20 Things to Give Up for Lent

Pastor Phil shares 20 things to give up for Lent

Last week we talked about all the wrong and right reasons to fast for Lent. We are less than a week away from Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. Many Christians “give something up” for Lent, but it usually has very little of impact on their life and walk with Christ. The reason is that we usually give stuff up for all the wrong reasons.

With that said, I want to offer up 20 things you might consider giving up this Lent. And these are things to give up not just for Lent, but for the rest of your life.

  • Guilt – I am loved by Jesus and he has forgiven my sins. Today is a new day and the past is behind.
  • Fear – God is on my side. In him I am more than a conqueror. (see Romans 8)
  • The need to please everyone – I can’t please everyone anyways. There is only one I need to strive to please.
  • Envy – I am blessed. My value is not found in my possessions, but in my relationship with my Heavenly Father.
  • Impatience – God’s timing is the perfect timing.
  • Sense of entitlement – The world does not owe me anything. God does not owe me anything. I live in humility and grace.
  • Bitterness and Resentment – The only person I am hurting by holding on to these is myself.
  • Blame – I am not going to pass the buck. I will take responsibility for my actions.
  • Gossip and Negativity – I will put the best construction on everything when it comes to other people. I will also minimize my contact with people who are negative and toxic bringing other people down.
  • Comparison – I have my own unique contribution to make and there is no one else like me.
  • Fear of failure – You don’t succeed without experiencing failure. Just make sure you fail forward.
  • A spirit of poverty – Believe with God that there is always more than enough and never a lack
  • Feelings of unworthiness – You are fearfully and wonderfully made by your creator. (see Psalm 139)
  • Doubt – Believe God has a plan for you that is beyond anything you could imagine. The future is brighter than you could ever realize.
  • Self-pity – God comforts us in our sorrow so that we can comfort others with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.
  • Retirement – As long as you are still breathing, you are here for a reason. You have a purpose to influence others for Christ. That does not come to an end until the day we die.
  • Excuses – A wise man once said, if you need an excuse, any excuse will do.
  • Lack of counsel – Wise decisions are rarely made in a vacuum.
  • Pride – Blessed are the humble.
  • Worry – God is in control and worrying will not help.

God has so much more in store for you. But so many of these things above are holding you back from walking in the full destiny he has laid out for you. Today is a new day.

So there you have it. What else might you add to the list? Please share in the comments below.

God’s blessings,
Pastor Phil

Update:

Due to the tremendous response to our weekly eNewsletter post, we are creating a new resource for Lent called “40 Things to Give up for Lent and Beyond.” This is a 40 Day eDevotion that you can sign up to receive via email.

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Comments

  1. Jay says

    Awesome! Thank you so much for this and letting Him work through you. I’ve shared this already with may of my friends. John 10:10 – He calls us to a life of spiritual abundance in Him!

      • Colleen says

        I have been led to give up complaining about my hard days at work with middle schoolers. I am tired of hearing myself, and I have a feeling that there are others tired of hearing me, too. Thanks for your inspiration. :)

    • Paul Arnhold says

      Is your name Gus? (Give up something for Lent)
      February 2014
      Is your Name GUS?
      (Give Up Something for lent)

      1 Timothy 4:1-3 “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth.”

      The other day a friend of mine gave me a newsletter he received from his congregation listing “Fast and Abstinence Regulations” for the Lenten season. It stated FASTING: “On Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, those who are 18 but not yet 59 are allowed only one full meal. Two smaller meals are allowed as needed, but eating solid food between meals is not permitted. ABSTINENCE: Those who are 14 years of age or older are to abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and on all Fridays of Lent.”

      Certainly we would not want someone to sin against one’s own conscience and while we can’t say for certain the above passage was directly written about the Roman Catholic Church, the body from which my friend is a member, it sure fits the man-made traditions practiced by that particular church body.

