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Give, not give up
Katrina Harrmann
by Katrina Harrmann
March 6, 2024

I always think it’s interesting that people like to give up something for Lent. Often it’s something like a mini New Year’s resolution, with people giving up things they feel are bad for them like chocolate or swear words.

The idea is that by giving up something, we are “suffering” in a way that honors Christ’s suffering on the cross. But many of the things we “suffer without” … well, if we’re being honest … how much does it really cause us to suffer?

What if we gave something instead of giving up something? After all—Christ gave an incalculable amount for us on the cross—everything really—just for us!

How do we give instead of give up at Lent? One idea is to collect a canned food item every day of Lent to donate to a food shelter. Or donate your time at a local charity, pick up trash at a park with your kids, or visit someone who is lonely. “Walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us” (Ephesians 5:2). Be the hands and feet of Jesus!

There are also ways to give of yourself to those in your own home. Spend time with a family member, even if you’re tired. Help someone with a chore, or take the time to listen to someone who needs to talk. There are countless ways we can love one another during the season of Lent!