The traditional concept of Lent involves giving up certain luxuries or indulgences for a period of time. But what if we could take Lent a step further by not just giving up something but rather turning it into a giving opportunity?
What is Lent?
Lent is a period of 40 days (not counting Sundays) that begins on Ash Wednesday and culminates on Easter Sunday. During Lent, many Christians observe a period of fasting, spiritual discipline, repentance, and giving up certain habits and luxuries as an act of penitence. Additionally, popular culture has also introduced the idea of giving up bad habits and luxuries for Lent across many religious groups, including individuals who do not have a Christian faith. Ultimately, for many of us, Lent is a social behaviour more than a faith celebration, and the same principle also applies during Easter.
Many people also choose to give something up for Lent, such as chocolate or social media, as an act of sacrifice.
What are some things people give up for Lent?
Many people use Lent as a time for reflection, prayer and self-discipline. It is a time to focus on one’s spiritual growth and spiritual health. During this time, some people choose to give up certain things in order to demonstrate their commitment to God.
But there is another meaning to Lent. Indeed, Lent initially comes from a pagan celebration linked to the harvest season. This marks the end of the winter harvest and the period before the first spring and summer crops are ready to be harvested. In other words, in older times, this would have been a period of fasting and self-sacrifice to ensure the availability of food in the next months.
Nowadays, we tend to see Lent as a necessary wake-up call, helping us give up destructive habits that can harm ourselves or our loved ones, such as spending money on things you don’t need or relying on photo filters to boost your self-esteem.
There is as much meaning in perceiving Lent as a spiritual renewal or an introspective path to self-improvement. Whatever you give up, it should benefit yourself first.
Why turn Lent into a giving opportunity?
While this is certainly a valid way of observing Lent, it is also important to consider the religious teachings behind the season. Lent is about more than just self-improvement; it is about spiritual growth, finding joy in life, and helping others. According to Christian tradition, it is also about “giving to others and loving our neighbour.”
This means that you can find meaningful ways to observe Lent by using it as an opportunity to give back to those in need, such as by reaching out to local charities or helping your elderly neighbours with their grocery shopping.
By turning Lent into a giving opportunity, you can make a positive impact on the world. You can use it as a time to reconnect with your true values, be mindful of your actions, and create more compassion and understanding in your life.
In conclusion, Lent is often seen in modern days as a period during which you have to prove yourself by giving up things. Let’s be honest; the moment choice is to give up chocolate, allowing yourself to indulge as soon as Easter is here. But why not make it the occasion to build a better world instead by giving to others?