One of my favorite weekly activities is on Monday nights after our Young Life club.
This is when our team of leaders gathers together and discusses how the club activities went, “Holy moments” (moments where we saw God show up), someone brings “The Word” (our devotional), and then we pray together.
I’ll never forget this time last year when the wisest woman I know said she had been talking with a friend recently about the season of Lent. She said in their conversation, her friend paused long and hard and said
“This year for Lent …
I think I’m going to give up shame.
Wow, I thought.
That is what Lent is really all about.
Growing up, I didn’t necessarily celebrate the Lent season by giving up something.
However, I do think it is an incredible tradition to take time to reflect on all Christ has done for us and possibly give up something in hopes of drawing us closer to Him.
But is Lent really about giving up television, chocolate, or social media?
What if instead, we gave up things like …
These are the things that divide us from God, each other, and ourselves.
The very things The Cross is all about.
Jesus didn’t die for you to feel guilt or shame when you sin, He died to set you free.
The Cross is about freedom.
Freedom not only from your sins, but from all of the negative feelings that come along with sin.
The Cross is …
hope greater than fear.
grace in place of shame.
forgiveness instead of guilt.
freedom from anger.
healing in places of unforgiveness.
love beyond regret.
So while the tradition of Lent is about giving up something, perhaps it is more about giving up destructive habits such as these.
Because when we do, we are free to run into the arms of the loving Father and embrace the true meaning of The Cross.