What to give up for lent
The Lent fast lasts for 40 days and 40 nights, leading right up to Easter (excluding Sundays). The 40 days mark the time Jesus spent alone in the desert following his baptism by John the Baptist, during which time he rejected temptations from Satan. For many Christians, Lent is traditionally a time of abstinence, where believers give something up in order to focus on spiritual growth and preparation for the celebration of Easter.
Lent In The Modern Age
Historically Christians would give up certain ‘rich’ foods for Lent such as meat, fish, eggs and all dairy products, eating nothing but a simple meal each evening for every day of the fast. If you’re feeling ambitious you can give that a try, but here are a few other ideas of what fasting and abstinence could look like during Lent this year:
1. Give up Chocolate and all the sweet things for Lent
By far the most popular thing for people to give up for Lent, followed closely by alcohol, this is surely the modern day equivalent of meat, fish and eggs? Choosing to give up indulgences like these is a great way to test and improve your self-control as part of your Lenten journey.
2. Take away the Takeaways
…and eating out this Lent Similar to the first, another challenge to forego luxuries but this could have an extra twist. Eating in or out can be an expensive business – so what if you also gave what you would have spent away as well? And, if you really want to test your self-control, give #chocolatetuesday a go during the 40acts Lent generosity challenge.
3. Lose your pillow this Lent
Say what? That’s right – could you go without your pillow for 46 days? Why not go back to basics during Lent and give up a home comfort you take for granted, like that comfy feather pillow – it won’t take long to realise how blessed you are to have a comfortable place to sleep each night. It might even nudge you to give a little to homeless charities during Lent too.
4. Give up your distractions for Lent
What takes your attention away from God and growing spiritually? Use Lent as the perfect excuse to cut back on the Netflix, all night gaming marathons, or endless trawling through social media timelines. Giving up the screens and investing time in yourself and others will be worth more than you’ll know.
5. Go Green For Lent
In the spirit of modern indulgences, why not give up give up driving to work? Go green for Lent and decrease your carbon footprint by walking or riding a bike to work or school. If you go green for Lent you’re not just practicing self-control, you’re helping the environment at the same time.
6. Give up giving up
Of course, you could also join thousands of others who for the last six years have been opting to give up the whole giving up thing, and instead have taken up the 40acts challenge by Stewardship, to do Lent generously. Find out more about the challenge and sign up for daily emails of encouragement throughout Lent, along with a different generous act to complete each day.