What to give up for Lent

Published 4:47 pm Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

By Scott Baker

Some years ago, some parishioners who happened to be in Key West, Florida, on Ash Wednesday, attended the Ash Wednesday service at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. In their bulletin was the list below. I was so impressed by it, I copied it down. I’m not sure if it is original to St. Paul’s in Key West, but it is certainly thought-provoking. So many of us struggle to determine what to give up for Lent or take on as a spiritual discipline. The following list might just be a good place to start. Enjoy!

Give up grumbling.

Instead, “in everything give thanks.”

Give up hatred or dislike of anyone.

Instead, learn to love.

Give up another 10-15 minutes in bed.

Instead, spend that time in prayer, praise and devotion to God.

Give up spending too much time with the internet, newspapers or magazines.

Instead, use some of that time to study the Bible.

Give up looking at other people’s worst qualities.

Instead, concentrate on their best ones.

Give up one hour of TV some time each week.

Instead, call up or call on some sick or lonely person.

Give up buying anything but essentials for yourself.

Instead, give that money toward God’s work through the Church or directly to someone in need.

Give up worrying about things over which you have no control.

Instead, trust God to reveal the next step or the next release.

Give up judging others by appearances and by the standards of the world.

Instead, learn to give up yourself to God.

Give up the fear which prevents Christian witness.

Instead, seek courage to speak of or act out your faith to others.

THE REV. SCOTT BAKER is the rector of Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Franklin. Contact him at 562-4542.