In many Christian circles this time of year, the question is commonly asked “What are you giving up for Lent?”
Lent was originally meant to allow people to demonstrate penitence and share in the sufferings of Christ. Various traditions hold to different ideas of what appropriate fasting or giving up various luxuries look like.
Evangelical Christianity’s version of Lent can often look like this image – a mishmash of confusion and mixed-up motivations. Still, if entered into with a spirit of worship, fasting is an act of adoration of our God.
But I can’t help but wonder if instead of taking a negative view – asking the question what can I give up? – maybe we should go a more positive route. What can I add to my habits and behaviors during Lent that will glorify Christ and bring others to know Him?
Here are a few suggestions:
1. Pray for a missionary every day for the 40 days of Lent.
2. Every day, write in a prayer journal one thing you are thankful for that God has given you. At the end of the 40 days, you will have a list of 40 God-given blessings.
3. Every day, place a dollar in a jar. At the end of Lent, give your donation to a missionary or project.
4. Meditate on the final days of Christ on earth by reading the gospels and a book like Bread and Wine: Readings for Lent and Easter.