Earlier today I received a Facebook message from our daughter Sabrina which I think is absolutely perfect for Lent. It is a letter from the pastor of a Lutheran church in New Jersey and addresses so much of what we are carrying around that separates us from the relationship with Jesus for which we were created. Lent can be a time of giving things up or taking things on to celebrate and glorify God but if it is not from our heart and not for the purpose of having a better relationship with Christ then it is simply a religious event which doesn’t often change our lives. Lent is a time of repentance and reflection.
The following is the letter:
Last week we talked about all the wrong and right reasons to fast for Lent. We are less than a week away from Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. Many Christians “give something up” for Lent, but it usually has very little of impact on their life and walk with Christ. The reason is that we usually give stuff up for all the wrong reasons.
With that said, I want to offer up 20 things you might consider giving up this Lent. These are things to give up not just for Lent, but for the rest of your life.
- Guilt – I am loved by Jesus and he has forgiven my sins. Today is a new day and the past is behind.
- Fear – God is on my side. In him I am more than a conqueror. (see Romans 8)
- The need to please everyone – I can’t please everyone anyways. There is only one I need to strive to please.
- Envy – I am blessed. My value is not found in my possessions, but in my relationship with my Heavenly Father.
- Impatience – God’s timing is the perfect timing.
- Sense of entitlement – The world does not owe me anything. God does not owe me anything. I live in humility and grace.
- Bitterness and Resentment – The only person I am hurting by holding on to these is myself.
- Blame – I am not going to pass the buck. I will take responsibility for my actions.
- Gossip and Negativity – I will put the best construction on everything when it comes to other people. I will also minimize my contact with people who are negative and toxic bringing other people down.
- Comparison – I have my own unique contribution to make and there is no one else like me.
- Fear of failure – You don’t succeed without experiencing failure. Just make sure you fail forward.
- A spirit of poverty – Believe with God that there is always more than enough and never a lack
- Feelings of unworthiness – You are fearfully and wonderfully made by your creator. (see Psalm 139)
- Doubt – Believe God has a plan for you that is beyond anything you could imagine. The future is brighter than you could ever realize.
- Self-pity – God comforts us in our sorrow so that we can comfort others with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.
- Retirement – As long as you are still breathing, you are here for a reason. You have a purpose to influence others for Christ. That does not come to an end until the day we die.
- Excuses – A wise man once said, if you need an excuse, any excuse will do.
- Lack of counsel – Wise decisions are rarely made in a vacuum.
- Pride – Blessed are the humble.
- Worry – God is in control and worrying will not help.
God has so much more in store for you. But so many of these things above are holding you back from walking in the full destiny he has laid out for you. Today is a new day.
So there you have it. What else might you add to the list? Please share in the comments below.
Confirmation Classes will begin Sunday March 1 at Dorsey At 6 pm. Please mark this on your calendar NOW as all classes will be very important. If you have not yet completed the request to attend classes please send me an email to let me know you are interested. There is no age requirement in the United Methodist Church but the ability to make a decision for Jesus Christ is necessary. The curriculum will be geared toward the upper elementary grades and above.