Do you ever give up anything for Lent? I know that many people give up chocolate. I used to but I haven't for many years. So why did I give up, giving up chocolate? Apart from the fact that I LOVE chocolate, I found that I wasn't really giving it up for the right reasons.
As I have always understood it, whenever you are tempted to have the thing you have given up, is the time for you to stop and pray, thus shifting our focus from the "forbidden" item to God.
I think that we all would agree that when we are not allowed something, we want it all the more. By that token, it should allow even more time spent with God. For me, giving up chocolate, ended up being more about thinking I might lose some weight, and so that I could say that I had given up something for Lent. Wrong motives.
So should we, or should we not, give up something for Lent? Well I would like to say that it is totally up to the individual. If you feel that it is right for you to give something then by all means do so, but if you don't, there's no need to feel guilty about it.
Equally, if you do give something up, and then find you have failed by giving in, don't feel guilty about it.
Why have I just decided to write this now, a week into Lent?
If you have given something up - I want to congratulate and encourage you to continue, well done!
If you have failed to keep it up, I want to encourage you not to beat yourself up over it. You can either resume it, or not. God won't banish you from heaven because you didn't continue to give up whatever it is. Jesus called us to keep two great commandments, love God first, and secondly, to love our neighbour as ourselves and said that He is the Way to heaven not whether or not we give up anything.
So maybe what we should start to think about are more the questions, "What is your focus in life?" and, "Where does God feature in your life on a day to day basis?"
Life After Death: A Mother's Story
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