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What's the Point of Lent?

We are now a good chunk of the way into Lent. For the most part, I have kept my resolutions, and I feel fine about the few moments when I blurred the lines/made exceptions. (it's hard to go to a bridal shower and avoid all desserts without being rude)

But even though I've been successful this far, I don't believe I'm actually "doing Lent" well.

A few weeks back, my church talked about the disciplines of Lent. They were listed as:

1. to reflect intentionally on our patterns of life.
2. to pray and communicate with God more deliberately.
3. to repent for the things we have done, and the things we have failed to do.
4. to be generous to those in need.
I'll be honest, I've done none of these things.

I've only had baked goods/candy/dessert twice in the last three weeks; but does that matter at all, if it's not leading me into deeper, less superficial interactions with God?

I am tempted to throw in the towel and return to my sweet treats, since this "isn't working." But I know that is not the right solution either.

I'm just not sure what is.

(all thoughts welcome)


Laura said…
I think if you are giving things up just to give them up then you are doing a religious act much like the Pharisees. Unless the sacrifice is replaced by Jesus Himself then it is of no spiritual benefit. As God Himself said to Saul and then again in James, to obey is better then sacrifice. He wanted Saul to obey because he loved Him. If we create sacrifices thinking they will get us closer to God we are wrong.
Beth said…
Laura - fully agree. I started the season with the intent that the physical act of giving something up would be a reminder & gateway to intentional interaction with Jesus. That hasn't happened in an overt way so far, but I don't want to just "give up" because it's "not working" as I'd expected/hoped.

I don't want this to become an empty sacrifice. I also think that there are times in which we don't see the immediate or expected results of our choices & disciplines, but should continue with them anyway. You know?
MLW said…
A few thoughts on the above comments (with which I agree). If our choices are in obedience to the will of God & in conformity to the character of God, yes,we should continue in them. My/our obedience blesses the heart of God. That is what is most important. In some way at some time we will see blessings come from God because of our obedience and it might not be how or when we expect it. So if one observes Lent it ought to be to obey and honour God.

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