Lent, what is it? As defined by ’Mr Google’: lent (noun) (in the Christian Church) the period preceding Easter which is devoted to fasting, abstinence, and penitence in the commemoration of Christ’s fasting in the wilderness.
Matthew 4:1-2 = Jesus was led up by the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And He fasted for 40 days and night and afterwards He was hungry.
When you think about giving something up for Lent, what is it for you, maybe chocolate, cakes, swearing? For me, when I think of Lent what comes to mind is ‘what is the condition of my heart’. What do I mean by this?
1 Cor 13:4-7 says, love is patient, love in kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always, trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
So, with the above scripture in mind, what jumps out at you. Let us take a look at envy, boasting and pride. How does this manifest in your life? Do you envy neighbours, work colleagues? Do you find yourself boasting about what you have done? Pride can be a good thing but also a bad thing. We can have pride in a goal we have personally achieved. But pride can also be a bad thing, we can come across as vain, arrogant, conceited, it can make us feel that we are better than other people. It can isolate us. Past hurts from people can make us behave in a way that we would not want to but we just can not help ourselves.
As you ponder on this season of Lent and what Jesus Christ did for us in the desert, ask the Father if you have envy, boasting or pride in your heart and ask him to help you. If you would find it helpful to pray this simple prayer, then please join me in saying this prayer.
Father God, where I have envy, boasting or pride in my heart because of past hurts and misunderstandings, I forgive those people who have hurt me. I ask that you would come and heal me. As I let go of these things, please would you replace them with your love and acceptance of who I am in you, show me how you see me. In Jesus Name, Amen