Rip the wickedness out of your hearts; don’t just tear your clothing…. Joel 2:13a (The Voice)
Like many people who didn’t grow up in a Liturgical church, I had no clue what Lent was until college. During this time of searching for my own beliefs about God and the church, I dove head first into this new practice. I loved the idea of giving something up in order to focus more on God during the Easter season.
After a couple years, I found that I was making Lent an idol. That it somehow made me look good in front of other people to say that I was currently giving up ______. Because I could go a whole 40 days without _______ that I was “super spiritual.” No one knew that on the inside I was still the same person; I still had bad attitudes. My “sacrifice” wasn’t always drawing me closer to God or making me focus more on that relationship.
I still love the Easter season. I love focusing on what this time of year means to me as a Christian (and it’s pretty cool that it happens in the Spring when new life is popping up all around us). I just feel like this should be my focus all throughout the year. That I can make sacrifices any time and I don’t have to share that with anyone. Even more so, God doesn’t just want sacrifice, He wants my love. He wants a relationship that goes beyond what I can give up…but what I can add into my life. More love. More compassion. More gratefulness.
It’s not my outward practices that matter, but the state of my heart.
Has there been a spiritual practice that no longer makes sense to you? What did you do about it?