“What to Give Up for Lent” (By Rev. Craig Gates, Jackson, MS)
Excerpt from Father Ed Popish, ss.cc. Homily on Ash Wednesday
Give up grumbling! Instead, “In everything give thanks.” Constructive criticism is OK, but “moaning, groaning, and complaining” are not Christian disciplines.
Give up 10 to 15 minutes in bed! Instead, use that time in prayer, Bible study and personal devotion.
Give up looking at other people’s worst points. Instead concentrate on their best points. We all have faults. It is a lot easier to have people overlook our shortcomings when we overlook theirs first.
Give up speaking unkindly. Instead, let your speech be generous and understanding. It costs so little to say something kind and uplifting. Why not check that sharp tongue at the door?
Give up your hatred of anyone or anything! Instead, learn the discipline of love. “Love covers a multitude of sins.”
Give up your worries and anxieties! Instead, trust God with them. Anxiety is spending emotional energy on something we can do nothing about: like tomorrow! Live today and let God’s grace be sufficient.
Give up TV one evening a week! Instead, visit some lonely or sick person. There are those who are isolated by illness or age. Why isolate yourself in front of the “tube?” Give someone a precious gift: your time!
Give up buying anything but essentials for yourself! Instead, give the money to God. The money you would spend on the luxuries could help someone meet basic needs. We are called to be stewards of God’s riches, not consumers.
Give up judging by appearances and by the standard of the world! Instead, learn to give up yourself to God. There is only one who has the right to judge, Jesus Christ. Now aren’t you glad you don’t have to do that anymore?