What Should I Give Up for Lent?

What Should I Give Up for Lent?

“For whoever wants to save [their] life will lose it, but whoever loses [their] life for me will find it.” –  (Matthew 16:25)


In Rome Sweet Home: Our Journey to Catholicism, Kimberly Hahn recalls an Ash Wednesday, having dropped her children off at her sister’s house, asking God, “What should I give up for Lent?”

            What if you turned Kimberly’s question into your own? What areas of your life would you cut out or cut back on? Would you go out less often to restaurants? Would you give up chocolate or another sweet? Do you cut out needless hours of mindless television? Do you go to bed earlier? What would you give up for Lent?

            You may struggle to give up some or all of the items mentioned above. Some of the things I placed on this list would be “major sacrifices” as Kimberly put it. But what is your answer? What are you going to give up this Lenten season?

            One of my favorite stories from the Bible comes from 2 Samuel 24:18-25. King David is going to purchase Araunah’s granary, so that he can build an altar to the Lord, in the hopes that the plagues on the people cease. According to the story, Araunah wants to give David the oxen and the other ingredients to offer a burnt sacrifice. However, David replies, “No, I insist on paying you for it, I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing” (2 Samuel 24:24).

            What should you give up for Lent? I cannot answer that question for you. However, whatever it is, make sure that it costs you something. Whatever your sacrifice it must draw you closer to the Lord.

            Part of Kimberly’s story reads as follows:


And I really sensed the Lord say, “Kimberly, why don’t you give up?”

                        “What give up what?”

                        [God] said, “Why don’t you give up yourself?

                        …Why don’t you give up yourself this Lent?”(p.157)


            The word of the Savior are beautiful but hauntingly true. “If anyone would come after me, he/she must deny him/herself and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it” (Matthew 16:24-25). May this Lenten season be one where you give up more than a guilty pleasure for a few weeks. May you give the Lord what costs you something—your very life.


                                                                                    Lenten Blessings,

                                                                                    Pastor Nick



“Everlasting God, because of your tender mercy toward all people, you sent your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ, to take upon himself our flesh, and to suffer death upon the cross, that all should follow the example of his great humility. Mercifully grant that we may follow the example of his patience and also made partakers of his resurrection; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.” (The Book of Common Prayer

Leave a Reply