My Thoughts on Lent . . .

My Thoughts on Lent . . .

Ashely Garrett

As you all probably know, yesterday was Ash Wednesday, which marks the first day of Lent.  Every Lent, I have a very long inner struggle with myself. What should I give up? Do I really have to give up anything for Lent? But if I don’t give up anything, how can I still prepare for Easter?


A few years ago, I decided to stop giving up physical things for Lent.  I used to admire the people who gave up desserts or bad habits for the entire Lenten season, but I have now realized that a lot of people use Lent as another opportunity for “New Year’s resolutions.”  Are you really giving up the cookies because you want to make a sacrifice, or are you giving up cookies so that you will lead a healthier lifestyle? Either answer is a valid option for the Lenten season, as both answers are bettering you as a person.  But, I decided that the whole idea of “giving up something” was not going to work for me. I just wasn’t making sacrifices for the right reasons.


For the last few years, I have decided to instead give up a few moments of my day, everyday.  I try to do something nice for someone, do some type of community service project, or just make someone smile if they have had a rough day.  I have found that this is what works best for me, because I know that my sacrifices are helping others, not just helping me reach a personal goal for myself.


Disclaimer: I am NOT against giving up things for Lent.  I think that making personal sacrifices is a great thing to do during Lent.  After all, Lent is a season of sacrifices. Honestly, one of the reasons that I decided to quit giving up things for Lent is that I could not carry through with my sacrifice for the entire 40 days, so kudos to you if you are strong enough to stick with it.  However, if you do give up things for Lent, I would highly recommend also adopting my Lenten approach and doing something nice for somebody else. I think you will find it just as rewarding as I do.