Yesterday was Ash Wednesday. As most people know, this is the 40 days period of preparation for Easter with reflection, repentance, and prayer. Most people fast or give up things for Lent. I am not Catholic but I have fasted and given up thing before for Lent as a way to get closer to God. In the past I’ve given up alcohol, reality television, and sweets. I always make it the 40 days. I feel great about myself for having the self-control and will to do so. I have not necessarily felt closer to God in doing these things. Today while I was reading my devotional, I came across this passage:
And when you fast, don’t make it obvious, as the hypocrites do, for they try to look miserable and disheveled so people will admire them for their fasting. I tell you the truth, that is the only reward they will ever get. But when you fast, comb your hair and wash your face. Then no one will notice that you are fasting, except your Father, who knows what you do in private. And your Father, who sees everything, will reward you. -Matthew 6:16-18
And there you have it. I can be honest and say that one of the main reasons I give up things for Lent is because everyone else is doing it. I could tell people what I was giving up and why. Then people would go “oh wow….good luck!” That’s why I never got more than an exercise in self-determination because it wasn’t done in the correct spirit. So this year I’m not giving up anything. I am going to use this period to pray more sincerely and to better my temple. I am going to continue my work on becoming a better Christian and a better person altogether. My walk with Christ i not supposed to be a show but I want people to see Him when they see me and my work. THAT i my focus for the Lenten season.
Are you giving up something for Lent? What is it? What are your preparations before Easter?