When I was a kid giving something up for Lent was a big choice: chocolate? pop? television? It had to be something that felt like an indulgence – or maybe something I could complain about often.
I grew older and latched onto the idea of doing something extra for Lent. Reading books about scripture or faith. Praying a certain prayer each day. One year I put a box in my office and each day dropped in something that I didn’t need – it was both doing and giving up.
Now I tend to try and do both the giving up and the doing extra. I’ll be honest though, the giving up part seems silly. I know, I know there’s something about strengthening your self-discipline but for someone who is self-disciplined all the time? It seems unnecessary. It doesn’t make me feel like I’m drawing any closer to Jesus or remembering his sacrifice in some special way because I’m not eating snacks in the afternoon.
But Lent starts next week and something does, in fact, need to be done to honor the season. In preparing to lead a youth ministry night, I came across the 1 – 1 – 1 challenge for Lent. That’s what I’ll be following:
- Give up one thing
- Pick up one thing
- Focus on one sin
Here’s hoping for a fruitful, strengthening Lent. How will you be honoring the season?