Giving up on Giving Up something for Lent?

Does giving up chocolate seem silly to you? Does the fear of giving up your daily caffeine fix put you into cold sweats? Does disconnecting from the internet for 40 days sound crazy? Maybe a positive self-discipline is for you! When Lent comes around each year you might have friends who give up chocolate, or soda, or caffeine, or smoking, or coffee, or tv, or Facebook, or the like. You may have tried to give up something in the past like this and at the end of the season thought, “Did that really help?”
If self-denial isn’t your thing try adding something instead of giving something up. If you’d rather not try fasting, simplicity, or silence; why not try something that adds to your normal routine?
Be creative and come up with something positive to add to your everyday life for these 40 days of Lent. It could be something to add to your personal devotional life. It could be something to enhance your physical well being. It could be a way to serve others and share God’s Word with them.
If you want to add a discipline that develops your spiritual life take a look at your daily devotional experience and increase it in some way. Add time to your normal Bible reading schedule. Add prayer to your routine. Add a daily hymn that you can read through and on which you can reflect each day. Maybe you’ve never attended Thursday night soup and worship events for Lent, and you could commit to those this season. Adding to our personal spiritual life can only be a blessing and a benefit.
Or, you might want to do something to increase your physical well-being. Our bodies are the Temple of God’s Spirit and we’re called to care for them as such. Add a daily walk to your routine. Add some sit-ups or pushups to work those muscles. Replace sugared drinks with water. Add an extra hour of sleep if you are habitually short on zzzzz’s. Do something positive for your physical well being during Lent this year. It will be a blessing and a benefit to you and those around you.
Or, you might want to add opportunities to serve others. Make one phone call a day to encourage and pray for your friends or family. Bake 40 pies to give to your neighbors, family, and friends. Buy 40 Bibles, highlight key Gospel passages in them, and give out one a day to people that you run into during Lent. Be creative and find a way to serve someone else every day during Lent. It will be a blessing and a benefit!
Or, you might try all three! Increase your time spent with Jesus, take care of your body, and serve a neighbor. What a Lent we can have if we step up and add something positive to our daily lives for 40 days!

God’s Blessings on your Lenten Journey!

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