      God’s Word says: “For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.” Hosea 6:6 – Is fasting wrong? Not at all, in fact both the Old and New Testament encourages it. Instead of taking the time here, I invite you to the following link that discusses the subject of fasting in greater detail. http://www.wlsessays.net/node/1686 Is it wrong to give something up for lent or that a church body participate in a tradition that might offer congregants a way in which to reflect on the passion and mercy shown to mankind? Not at all, what is wrong is to create man-made rules and regulations that are not Biblical, and place them on the same level as God’s own Word, perverting the gospel message into something we must earn, not the gift of grace it is.

      Let’s consider the following story in order to answer these questions more clearly. Remember, as God told Samuel “…The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

      There were twin boys who happened to share the same name, Gus. (Give up something for Lent) They were identical twins in appearance. The only way to differentiate the two was to ask them a specific question. “Why do you give up something for Lent?”

      Gus 1 answered, “To be right with God, to make a difference, to do something my church wants me to do, and in the end, become a better person because of it” Might I offer a suggestion? If you really want to do something that will make a difference and something that will make you right with God, give up sin altogether! – That is what is required according to God’s own Word isn’t it? “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Matthew 5:48 That leaves Gus 1, and all of us with a dilemma doesn’t it? None of us can obey God’s commandments perfectly enough can we? None of us could ever do enough good works, say enough prayers, or offer lifetimes of service that would make us right enough to stand before the almighty God as the perfect people he requires. Isaiah 64:6 says “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags”

      What about you, Gus 2 – Why do you give up something for Lent? “I give something up not because I have to, but because I want to. I have confidence I will stand before the judgment seat of God not wondering if I’m good enough, rather, secure in the promises God has placed before me in His Holy Word, the Bible.” You see Gus 2 stands on the faith that others have abandoned. He doesn’t look at obeying God’s commandments, as a requirement he must do to be saved, but as a thank-filled guide, a way to show God his appreciation for the undeserved Grace and favor given to him. God says in John 14:15 “If you love me, you will obey what I command”
      Gus can do this because he knows what God has already done for him on the cross, not that he will never sin again, but because he has faith in the redemptive work on the cross. (Universal justification) Isaiah 1:18 says, “Come now, let us reason together,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” In the New Testament God tells us how that was fulfilled, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” And in Ephesians 2:8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

      What are those works prepared for us to do? The very thing Gus 2 is compelled to share with his brother, the truth of God’s Word. Sanctification, being made saints, compels us also to do those works of service, not the other way around. Sharing the gospel message with others is the greatest privilege God can bestow on His people. 1 Peter 2:9 says “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” Our opening passage tells us why.1 John 4:1says, “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”

      Is your name Gus? Scripture doesn’t require anything of us other than faith, yet if you are compelled to respond by giving something up for Lent, (sanctification) or should you fail and stumble in your attempts, and we all do, you can say with Paul, “But he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness…” 1 Corinthians 12:9

      “I believe that Jesus Christ, true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary, is my Lord. He has redeemed me, a lost and condemned creature, purchased and won me from all sins, from death, and from the power of the devil. He did this not with gold or silver, but with His holy, precious blood and with His innocent suffering and death, so that I may be His own, live under Him in His kingdom, and serve Him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, just as He is risen from the dead, lives and reigns to all eternity. This is most certainly true.” Explanation of Article II of the Apostles Creed – Martin Luther

      • Ashley says

        I would be all for your response, Paul, if it were not for the errant criticism of the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church promotes the traditions of fasting and abstinence for all the reasons you mentioned above as being acceptable. We are not required to participate in any Lenten sacrifices as a means to salvation, we are simply encouraged for a sense of community, and unity with the sufferings of Christ. I would encourage you to edit your post to retain your positive message, while being more charitable to your Catholic brethren in Christ. Abstaining or Fasting during the season of Lent is a temporary practice to assist our meditation on the sacrifice of Christ at calvary, it is a temporary fast, like Jesus in the desert (also a 40 day fast) and not the “declaring of things unclean” as “demons” from the Scripture you quote from Timothy. Our aim is set aside a period of spiritual purification in preparation for the great Feast of Easter. A period of self-denial also makes Easter all the more joyous! I agree with you regarding the need to be in a “right spirit” so to speak, but find your description of Catholicism offensive.

