Here are some suggestions of what you might “give up” for Lent —
* Give up grumbling! Instead, “In everything give thanks.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18) Constructive criticism is all right, but “moaning, groaning, and complaining” are not Christian virtues.
* Give up 10 to 15 minutes staring at your smart phone. Instead, use that time to pray, read the Bible, and reflect on your life.
* Give up looking at other people’s worst points. Instead concentrate on their best points. We all have faults. It is a lot easier to have people overlook our shortcomings when we overlook theirs first.
* Give up speaking unkindly. Instead, let your speech be generous and understanding. It costs so little to say something kind and uplifting. Why not check that sharp tongue at whatever door you walk through.
* Give up your hatred of anyone or anything! Instead, learn the discipline of love. “Love covers a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8).
* Give up your worries and anxieties! Instead, trust God with them. Anxiety is spending emotional energy on something we can do nothing about, like tomorrow! Live today and let God’s grace be sufficient.
* Give up TV or staring at a computer screen one evening a week! Instead, call or visit someone who is lonely or sick. There are people you know who are isolated by illness or age. Give someone a precious gift — your time!
* Give up buying anything but essentials for yourself! Instead, give the money to those who are in need. The money you would spend on non-essentials could help others meet their basic needs. We are called to be stewards of God’s riches, not consumers.
* Give up judging by appearances and by the standards of the world! Instead, learn to give yourself to God. There is only One who has the right to judge, God.
Lent is the church’s season in which we prepare for Easter Sunday. It is a time to remember the temptation, the suffering, and the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
Lent is a time to ready ourselves for the sheer joy of Easter morning — it is a time to ready ourselves to meet our risen Lord once again in this world and forever in the next world.
Inspired by the words of David Leininger
EVERY MORNING I SPEND 15 MINUTES FILLING MY MIND FULL OF GOD, SO THERE’S NO ROOM LEFT FOR WORRY THOUGHTS!