I Think I’ll Give This Up for Lent

Where I live, it’s popular to give up certain things–usually foods– for Lent. Lent, of course, is the solemn 40 day period leading up to Easter. Many Christians hold to these 40 days as a time of repentance and fasting. As you might expect, some people are more serious about it than others.

Repentance and deep introspection are beautiful for followers of Christ. Any day or any time would be a great time to consider how God would have you change your life.

Why not consider giving up what God tells us to leave behind in life?

Paul called on the church at Colossae to “put on” some things and to “take off” some things.

Paul challenged the church to adopt some virtues as habits. Notice the positive aspects of the Christian life. “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other . . . . And above all these put on love” (Colossians 3:12-14).

He also told the church to get rid of certain parts of their lives. “But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from you mouth” (Colossians 3:8).

I have three suggestions for you.

First, read Colossians 3:1-17 each day before Easter. The Word of God is alive and active. As you read, the Holy Spirit will impress on you some areas which are deficient and some places you need to change. Repetitively reading the passage will help impress it on your heart.

Second, pick one area to emphasize for the weeks leading up to Easter. Patience would be a great area to embrace and impatience, especially with our own family members, would be good to give up.

Psychologists tell us that old habits can be broken and new ones begun if we emphasize and practice them each day. Wouldn’t God be pleased if we followed what He has told us to do?

Third, pray each day for God to help you do what you and God want you to do. Pray for the positive–like patience–rather than the negative–like getting rid of impatience. God will help you as you seek to please Him.

Spend these days honoring God by doing those things which will please Him.

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