A radio show was discussing the top 11 things that people give up for Lent and it made me think. So many people give up silly, frivolous things that are really pointless in relation to the sacrifice that Christ made for us. It borders on insulting. People give up sweets, ice cream, soda, and Oreos. Some people give up online shopping or watching reality TV. Is Lent the time to lose weight or to save money? I don't really think so. Those are what New Year's resolutions are for. I can understand giving up meat every day rather than just on Fridays because it has religious symbolism. If you want to give up shopping, do something good with the money you save—donate it to your church or a charity. But why give up something that you'll take up again as soon as Easter comes? I don't really understand the point, especially when everyone gives up something that they can easily go without!
I think Lent should be a time of change or transformation for oneself. It's not to better your physical or monetary status, but a time that could be an inspiration to better you emotionally and spiritually. Instead of giving up food or TV or shopping, give up negativity. Give up judging others. These are things that will bring you closer to Christ. Whenever you are tempted to think poorly of another, think of Christ's sacrifices for us and be inspired to change your actions.
Or, don't give up something at all! Start doing something new that will benefit yourself or others. Volunteer. Read a 40 Day devotional book everyday (this is my choice for Lent). Go to Church every day (or more than once a week) during Lent. Pray more. Read the Bible every morning or night. These are all things that could benefit your spirituality and will more than likely become a habit and a way of life when these 40 days end. Lent seems to be turning into a secular time. This should be a time to refocus our lives on Christ. I decided to read from a 40 Day Devotional everyday during Lent and reflect on this time.
What will you do for Lent?