because people will tell you it will better your life if you do it. That’s all well and good- BUT
Are you truly practicing Lent if you are only giving something up-
just for the sake of giving something up?
What about the REAL meaning behind Lent?
Lent is supposed to SHIFT your FOCUS and draw you closer to Jesus.
Is giving up that cup of coffee, or that piece chocolate or an hour of social media REALLY nurturing your relationship with Jesus? I mean really?
In other words, I can only imagine if God was standing in front of me today he would say-
“Janet, I didn’t ask you to give up that cup of coffee so you could whine and complain all day about how much you need caffeine to survive. Or so you could roll your eyes and say no thank you, I can’t have that today, I gave it up for Lent.
NO!! I didn’t ask you that.
I asked you to give up your life,
I asked you to give up your ways,
I asked you to give up your control,
& I asked you to GIVE your life to me. I asked you to FOLLOW me.
All I want is for you to give up your old ways, and follow mine.”
This is what Jesus wants from us. It’s that simple folks.
If giving up that cup of coffee will make you focus on Jesus during the time that you would normally drink that cup, then you are on the right track.
If giving up that chocolate addiction makes you go out for a walk and have a conversation with God for a half hour, then you are on the right track.
If giving up an hour of social media during the day makes you pull out your Bible & Devotional and spend time praying & journaling for an hour, then you are on the right track.
For me, I don’t want to think of Lent as a season of GIVING UP.
I want to think of it as a season of GROWTH, GIVING IN and GIVING TO.
In what ways am I more compelled to GIVE IN to the ways of God?
How am I more deeply GIVING TO those around me?
How am I GROWING IN my stewardship towards others?
How am I GIVING IN to more mercy?
How can I BE MORE humble?
How are you GIVING IN to the GRACE of God this Lent Season?
The GRACE that provides us ALL a life of salvation?
How are you giving up your OLD WAYS and your OLD SELF,
And FOLLOWING His?
“Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me.” Matthew 16:24
“For even the Son Of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45
“He who has found his own life will lose it, And he who has lost his own life for my sake will find it” Matthew 10:39
“When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have not received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will no be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” Matthew 6:16-18
So, during this time of Lent I will be working on giving up on myself & my old ways to grow deeper in my relationship and understanding of Christ, to grow in showing love and kindness to others, and to follow in His ways.