What are you giving up for Lent?

This was originally published in Issue 6 of The Huntingtonian on March 8, 2007.

It is that season again: the season where all good Christian girls and boys sit around the table and talk about who is doing what for Lent. Popular choices include things like ice cream, fatty foods, and television. Not surprisingly, many of the things we give up are good for us to rid ourselves of anyway – bad habits, unhealthy diets, etc. Kind of makes the “giving up” process a little easier, does it not?

Part of me wonders what we should really be giving up during this time. What would truly be beneficial, in the Lord pleasing, kingdom serving sense of the word?

But honestly, and with all due respect, I do not care what you are doing for Lent.

This beautiful experience during the Lenten season gives us the opportunity – the blessing – of giving something to our Creator. In some sort of divine allowance we are actually allowed to approach the Almighty with a gift. Hopefully this gift is something of worth – maybe even something which we have valued more than God.

Consider a gift given to your closest friend, your parents, or better yet your husband or wife. Are you going to parade the information around, making sure everyone knows what you did for them? Better yet get in a circle (with them present, mind you) and begin to compare and rate your gifts. Weird, right?

I like to think about close relationships when I think about my relationship with God. There are a couple of reasons, but mostly I want my relationship with God to be a close one, a very intimate one. So the best I can do is to take as much truth from the relationships I experience and know well and use those concepts in my relationship with God.

So, basically, I will not be telling you what I am doing for Lent. And please do not tell me – especially if it is ice cream.

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