Lent, is it for me?

Lent is a period of 40 days not including Sundays leading up to Easter. It is a time of self-examination, repentance, fasting and preparing for Easter. Growing up, we always gave something up for lent but were allowed have it on Sundays. Usually it was a type of food, candy, chocolate, gum, etc. I never really understood what the purpose was. As I got older, I continued to do it out of habit but still really didn’t understand the purpose behind it.

A lot of my misunderstanding stemmed from the fact that I wasn’t a believer and didn’t understand the tremendous sacrifice Christ made for us when He died on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins. I now understand that giving something up for Lent represents a sacrifice on our part. However, I have been challenged with that thought process by something different. A minister once challenged us to take on something rather than giving something up.

He was referring to taking on a spiritual discipline for 40 days rather than giving up something random. The reasoning behind this is at the end of Lent we are supposed to be different. We are supposed to spend the 40 days examining our lives and seeing where we need to focus on being more like Christ. Giving up chocolate for 40 days won’t bring me any closer to Christ. It will be making a sacrifice, but in the end, my relationship with the Lord would pretty much be the same.

Taking on a spiritual discipline such as praying daily, reading His Word daily or serving others would have a greater impact on my personal relationship with Jesus than merely giving up chocolate. Spending time in prayer, the Word or serving will have me focusing on  my relationship with Christ and how to walk out my faith each day. 

I love the idea of Lent being a season of spiritual readiness, preparing our hearts and minds for the joyous celebration of Easter. If you are growing closer to the Lord during these 40 days, each Sunday will be a time to celebrate that intimate relationship you are developing. Imagine how much sweeter Easter will be if after 40 days you know Him more, you are closer to the Lord and are allowing Him to be not only your Savior, but the Lord of your life.

Do you want to be closer to the Lord this Easter? Are you up for the challenge? Take on a spiritual discipline for the remainder of Lent and see if you are different when Easter arrives.

 

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17 thoughts on “Lent, is it for me?

  1. Shelly,
    I think how we practice Lent changes as we grow closer to Christ. I agree with you that giving up something random doesn’t bring us closer to Christ. The journey to the cross takes time and reflection. This year I did give up something, but that was so I could replace that activity with more time with my Lord. Thank you for your blog.

    • Julie, I love giving up something to replace it with time with God. Nothing will bring us closer to Him than taking the time to spend with Him. Thanks for sharing your insights. Blessings!

  2. I gave up Tumblr this year (a friend changed all my passwords) and am using the (plentiful) spare time to read spiritual books. I WILL get through my CS Lewis spiritual classics book! Great post! 🙂

    • Mariella, I love the idea of giving up something in order to pick up something that will benefit your spiritual life. Thanks for sharing. Blessings!

  3. Enixfame

    You just gave us another insight about Lent, I think I have to share this with my friend.

    • Enixfame, glad you could use the idea for Lent. I am listening to an audio Bible program 28 minutes a day for 40 days and at the end of the 40 days I will have listened to the entire New Testament. You can find it at http://www.faithcomesbyhearing.com/youvegothetime
      You can also download the free app: Bible.is or download free podcasts each day from iTunes by searching you’ve got the time. Blessings!

  4. I was raised as a Catholic and even then I didn’t understand the point of just randomly giving something up for lent (and not eating meat on Fridays). It’s seemed more like an arbitrary ritual. Now as a Christian I purposely don’t do anything like that for lent because I don’t want to give my family the false impression that this arbitrary yearly ritual is enough to get you “good with God.” But I like your idea of using this time to grow in the spiritual disciplines. Which one are you choosing this year?

    • April, I think we can give things up if we replace the time with something that will help us draw closer to the Lord, but agree randomly giving things up doesn’t really seem to make us closer to God. I am listening to the New Testament through an audio Bible program. You can find it through http://www.faithcomesbyhearing.com/youvegotthetime
      It is free audio Bible where you listen for 28 minutes a day for 40 days and at the end of the 40 days you will have heard the entire New Testament. Blessings!

  5. Great thoughts on Lent, and how to use it to draw you closer to Christ.

    • Disaolifeontheborder, thanks. I love using the days leading up to Easter to really focus on my relationship with the Lord it really makes Easter a special day! Blessings.

  6. I love this idea for Lent! I will give it a try. Thank you for sharing.

    • ChristianPoetWarrior, thanks. It has really helped me get more out of the season of Lent and it makes Easter even sweeter when you have drawn closer to Him for the days leading up to it. Blessings!

  7. Reblogged this on iChristian and commented:
    Fantastic post! 😀

  8. Thanks Shelly! This is so inspiring! 😀

    • Steverebus, thanks! Hope it helps your lent be a season of introspection and drawing closer to the Lord. Blessings!

  9. Thank you for helping us with Lent and doing what will draw us closer to Jesus at this time! God bless you, Shelly!

    • Debbie, thanks! I hope it challenges people to really focus on their relationship with the Lord so when Easter arrives we are all closer to Him.

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