        • Angie C says

          Well put, Ashley, my thoughts exactly. I wondered if he realized that a lot of Catholics don’t even see it as “giving up something for Lent”. I, and others like me, consider it a “Lenten Promise” and some don’t give anything up; but rather make a promise to do something more (a daily morning prayer added to their routine, quiet reflection on commute home, etc.). As a “Cradle Catholic” and Catholic school student K-12, I was taught and strongly believe, Ashley, is right about Lent being a time for prayerful self-reflection asking God to help prepare a clean heart for the joyous Easter ahead. I also believe, man-made rituals do have their time and place. Every year, on Holy Thursday, a reader tells of the woman washing Jesus’ feet with her hair and of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples. There are 6 ppl from our congregation who sit at the front and our priest washes their feet. Others are invited to take the seats of those 6 and have their feet washed, and then they wash the feet of 6 others, and so forth. It is one of my favorite man-made rituals of the entire year and calls us to humble ourselves literally at the feet of others.

      • Julie Lynn says

        Thanks for sharing a very enlightening viewpoint. Raised Baptist, I never learned about Lent, Ash Wednesday or any of that. My first exposure was seeing ashes on the forehead of a friend in my mid-twenties. Your reply with the verses to back it up, truly help me understand & gives me a starting point to investigate on my own.

        • Lin says

          you tread on thin ice when trying to apply scriptures to traditions of men. Nowhere can you read about Ash Wed. or Lent in the bible.., about Easter or Christmas or any of the other Catholic traditions that people cling to. What they should cling to is rightly dividing the word of God and studying God’s word, not catholic traditions, because in the end, God says we will give an answer for what we’ve done, both good and evil. The problem I have with all of these traditions is that you are leading sheep down a blind path to believing that Lent and all these other holidays are in the Bible and they are not. So in a sense, you are adding to and taking away from the Bible, which is strictly warned about more than once. “Study to show yourself approved”. . be wise in your studies .

          • Ashley says

            As Catholics we do cling to the scriptures, but we also enjoy our traditions and sense of community. In Mass we stand in reverence to the Gospel Reading and sing an Alleluia to Christ, for “In the Beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1″ In a Catholic Church there is Scripture read and incorporated in Mass every single day. I don’t ask for anyone to convert to Catholicism, I simply ask for respect. If you don’t understand something, ask instead of making assumptions. No one ever said Lent was in the Bible. It is a tool to unite us as a faith community, as a spiritual exercise, and as unification with the suffering of Christ.

          • Dejah says

            The tradition of Lent comes from Jesus’ fasting for 40 days “in the Bible.” The words said when you receive the ashes, “dust though art and to dust though shalt return” are “in the Bible” as is the application of dust/ash to the forehead for healing. Jewish tradition to fast and purify “in the Bible” before joyous celebrations such as Easter are traditions which predate Catholicism and Christianity. Let us not forget: Jesus was a good, observant Jew as is described “in the Bible.” Just because you, personally, are ignorant of both Catholic tradition and how it is sourced from the Bible itself, doesn’t mean it isn’t sourced from the Bible, nor does it mean Catholic traditions were “invented by men” any more than *any* and ALL religions and their traditions are invented at some level by Mankind. Pick the log out of your own eye before you try to pick the splinter in someone else’s. Ignorance is never attractive.

      • theresa frick says

        Why do so many non-Catholics take such delight in bashing the Catholic Church? If you are convinced that your “religion” is the right one, then embrace it . It should not be necessary to tear down another to be uplifted.
        Show me in the Bible where it says that all we should believe & practice is “in the Bible”. (sola scriptura). Read 2 Thessalonians, Ch. 2 Vs15 “Therefore brothers, stand firm and HOLD FAST TO THE TRADITIONS that you were taught, either by an oral statement or by a letter of ours”. The Bible didn’t even exist for early Christians, but, Thanks to the Catholic Church, it does now.

