It is that time of year again when we in the Christian faith will give something up for God as we prepare for Easter. Moderation and fasting are valuable practices that have longterm benefits, but does God really care about whether we have chocolate between now and Easter?
In short. No.
The prophet Hosea wrote;
For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings. (Hosea 6:6)
So, God doesn’t care if I fast during Lent? God wants your heart, the love that you hold back for what really matters to you.
Here is what I learned about fasting that I found to be helpful. Pray about whether there is something that you could remove from your life for 40 days and in its place add a spiritual discipline.
Here are some ideas.
If I give up social media for Lent how about writing in a prayer journal instead.
If I give up binge watching from one of the streaming services I might want to try adding a podcast that helps me reflect on the scripture and my life as disciple of Jesus.
If I give up chocolate, caffeine, alcohol, sweets in general, dairy … I guess a glass of water, local produce and a prayer?
The point is we should be equally concerned about adding something to our lives that focuses our hearts on Jesus as we are about what we are giving up.
This year I am going to write on this site some reflections about being a disciple of Jesus. What am I giving up? That is between myself and the Lord.
I would encourage you praying about what you might add to your life this Lent.