Give it up? We are in the Season of Lent: Do you give anything up? Do you observe Lent?
Confession: This year I did not give up anything for Lent. We are Methodist, so we do observe Lent as a denomination. I consider myself more of an independent Christian (my own title), so I do not really observe the tenets of any one religious sect. I believe that Jesus is my Savior; He is the only Son of God born to the virgin Mary; that He was crucified, died on the cross, was buried, and was raised from the dead on the third day, and now sits at the right hand of God. He is my daily portion, absolutely no doubt.
I seem to have slipped into a sort of coma this winter. All of a sudden I stopped doing my morning devotion, my daily Bible study, checking in with my accountability partner. I shut down all activity except what has been absolutely necessary. I have spent my time taking care of what needs taken care of and then hibernating the rest of the time. I get that way sometimes this time of year.
I received a really neat Lent idea from a friend, and it looked promising, but I didn't do the first thing. Some years I celebrate Lent, and others I just don't. This year, I didn't.
Lest you think I have given up on my relationship with God, I do talk to Him all day every day. I listen to Him when I am silent, and sometimes I even obey. Right now I am his rebellious, lazy child, that he wishes would get motivated.
But He knows me well. He knows that I have these time of quiet. These times are necessary for my emotional and spiritual well-being. He is content with our daily conversations, because to Him it is just important that I keep talking to Him and keep the lines of communication open. He is a patient Father allowing me to be still when I need to be. Because he knows that with the coming of Spring that I will crawl back out of my shell and get out there again. It's slowly starting to happen already.
I understand the importance of Lent, but I also understand that like any religious act, it can become legalistic. We sometimes tend to do things because we are supposed to do them instead of because we feel led to do them. I just personally feel that God would rather me give myself to Him in some way each and every day than to concentrate on a 40 day stretch and then go back to "my ways". I don't want to be a "have to" Christian. I want to want to. God and I have a great relationship, our own worked out relationship, and it's one that is ongoing 365 days a year. I do not feel guilty that I have not participated in Lent because I know that my relationship with God is more important to Him than my religious activities.
Now, if you are actively participating in Lent, then I applaud you .. because your relationship with God is YOURS! You do it your way, and if you felt led to give up something for God during this season, then that is awesome, and I know that God is so pleased at your sacrifice.
My point is that whether you do or do not celebrate Lent does not make you a more superior Christian. Your daily relationship with God is what does that.