Although I’ve been a follower of Christ for 14 years, my rebellious spirit hasn’t changed. The season of Lent is so good for me because it causes me to embrace spiritual discipline and die to myself over little, insignificant sacrifices. As any good rebel knows, our instinct is to fight anything that goes against us having our own way, sometimes to our own detriment. Lent is just that. We are supposed to give up things that get in the way of our relationship with Jesus and be reminded of His sacrifice. My very nature fights this so hard. I’ve come to the conclusion that for me at least, Lent is less about what you give up and more about the spirit of sacrificing a bit of what you want on a daily basis to have a bit more of Jesus. For me, Lent is not about dogma or rules or punishment. Lent is about reminding myself of the suffering my Savior endured so that I could have the life of freedom I embrace the other 325 days of the year.
It is for this freedom that Christ has set us free. Do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery (Galations 5:1). I refuse to let myself become a slave to anything, not my own wants, not religion, not anything of this world. Lent reminds me of how selfish and sinful I really am, and makes me ever so much more grateful that Jesus died for me WHILE I am still a sinner. Not after I cleaned myself up. Not after I got my act together. Right in the middle of my mess He gave His life to pay the ransom for mine. And yours. While I’m still sinning. Amazing grace indeed.
Will you sacrifice anything this Lenten season? I plan to, but I know I’ll mess up, cheat, give in, and start again, probably by the end of this week. You probably will too, but remember this spiritual discipline is teaching us through our mistakes and helping us to grow in our faith as we struggle against our own sinful self.