Are you giving something up for Lent this year?
This is the very first year I will give up something for Lent. I write about it in the chapter on Self-Control in my new book, The Fruitful Life. Let’s just say it’s something very near and dear to my heart, in a place where God wants to have primary residence.
I’m not giving my Dear Thing up because I want to fit in with a group of other Lenten fast-ers.
I’m not giving my Dear Thing up for personal benefit (for example, give up smoking and get healthier).
I’m not giving my Dear Thing up to get a spiritual promotion in exchange.
I am giving up my Dear Thing because it’s become an idol.
In this season of contemplating the sins of mine that Jesus covered on the cross, the least I can do is give up this little Dear Thing. This idol which has a higher place in my heart than Jesus, who died on my behalf.
It will be HARD! I turn to this Dear Thing many, many times daily for pleasure, comfort, ease, and good feelings, even if they only last a moment.
But it will be GOOD for me to learn to turn to the Holy Spirit many, many times daily when I face temptation during this Lenten season. When I miss my Dear Thing. When I think using my Dear Thing is the only way to feel good again. When the enemy whispers, “Surely God didn’t say this Dear Thing is all that bad for you.”
I’m afraid this Dear Thing has stood in the way of me bearing greater fruit for God’s kingdom.
If I keep relying on my Dear Thing instead of God, even in small ways, I wonder if he can’t trust me to bear more fruit. So he gives the opportunity to someone who can, who has self-control in this area.
I’m willing to accept this challenge. I’ll be writing about it over the next several weeks. I hope you will join me on this Lenten journey of confession and repentance.
As promised, here is a sneak peek at my hand-drawn illustrations for quote cards and the prayer calendar I’m creating now, available to everyone who subscribes below!
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