Lent is a season of the church that precedes Easter. It lasts 40 days from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday. Christians observe the season of Lent as a time of fasting and penitence. It’s a time to focus on Jesus and His sacrifice for each one of us.
It’s during this season that many Christians offer their own sacrifice to the Lord. They give up something that keeps them from focusing on Jesus. Or some Christians decide they want to add something during Lent…something that could help bring them closer to the Lord.
Have you decided to sacrifice or add something this Lenten season, but can’t figure out what you want to do? Below are 20 ideas for Lent. Maybe one of these will stand out to you and you can give up or add this to your life for the 40 days during Lent.
Give Up Ideas
Maybe you could give up tv all together if that is your addiction, or perhaps you could give up some shows that you tend to watch a little too much. For me, I have an addiction to cop dramas (Blue Bloods, Hawaii Five-O, MacGyver, SWAT, Seal Team). Just this morning my oldest daughter told me I needed to give up those shows for Lent. And she was right! They are addicting!
2. Social Media
Are you spending more time scrolling through Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat, and other social media apps? I know I waste time on that too! Give it up for Lent. Delete those apps from your phone and see how much time you free up. I bet you will be amazed!
3. Addictive Foods
What foods are you addicted to? Sweets? Desserts? Sodas? Meat? All of these are are hard for me to live without. I love chocolate too much! But, this year the two addicting foods for me are desserts and bread. Now, notice I didn’t say just “food”. As I talked with the kids at church about this I heard one boy say, “I’m going to give up broccoli. I hate broccoli!” Don’t give up something you already dislike. That’s not really a sacrifice. Give up something that will be hard for you.
4. Eating Out
If your family is like mine, and you are gone a lot of nights due to sports practices and games, then you know how easy it is to eat out. It’s so simple and you don’t have to worry about cooking supper. Giving up eating out would be extremely difficult for our family, but I believe that we could do it. And I believe you could do it, too!
5. Bad Words
Do you find yourself cursing more often that you like? Give up those bad words and work hard at replacing them with positive words.
Let’s all be honest…you know you gossip. We all do it. We may not do it intentionally, but we do catch ourselves talking about what others are doing, what they’re wearing, how we can’t believe their kids did that, or why they posted what they did on social media. See if you can go 40 days without spreading one piece of juicy gossip.
7. Frivolous Spending
Some of you are addicted to shopping. Every time you go out you have to buy something, like a new piece of jewelry, a new shirt, those new boots everyone is wearing. Or maybe you are one of those that has to keep up with the Joneses and every time they buy something new (like a car, house, furniture), you have to buy one, too! Try your best to avoid the shopping malls. And if you have an addiction to using your credit card for major purchases, stick it in a Zip-loc bag full of water and freeze it! It makes it harder to get to!
This will be a tough one for anyone who has a tobacco addiction, but if you are willing, then I know the Lord will help you through this!
Do you love your alcoholic drinks? You could give up drinking all together for 40 days or perhaps just cut down on the number of drinks you have during the week.
Do you find yourself getting angry at others easily or picking fights with someone for no reason at all? Try giving up arguing with others and see how your attitude changes!
Instead of finding a reason to complain about everything, give it up and replace it with something positive. This will require you to think before you speak. Or if you just can’t find anything positive, then work hard, and bite your tongue before you complain.
Things to Add to your Daily Life
12. Quiet Time with God
Do you struggle with finding the time to spend with the Lord? Consider waking up a little earlier, or carve out time in the middle of your day to spend with Him, or even use your down time in the evening to dive into His Word.
If your prayer life is lacking, commit to making time to pray every day. Another idea is to write down your prayers to the Lord.
14. Scripture Verse Memorization
Commit to learning a new Bible verse each day or each week. Write it down and put it where you can see it and speak it.
15. Volunteer at Church
If you have been wanting to volunteer at church, but just haven’t gotten around to doing it, make a commitment during Lent to give of your time to help at your church.
16. Gratitude Journal
Find a notebook to use and write down things you are thankful for each day during Lent.
Commit to exercising during Lent. That doesn’t have to be hard core workouts, either. You can commit to walking every day during Lent if you want. Just move and be active.
18. Eat Healthy
Fill your body with healthy foods instead of junk foods. Add in vegetables and fruits to your meals each day. Commit to being more conscious of how you eat.
19. Encourage Others
For each day in Lent, commit to encouraging others in their faith and in their lives. Pick a different person each day and send them encouraging notes, emails, texts, or simple gifts. Let them know you are praying for them.
Isn’t this a hard one? God commanded us to rest and many times we don’t do well at this. Commit to getting 8 hours of sleep, or going to bed earlier than normal, or even just commit to sitting down for a few hours at home instead of running around being busy. Just rest.
No matter what you decide to fast or sacrifice during Lent, remember to pray and ask God for His help. I will be praying you will have the wisdom to know what to fast and the strength to do it! May you find God in a big way this Lenten season!