  2. Rebecca Domis says

    Thank you Pastor Phil, this has really helped me a lot. Especially today when I feel like I have a lot on my plate, sometimes we forget to just breathe and send it up to God. I have really enjoyed your sermons. All the things my family and I have gone through since the Sandy storm, well it has been hard but God helped us through it. He gave us our family and friends, and even strangers to help us through our journey. I was thinking of giving up things for lent and perhaps all these years had a misconception of what it was all about. I thank you for sharing this information.

    • Shelly says

      I like your reply, Shelia. I’d add unforgiveness of self. I find that I am my own worst critic/enemy.

  3. says

    I had stopped giving things up like foods a while ago and had decided to give up traits that don’t add value, like swearing. The goal was to continue after Lent because I believed that was the purpose of this period which had been lost through my early religious training. Thank you for this list because there is not one of the 20 items that I couldn’t drop which makes my decision even harder this year!

  4. Jkaterr says

    I am giving up talk Radio and NPR….”mostly say hooray for our side” Going to Listen to a Christian station for the 40 days.

    • amelia says

      I love listening to Air1 they play Christian contemporary music. its awesome and makes you feel good,
      and a lot of the songs really touch your heart. they have a website so you can see if there is a station near you =)

  5. John Doe says

    This list is very intangible, give up “sense of entitlement?” “Fear”? Huh? These won’t be sacrifices for most normal people, lol

    • Kristine says

      John Doe, will you try practicing one, like entitlement. Tomorrow when you drive to work and you come to a four way stop, instead of insisting your right of way, let someone else go ahead of you. Or resisting the urge to flip someone off If they cut in front of you. There are a lot of ways to practice releasing self entitlement. I hope it is a good experiment for you.

      • Melanie says

        Right of way happens to be a law , not an entitlement. Chaos will reign if you start waving and waiting when it’s legally your obligation to GO.

        • Damion says

          Thank you Melanie. So many people do not understand right of way law, and it is downright frustrating AND dangerous to others on the road. If anything, the people who ignore this law are acting on a sense of entitlement to do as they please.

  6. says

    I have (too many times) give up vulgar language. I am not that foul mouthed, but vugalities do tend to creep in… (i try too give up my rage–a bit of bare breast on TV and every one is up in arms, but taking the lords name in vain? (OMG!–and not meaning (or saying OH my gosh!) is far more offensive.. (and sometimes i feel i am the only one who objects!

    • says

      My 7 year old granddaughter had developed the habit of saying OMG (she heard from her father) and I told her she must not say that, but instead she must say oh my gosh. I haven’t heard her take the Lord’s name in vain since.

      • Phil says

        That’s just an abbreviation for the first one, just say (o my is. Not that something). One time when I was about four years old, I said the golly, my mother slapped mt mouth, instill remember that today, if my dad ever said the word heck, he really upset about something, there was no foul words in the house I grew up in.

  7. Thinking About It. says

    My friend posted this on facebook and I would like to pick one to give up for Lent. I would love to know what to do in those moments when entitlement creeps in and I feel like God OWES me a husband or a family… what do I do to reject that feeling? Just praying to ask God to remove it is not really effective… I’ve certainly tried that!

    • Elyse says

      God owes you nothing. He died for you and has a purpose and a plan for you, that must not inlcude a husband or family right now. Just believe that he knows best.

    • says

      When you feel like you are owed something, find some way to give back to God. Less of me, more of Him – it doesn’t have to be “just” prayer. Make it a tangible action to take the focus off of yourself and onto someone else who is suffering. Taking our eyes off our struggle and onto our neighbor’s struggle, striving to share God’s blessings with someone else, can help lead to healing. Also consider praying about why you feel entitled – is it your age? Other friends getting married? Pray that God would give you peace with what He has called you to in life. John 21: 18-23 are always helpful to me when I begin to feel entitled to what someone else might have. Hope that helps! Prayers for a happy and fruitful Lent!!

