February 19, 2021

Giving Up

February 19, 2021

By Herschel French


When I was in seminary, as Lent approached, I was playing Euchre with some of my friends in the dorm.  We started talking about what each of us were giving up for Lent.  It was the typical stuff– sugar, television, caffeine, etc.  It was a pretty light-hearted conversation until one of the guys playing got quiet.  He stopped dealing the cards.  Then he said something I’ll never forget.  He said, “You can give up all this stuff, and that’s fine.  But how is giving up these superficial things helping you grow closer to God? How is it preparing you for Easter?”  

I’d never taken Lent so seriously.  And I was a little embarrassed.  I was so proud of myself just moments before, bragging about how I was giving up my Diet Coke habit cold turkey for Lent.  And I had been gently and lovingly put in my place.

What are you giving up for Lent, and how is it bringing you closer to God?