Have you ever thought about giving something up? Most of us have at some point. Maybe you’ve thought about giving up a bad habit such as smoking or eating greasy foods. Sometimes thinking of giving something up is as far as we get, and we keep doing what we’ve always done because it’s something we have grown comfortable with. Sometimes we just lack the motivation to begin.
This past Wednesday was the starting date for the Christian tradition of Lent. During this time, the 40 days leading to Easter, we are reminded of the sacrifice our savior made for us and we are compelled to make a sacrifice of our own. This sacrifice comes in the form of giving something up, usually something we like, for 40 days. For some it’s giving up sweets; for others, it’s video games or Facebook; for others, it’s smoking or something else they have had a desire to give up but lacked the motivation to do so.
Whatever it is that we choose to give up for whatever reason, the idea behind giving something up is that it gives us a fresh perspective about our appetites and desires. And this perspective leads us to a new perspective about the suffering Jesus Christ endured. As we deal with our temptations to indulge ourselves in what we have committed to give up, we turn to God for endurance and strength. We take our cue from the apostle Paul in Philippians 3:10 and renew our commitment to be more like Christ in his suffering. Our sacrifice has no comparison to the sacrifice he made, but sometimes even the smallest of sacrifices can lead to a heartfelt understanding. So with this in mind, have you thought about what you would give up for Lent?