  8. says

    Some of the things on the list are sins (gossip and pride, for example) Christians do NOT fast from sins. We are called to just stop sinning. You can’t or shouldn’t fast from sin. Fasting is meant to teach us to say no to good things, so that when we do come up against bad things and sins we are practiced at saying no.

  9. Patricia Abrahms says

    I have thought about this for some time and have decided I need to focus on just letting God lead the way. I want to spend time each day in meditation while I walk to allow me to appreciate all that nature has to offer in a season of new life.

  10. gail says

    instead of “giving up” for Lent while not DO something special ? Help someone in need, give a monetary gift to a worthy charity, pay for the meal of the person in front of you at lunch, visit a friend, nursing home etc, offer to babysit for a friend of relative who needs some “me” time. Spend more time in prayer, meditate, eat right and exercise. Live a godly life. Wouldn’t that be wonderful if it became your way of life.

  11. Elizabeth Gandy says

    Pastor Phil, I came across this because my cousin posted this!!!! Wonderful I needed this as my heart is breaking as my ex husband is soon to pass away. I think I may give up Facebook for lent as the drama continues and need to make a vow to become closer to God and my faith, Thank you for this!!!!!! a broken heart in Illinois

    • Linda Plante says

      Dear Elizabeth … after I read your post I knew I needed to respond to you. First, and most important, I want to extend my genuine sympathy for your upcoming loss of your ex-husband. Grief is a deep, dark valley and one you won’t want to go through all alone. I am a small group leader in a Christian grief support ministry called “GriefShare”. I can certainly vouch for its value when going through the season of grief as I lost my precious Mom almost 3 years — without my relationship with Jesus and GriefShare, I would not be the person I am today. If you’d like to find out more about GriefShare, check out their website http://www.griefshare.org. Another reason I wanted to write you is because of the similarity you and I have … I also am giving up Facebook for lent and will be using that time for prayer and a 40-day prayer challenge (name of the book is “Draw the Circle” by Mark Batterson. In just reading the Introduction and Day 1, I am very excited about what this season of Lent will bring. Take care dear lady and may the LORD give you His precious peace as you go through this very difficult time.

  12. Wallace E. Jordan says

    First, a great big THANK YOU for this post. You know, talking about Fear; we, as a nation, give up on the fear that we may lose our No.1 dominant place in the world, and our ability to influence, control and manipulate the thoughts and actions of all of God’s creatures

  13. Nicole says

    Thanks for this list! I wasn’t planning on giving up anything for Lent because all I ever heard about was people giving up chocolate or soda. Now I have these new ideas which actually inspired me to give up something not on the list: My temper/being easily angered.

  14. Toni Fisher says

    I think you might want to consider that many people give up something for Lent to help train their “fleshly desires”. Let’s face it. All of us struggle with sin. Our flesh must be reigned in by the power of the Holy Spirit by dying to our own desires. Giving up something for Lent helps us to allow God to reorder our lives toward Him in ever deepening ways to give ourselves to Him and His will for us instead of our own.

    • Linda Plante says

      Excellent post Toni! You are so right on! There should be bumper stickers that say “America, Bless God” rather than “God Bless America”.

  15. Joan says

    Just saw “Son of God”. Thought that was a good way to start lent, the list is a good follow up. Probably a good idea to work on just a few, and really take it seriously.

  16. Bridget says

    A friend recently told me about a friend of hers who is an older woman battling cancer. She had to quit her job and she gets disability and food stamps. Her $160 in food stamps was just reduce due to the most recent budget cuts. $32 a week for food. I am ashamed to say that I am so careless with how much that I spend on food – not extravagant but not careful. I was upset about the budget cuts and spouted all the correct things politically but I did nothing about it – it didn’t really affect me. Now I am staring Lent in the face and what can I do that will mean something and help to remind me of the sacrifice Christ made that I may be forgiven. I have decided to live off of $32 a week for food during Lent. I hope I will gain more respect for those not as blessed as I am and also learn to better respect what I have.

