History of LentThe question creeps up on us and challenges all Christians to examine their lives and determine what to give up for Lent each year. We know that in living our life for Christ, we’re rewarded with His love, mercy, peace, and joy. Sometimes we need a little reminder of why we do what we do, why we live our lives as Christians. When deciding what to give up for Lent, we want to choose something that is truly a sacrifice and a challenge to our everyday lives, in order to help us recommit ourselves to the Lord.
What to give up for LentDoes it come down to this every year? Waiting until the last minute to decide what to give up for Lent? Lucky for you, we understand that Lent tends to creep up on us and that it’s hard to figure out what’s the best thing (or things) to give up for Lent. Don’t let this Lenten season pass you by without deciding what to give up, what to add on, or what to pray about for the next 40 days.
Typically, people choose to give up certain foods or drinks as a fast for Lent, but don’t forget that the whole point of Lent is to give up something in your life that has taken your attention away from the Christian journey, away from Christ and your devotion to Him. Sure, it’s important to give up the things in life that would be somewhat of a sacrifice to not have for a month and a half. It might be more important, however, to increase other activities that reflect upon and improve your faith. Remember: it’s not just about what to give up for Lent, it’s about what you’re doing for Lent. Sometimes an action can have a deeper impact that an avoidance. Take some time when you’re thinking about what to give up for Lent, and ask yourself what might be taking over your life. Make a decision to let it go. Lent is a unique time to learn and practice self-control and to identify with Christ’s suffering. Don’t just give up something for Lent because that’s what you’ve always done. Give up something for Lent because you want to grow closer to the Lord.
As you take time to figure out what to give up for Lent this year, try to get others to do the same. You could ask friends for help in holding you accountable to what you’re giving up for Lent. If you’re married, you could ask your spouse to join you in a fast or to participate in a new devotional or action this season. If you have children, suggest things that are simple for them to give up too. It’s not just about what you can give up or take on this Lent; it’s about growing closer to Christ through Lenten sacrifice and new practices. You don’t have to do it alone. Let us help you answer the question: What should I give up for Lent?!
During Lent, we decrease the things that detract us from our faith journey and increase the things that supplement it. Some of the things people decide to give up for Lent are:
- Television or their favorite show/channel
- Internet or certain websites
- Coffee or alcohol
- Desserts or sweets
- Relying on credit cards
- Bars and night clubs
- Video games
- Clutter around the house, office, etc.
Lenten FocusLent call us into deeper relationship with Christ. We need tools to help us build up a life worthy of the call of the Gospel. We face a daunting task, but one achievable in the light of faith. Pope Benedict tells us in his Lenten message: “The Christian life consists in continuously scaling the mountain to meet God and then coming back down, bearing the love and strength drawn from him, so as to serve our brothers and sisters with God’s own love.” We'll scale mountains and serve others through our Daily Sacrifices.
About LentLent is a special time of sacrifice and purification for many Christians. It consists of a forty-day period of prayer and fasting before Easter, beginning on Ash Wednesday. It’s sometimes helpful to view Lent as a season of “soul-searching,” repentance (asking for forgiveness), reflection (meditation), and sacrifice. For a lot of people, they ask themselves the question: “What to give up for Lent?” When you give up something for Lent, you help develop your spiritual nature, grow closer to Christ, and realize all that He has given up for us. It’s not always about giving up something for Lent. Sometimes, it’s about doing something extra—something you wouldn’t normally do—in preparation for Easter.
For forty days, we prepare ourselves for Easter Sunday by prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. During the Lenten season, we can re-commit ourselves to faith in Jesus. We sacrifice, give things up for Lent, and take on new practices in exchange for the greatest sacrifice known to humanity. When we really give ourselves over to Lenten practices, we get the opportunity to learn self-control and to improve our lives as Christians. As we give things up for Lent, we’re really finding things that are taking away from our love of Christ and giving them up so that we may improve our lives, the lives of those around us, and our relationship with the Lord.
Every year, you may run into the same problem: deciding what I should give up for Lent. We set aside our simple desires as a sacrifice, in honor of Christ’s ultimate sacrifice. It’s important to understand the history of Lent, what Lent is truly meant to be, and how you can live out the call of Christ in our world today. Once we come to a better understanding of these things, hopefully we can make a more enlightened decision about what to give up for Lent.
We've put together a really cool list of things to give up; one for each day of Lent and they're all different! Some are easier than others, but each one will challenge the things that many of us take for granted. Follow us on Twitter, Like us on Facebook, or Subscribe to our Email List and we'll post a new sacrifice each day!
- Buy/prepare a meal for someone who doesn't expect it
- Insert change in a few vending machines
- Sleep on anything other than a pillow tonight
- Find, watch, & share a YouTube video that speaks to you spiritually.
Have a cool Daily Sacrifice/Challenge for Lent? Share it with us and we might just add it to the list!