Lent is for Renewal…giving back instead of giving up

For the past month I have seriously debated what to do about Lent. I grew up in a Christian family and very much believe in my faith. It is something that has helped me get through many things in life and has guided me thus far.

What Exactly is Lent?

According to Bible Gateways Blog on this topic they explain it as the time between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday, which corresponds to the bible in Matthew when Jesus fasts for 40 days and is tempted by the devil and when he is resurrected from his grave.  Obviously being a Christian I knew this but I felt it was necessary to convey this to those of you who may not be exactly sure.

Also, since I am not a connoisseur of the Christian faith I did learn that it is not celebrated by every denomination and it is not on the Christian Calendar.  Therefore it is not a “requirement.”  Which brings me to the order, that as I grew up I never really understood Lent and honestly didn’t participate.  I would have felt hypocritical doing something for God without understanding it.  Now that I am an adult and understand what it is, to me it is about a lot more than just giving something up.

Lent is about renewing yourself in some way.   Whether it actually be something you give up or possibly even giving back it should be about more than just 40 days.  Yes, there are 40 days of Lent, but once those days are up it is my though that one should be able to reflect on Jesus throughout that time and see how what you are doing is betting yourself and your relationship with him and the Lord. And as I see everyone posting what they are “giving up” it is very disheartening to me.  Sometimes it makes me feel like they are just doing it to do it and do not really understand the benefit and renewal process that Lent is supposed to have.

As a sophomore in college I have come very much obsessed with Starbucks. And many other things like cupcakes and very unhealthy things.  In high school I did gain weight and it fluctuated a bit but after graduation and my freshman year I let the luxuries of college overwhelm me and I finally met the point where I was overweight.  So Lent rolled around that year and I gave up Starbucks, sweets and alcohol.  I completely changed my life.  I realized I needed to be healthy and Lent and Jesus were going to help me. It really was a Renewal for me and it honestly changed my life.  I lost 40 lbs and felt really great about myself and everything I had gone through and I could only thank Jesus.   And my healthy lifestyle has continued to this day, which is why I feel choosing something to commit to for Lent is more than just a second thought.

Me then and me now

This year instead of giving up something I am devoting time to reconstructing my relationship with God and Jesus.  I feel over the past few years I have been neglecting the one thing that has helped me through so much because I’ve been “too busy.” So this year I am going to make time to read the bible every day. I have already downloaded a Bible App by YouVersion on my computer and my windows phone, so I can access the bible anytime I want.  I am not one for going to church (because churched down here and in Craig County are not what I grew up going to…but that’s a different story) so I am going to watch Joel Osteen on Sundays (recommended by my mother who watches him is she cannot make it to Sunday church service).  But I do not plan to stop there, I’m all about going whole hearted in what I do, so I feel to really improve my relationship with God I need to find how to help in the community as well as make time for ME.  Life is about balance, and I will make time to renew this year.

I just wanted to post this sent to me on my facebook from one of my good friends in response to my Lent renewal this year…it really encompasses how I feel about Lent and this whole blog post.  I really hope that everyone really thinks about their Lent promises this year and it helps them renew themselves and remind them of Jesus along the way.

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