    • says

      Thank you for sharing that Bridget. I pray that you will be blessed in your journey. To go a step further, consider taking the money you normally budget for food to help the lady with cancer or others struggling to make ends meet.

      • Bridget says

        That is my intention if anything should be left over. I just usually keep quiet on those kinds of actions. Thank you Phil for your article.

  17. says

    Thanks everyone for all the feedback and thanks for sharing. We have been overwhelmed by how many people have been touched by this post. Our prayer is it more of Jesus and less of us. Be blessed!

  18. Merrill Anne says

    If I could add one thing to this list it would be SHAME. It tears a person apart and often goes unnoticed because it’s not an outwardly seen feeling. I also realize that some may say “guilt” and “shame” are the same. They’re not. Shame says “I am wrong”. Guilt says “I did something wrong”. Shame is worn as an identity by so many believers and it keeps us from accepting our identity in Christ. So, yes, I would add shame.

  19. Jeff Robertson says

    I feel like this is great because Retirement is obviously inherently evil, and no one actually does does anything during retirement, all they do is sit around using all that money they’ve saved up. Being a blessing to their kids and giving money to church organizations is such a bad thing I think I’ll go back to work now–oh wait my boss just saw me leave yesterday, they won’t hire me back now. Plus with the economy tanking, there’s no way I’ll get a job within Lent anyway.

  20. Martin Luther says

    While I appreciate the sentiment behind this article, these “things” are some of the most vague suggestions for lent sacrifices in the history of the event. How exactly does one give up “fear of failure”? Or “worry”? or “fear” in general?

    This implication of “giving up” something implies a former acceptance of the thing one is giving up, which is why most people choose to give up something physical at the time. These items are character traits or attitudes, which are not something that one can just “let go” of, even with spiritual aid. They require attentive practice and habit-forming, not an on-off switch type conversion. Otherwise, people would choose to give up things like “worry” every day. Who actually WANTS to worry? The very idea that humans can just “choose” to let go of these things is silly, naive, overly-idealistic, and frankly, detrimental to the spread of our faith.

  21. Lucifer Christ says

    I’m not a fan of the idea of lent. There are some things on this list that I think are a good idea to give up but I’ve never preferred abstinence over indulgence. Life is too short to abstain from the things that we like or the things that make us happy

  22. says

    I was a Catholic for many years going with the traditions of the church and fasting from things. Those things meant nothing at the time just that it was the way to show that I believe that what I was taught was ‘right’. I have no beef with the church and their teachings and am blessed to have met all the friends I made in those years. But I could never achieve that sense of ‘being’ there. I never had that personal relationship with our heavenly Father. I was told that if I did what they taught and confessed my sins to a priest, that I would be forgiven! That’s not it at all… I am forgiven no matter what! I believe that Jesus is the way and the truth and the life and we will get to eternity through him and only him! His teachings in the Bible (which I was never encouraged to read in my youth) are the basis to reach salvation! It’s all there! I have read the Bible from cover to cover and know that am called to be Christ-like! But I fall short, I sin, I ask forgiveness, I live for Christ who died for me on the cross. This is a great list to follow through the forty days of lent but aren’t we called to do this everyday, not just to celebrate a tradition 40 days in the year? A year has 365 days….

  23. says

    I am going to give up resentment, particularly of close family members. I am going to notice when they do things and comment upon it or just try to build them up.

  24. says

    I am a Catholic, but it doesn’t’t matter this list of 20 things to give up for lent are good for everyone. All I can say is thank you God the Father for sending us your only Son, Jesus Christ, for showing us the way and thank you for the Holy Spirit for helping us gain wisdom so we can please you!! God without you in my life there is no true love or joy!

