Lent: To Add or Take Away?

Every year for Lent, we give up something valuable out of respect and remembrance for Jesus’s 40 days in the desert. But have you ever added something into your daily life? This Lenten season, consider doing one of each: give something up, and add something in.

What to Give Up

  • Social media: Commit to a full 40 days without going on social media; delete the apps off your phone to avoid temptation.
  • Going out to eat: While this might be hard to stick to, your nightly time in the kitchen is a great opportunity to reflect on the Lord’s sacrifice.
  • Dessert: Give up your nightly sweet and replace it with a nightly prayer.
  • Sleeping in: Rather than hitting the snooze button, wake up 20 minutes early to start your day with a devotional.
  • Fast food: Take a 40-day hiatus from McDonald’s or Chick-Fil-A.
  • Music in the car: Consider spending your morning commute in silent prayer or talking out loud to God.
  • No soda: Do you struggle with saying no to soda? If a Coke at dinnertime has become a regular habit for you, think about giving it up for Lent.
  • Nightly television: Many of us end the day by catching up on our favorite shows, but during Lent, replace that with family time, a devotional, or a game night.
  • Coffee: While this could be more of a sacrifice for some of us than others, each time you find yourself desperate and craving coffee, you can remember Jesus on the cross and how much He loves you.

What to Add

  • Study a book of the Bible: Ask a friend to join you in this Lenten practice! Choose a book of the Bible to study and focus on.
  • Intentional kindness: Say three kind things to your spouse and children every single day, and try to branch out! Don’t repeat yourself or take the easy way out with a “thank you” or “good job.” Be specific!
  • Take the stairs: During Lent, take the stairs every opportunity you have to take the elevator, and think about how what Jesus did for us was so much harder.
  • Volunteer: Give up one day or evening each week to volunteer at a local organization, such as a food pantry or animal shelter.
  • Go to Confession: Consider going to Confession more often during Lent.
  • Worship music: Instead of jamming to the Top 40 list, listen to worship music or a homily on your drive to and from work.
  • Pray: Take 10 minutes every day to write in a prayer journal.
  • Donate: Once a week, walk around your house and collect 40 things to donate. While you can just do this weekly, you can do it as often as you would like!

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