“Either way, Christ’s love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life. He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.” 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 NLT
Did you give up anything for Lent?
As we know it today, Lent is a 40-day period from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday for Christians to reflect on the Life of Christ and his sacrificial death on the cross. It’s also a time for personal sacrifice, self-examination, repentance and prayer. Some people fast or give up certain foods for 40 days. Some give up TV or some other favorite activity. Others spend more time reading their Bible and reflecting on God’s word.
One acquaintance of mine gave up chocolate for the Lenten season. As far as I know, she kept true to her resolve not to eat chocolate even though she experienced some situations in her life that could easily have driven her back to her favorite comfort food.
All of these things are good exercises in Christian living, since we fill up on so many external things hoping to find happiness apart from Christ. By setting these things aside and seeking him more,, we have the potential to grow spiritually and better our relationships with others.
But the real question is, have these sacrifices made an eternal difference in our lives? When Lent is over four days from now, will we return to our old ways of living or will others see a lasting difference in us?
Every day is a good day to reflect on who Jesus is and what he did for us – to find our true happiness in him.
Every day is a good day to practice self-denial – to set aside our own desires, our old nature, our old ways of coping to follow Christ in loving, forgiving and giving to others.
Every day is a good day to draw closer in intimate relationship to the Lover of our souls – so when others look at us, they see His love shining through our eyes and feel His touch through our hands.
Maybe we should be allowing Christ’s love to control us and living Lent 365 days a year instead of just 40?