  25. Margo says

    I also agree the OMG is abhorrant! No one even realizes what they are actually saying ~ especially since the shortening of words to initals…it’s not any different!

  26. Tad says

    Hmmmm. . .I am not sure I could give up even one of these things that I hold so dear. Not even for a day.

  27. Isaac says

    Great post! And great ideas!
    However, these things are easier said than done. Not saying by the grace and/or help of God we can’t change our behaviour/actions but these things also take a lot of time and practice.
    Also, a lot of these are basic human emotions/reactions. If someone was never fearful or guilty I’d be worried. I think it should be pointed out that while these are human emotions and they do happen on a day-to-day basis its the ability to work around it and get through the feelings of guilt and fear so that you aren’t crippled by it is what needs to be worked on.

    Not trying to be pessimistic here. Just realistic.

  28. Kaynochlo says

    I don’t believe in Lent because of my own religion. But for those who practice Lent, this is what Lent should really be about. It’s about giving up the things that are hindering you from being close to God. It’s not about giving up chocolate or chips or T.V or the Internet of which many people who practice Lent commit themselves to giving up. What an inspirational post!

  29. Lydia says

    HI Pastor Phil, Can I post this on my facebook page and also post it on my churches facebook page if I get approval from my Pastor also?

  30. Steve says

    I am a confirmed Catholic who does not play the game anymore. I don’t need the trappings of the church in order to live life in a good way. It’s simple…always do the right thing and follow the golden rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. And…Love is all you need!

    • Carol says

      I WILL NOT complain about my job for lent. Will need a reminder everyday that I fortunate to have a job and know that God has out me exactly where I am supposed to be.

  31. says

    This is an amazing list. Lent was never part of my childhood growing up in a Baptist church. I am personally working on giving up toxic shame and many other beliefs that come with the diagnoses of borderline personality disorder, bipolar, and PTSD. Other ideas that would be worth giving up include 1) judgment – whether it be due to race, body image, physical/mental abilities, social standing, religion, etc, 2) lack of compassion and empathy – sometimes we get too caught up in our own mess that we forget there are others hurting, 3) being close-minded – we can learn a lot from books… and even more from people, 4) lack of forgiveness – if you hold onto a past hurt, it hurts you… the other person(s) probably don’t even think about the words, actions that hurt you in the first place – why let them continue to have control over you? Thank you for this – it will become a daily reminder of how to live my life for God. I look forward to the “40 things” emails.

  32. Heather says

    I think you all have your heads buried deeply in the sand. The idea that any of you think that there is some spirit anywhere that is going to take away all the bad things in life is just laughable. The sham that people believe that they have to it for God is stupid. Do this for yourself and you will get better rewards. I have lived a long hard life and continue to swim in it by working for the Department of Corrections. This whole ideal of ..give it up to God….doesn’t work in real life. Open your eyes and realize that you are ll sheep following a very pretty wolf.

  33. Jen Gardner says

    I am Catholic and not once did I think that any of this was controversial or against the Catholic Church. Living a good life and trying to do what God wants us to do is all we should be worried about. I follow my Catholic traditions but I am not so closed minded that I can not accept another way of thinking or praying or acting. If you listen to anything that Pope Francis is saying he is trying to get the church back to the important things at hand. Love one another, do good for others, be accepting and loving as we are told to do. We should not bash our church or any other churches. Jesus did not tell people not to love others if they are not like us or do not think like us. We are to love everyone and God will make the judgements. I sometimes give up things for lent and I do fast and eat no meat on Fridays. I have found more spiritual fulfillment and readiness in doing extra things during lent. I try to pray more, read bible scriptures or do more reflection. I think each person needs to do what is best for them. I think sometimes as Catholics we take things too literal or black and white. I don’t think I’m going to hell if I don’t give up chocolate for lent but instead work at our soup kitchen an extra day. People need to loosen up and take a breath,remember its all about LOVE.

