What Can I Give Up for Lent?
For Christians, this question is the second greatest question we ask ourselves year after year. The first would probably be deciding new year’s resolutions. However, the second question has greater spiritual impact, although it usually centers around the same thing: food, diet, exercise etc. Of course, setting aside things we enjoy is supposed to allow us time to delve into spiritual growth. We deny the indulgence of the body’s appetites, deny the cravings of the physical, in order to strengthen the spirit. So what are we to give up? Have we thought about giving up some spiritual things that may not be good for us.
Have we ever been instructed to give up religious pride? Religious pride is that attitude that says, when reading the Bible, “That experience is not for me. I don’t want to go there.” “I don’t have to change, God is pleased with me the way I am.” Religious pride is a hindrance to spiritual growth. Give it up for Lent and you won’t want to take it back!
We all are aware of “worldly ways,” just being more conformed to the ways the world operates rather than conforming to biblical instruction. We would rather stand up for ourselves than to turn the other check. The world sees meekness as weakness. How do you see it? Are there other biblical virtues that you wince at? Practice them! (This is one of those messages the preacher will have a hard time with. But Lent is not supposed to be easy!)
What about giving up timidity! What!? Yeah, you know that spirit that says, “I can’t ask them to come to church.” The shyness that keeps us from offering encouragement to others to come for Christian worship, fellowship and service needs to be given up. When listening to Wayne Miller at a meeting he said something incredible! As he mentioned how many times our people make hits on our blog to find out what’s going on, all one needs to do is press the share button to let others know what we are doing. If you have a hard time with face-to-face invitations, incorporate the use of the send button on the computer. Let’s give up timidity! Let’s share what’s going on at Aldersgate. Do it for Lent and you might keep doing it for Christ! -- Ben