“As we give, we find that ‘sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven.’ And in the end, we learn it was no sacrifice at all.” – Spencer W. Kimball
Tomorrow, the season of Lent will commence. The season of Lent is a time of self-reflection and self-denial that should allow us to more fully appreciate the presence of God within us. We are called to an appreciation of the incredible burdens and temptations that Jesus faced throughout his ministry that led to his ultimate sacrifice for us–death on a cross.
For many of us, this manifests itself in staying away from social media, giving up chocolate, sweets, soda, or perhaps even not cussing for the 40 days of the Lenten season. Around this time, you will often have people ask you, “What are you giving up for Lent?”
The idea behind the Lenten sacrifice is that we will further appreciate the sacrifice that Christ made for us. The lessons and devotions that we learn throughout the Lenten season are rooted in understanding that no matter what we choose to sacrifice, it is nothing compared to the sacrifices that have been made for us.
At times, I feel like we get caught up in the secular meanings of Lent. We are feel as though the burdens of not having a chocolate bar for 40 days or not being on Facebook for 40 days really inconvenience us. In fact, it has led to some condoning the idea that they do not have to honor their Lenten sacrifice on Sundays. Sundays become free days.
I challenge you to honor the true meaning of Lent. It is a time to add spiritual value and connection to your faith. It is up to you how you choose to get there, whether you give something up or add something of value. But, as you begin to reflect on what your sacrifice might be, keep this following thought in mind:
Lent isn’t about senseless sacrifices; it’s about meaningful ones. It’s not a season for offering endless prayers, it’s a time for offering honest ones. It’s a season to come back to the Lord who calls us to return to him, and to avail ourselves of that great bounty which God has spread before us. Whether it be through fasting, prayer, almsgiving, penance, self-denial or whatever – give up what you will, but try to see the Lord in the sacrifices you make. However you get from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday is up to you. But above all, make this Lent a time when you learn to recognize Jesus Christ and the thanksgiving that we owe him for everything that we tend to think of as our own.
By keeping this thought in the forefront of your mind as you move through the Lenten season, you will realize that your sacrifice was no sacrifice at all.
Bring your best today!