  34. Joan Warwick says

    I signed up to receive the 40 things to give up for Lent devotions and am not receiving them yet when I tried to re-sign up I was informed I was already signed up? Help!

  35. CBrynna says

    Solution – have more Faith in your life –
    Fear – God is on my side. In him I am more than a conqueror. (see Romans 8)
    Fear of failure – You don’t succeed without experiencing failure. Just make sure you fail forward.
    Worry – God is in control and worrying will not help.
    Doubt – Believe God has a plan for you that is beyond anything you could imagine. The future is brighter than you could ever realize.
    Impatience – God’s timing is the perfect timing.

    Solution – have more of the Atonement in your life- (Hope)
    Guilt – I am loved by Jesus and he has forgiven my sins. Today is a new day and the past is behind.
    Feelings of unworthiness – You are fearfully and wonderfully made by your creator. (see Psalm 139)
    Self-pity – God comforts us in our sorrow so that we can comfort others with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.
    Bitterness and Resentment – The only person I am hurting by holding on to these is myself.

    Solution – have more Charity in your life –
    Comparison – I have my own unique contribution to make and there is no one else like me.
    Envy – I am blessed. My value is not found in my possessions, but in my relationship with my Heavenly Father.
    Pride – Blessed are the humble.
    Gossip and Negativity – I will put the best construction on everything when it comes to other people. I will also minimize my contact with people who are negative and toxic bringing other people down.
    A spirit of poverty – Believe with God that there is always more than enough and never a lack

    Solution – have more of God and less self in your life -
    Retirement – As long as you are still breathing, you are here for a reason. You have a purpose to influence others for Christ. That does not come to an end until the day we die.
    Excuses – A wise man once said, if you need an excuse, any excuse will do.
    Lack of counsel – Wise decisions are rarely made in a vacuum.
    Sense of entitlement – The world does not owe me anything. God does not owe me anything. I live in humility and grace.
    Blame – I am not going to pass the buck. I will take responsibility for my actions.
    The need to please everyone – I can’t please everyone anyways. There is only one I need to strive to please.

    Grouped to see them more clearly. Great list. Faith, hope and charity with more God and less self.

  36. david russell says

    20 Things to give up for Lent…

    • Guilt – Today is a new day and the past is behind.
    • Fear – There is no God. Have no fear!
    • There is only one I need to strive to please: myself.
    • Envy – I am perfect.
    • Impatience – One has no control over time.
    • Sense of entitlement – The world does not owe me anything; but, expect it to provide.
    • Bitterness and Resentment – The only person I am hurting by holding on to these is myself.
    • Blame – Take responsibility for one’s actions.
    • Gossip and Negativity – Take no part.
    • Comparison – I have my own unique contribution to make and there is no one else like me.
    • Fear of failure – You don’t succeed without experiencing failure. Just make sure you fail forward.
    • A spirit of poverty – Believe that there is always more than enough and never a lack.
    • Feelings of unworthiness – Do something.
    • Doubt – Have a plan: no God’s plan is not necessarily your plan.
    • Self-pity – don’t drag others down, snap out of it.
    • Retirement – If my only “purpose” is to spread lies about Christ, let me die now.
    • Excuses – Things are what they are.
    • Lack of counsel – Wise decisions are rarely made in a vacuum. (LMGTFY)
    • Pride – Blessed are the humble.
    • Worry – Worrying does not help anything.

    However, with no “God”, no Lent. Check them anyway :)

  37. says

    We are incorporating the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy to become more conscious of our brothers and sisters we share our life’s journey with. Some of us have intimate relationships with those closest to us;others are people we have never met. We pray this Lent that we will be awakened and come to see Jesus in everyone.

  38. Kadie says

    I like the list and think everyone has an idea of what they should give up to better themselves. I will never understand though why people comment negatively. It takes away from the good intentions of all those who are reading this to grow in faith.

  39. w says

    Can you include me on your email address.