5 Unique Ideas of What to Give Up for Lent This Year
By Vivian Bricker, Crosswalk.com
It is normal to give up something during Lent. The idea of Lent is to give up something with the purpose of growing closer to God. Drawing closer to God is important because it helps us deepen our relationship with Him and grow in His image. Here are five unique ideas of what to give up for Lent this year.
1. Social Media
One idea of something to give up for Lent this year is social media. Social media tends to take up a great deal of our time. Many of our devices will show us how much time we spend on various apps, and this alone can give us shocking statistics.
When we look at these numbers, we can see just how much time we are spending on social media daily, weekly, or monthly.
Since Lent is focused on the idea of giving up something in order to grow in your relationship with God, giving up social media will free up a huge amount of time to invest in your relationship with Him.
There are numerous social media apps in the present day, all of which drain our time and energy. While social media can be used as a good thing, it does take us away from reality, and it can work as a distraction in our lives.
By giving up social media during Lent this year, you will be able to spend more time with God in prayer and in Bible reading. Social media might be fun at times, yet it doesn’t do much in the way of helping us grow in our relationship with God, nor does it help us serve Him better.
This year, try to give up social media for Lent and see if it helps you grow closer to God. At first, it might be difficult, and you might feel disconnected, but you are truly becoming more connected to God.
I have known many people who give up social media for Lent, and it did help them better focus on God during that time period during Lent. Even though it may be difficult at times, giving up social media for Lent will help you in your walk with the Lord.
A second unique idea of what to give up for Lent this year is caffeine. I had to give up caffeine a few years ago because I have migraines with aura. What this means is whenever I eat or drink certain foods or beverages, I will suffer from intense headaches, and I will lose my vision.
It is a very scary phenomenon, yet I can prevent these episodes by avoiding those trigger foods and beverages as well as by taking my medications. When I gave up caffeine, it was difficult, yet it helped me start relying on God for energy, and it helped me grow deeper in my trust in Him.
Maybe you rely on caffeine to wake you up in the morning, or maybe caffeine helps you feel more prepared for the day.
If you are ready to give up something for Lent this year, try giving up caffeine. This can be more challenging than other ideas because you can have caffeine withdrawals; however, withdrawals don’t normally cause any life-threatening effects.
Once you give up caffeine, it will help you feel calmer, and it will help you better stay focused on the Lord. Giving up something for Lent causes us to grow closer to God and rely on His power and might.
A third unique idea of what to give up for Lent this year is hatred. Hatred is something that we have all struggled with at some point in our life.
The Lord doesn’t want us to hate others. Instead, He wants us to love others. Jesus tells us, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another” (John 13:34).
The Lord wants us to love others just as He loves us. There is no better time to give up hating others than during Lent. Replace feelings of hatred with love. While this can be difficult, God can help us work through these feelings and replace hatred with love.
By giving up hatred, you will be truly obeying God, and this will help you grow in your relationship with Him. More often than not, we are found guilty of hating someone else. The world has normalized hate, yet we must go against this teaching.
We shouldn’t hate anyone. Even though we may not particularly like some people because they have hurt us, we should never hate anyone.
Through giving up hatred, we will be able to love others as God wants us to love them. We don’t need to let hatred creep into our bones because hatred can cause us to do many things that go against God.
A fourth unique idea of what to give up this year for Lent is television. Television is something that can be a great tool, yet it can also take away a great deal of time. During Lent, giving up television can be just what we need to do in order to spend more time with God.
By replacing the time that we normally watch television with spending time with God, we will overall grow in our relationship with Him, grow better at obeying Him, and feel less alone.
Often, we watch television because it’s a distraction or it helps us feel less alone, but what we actually need to do is to spend time with God, as only He can fill the void in our souls.
By giving up television for Lent this year, you might start to notice how much time you were spending behind the screen each day and how much it was taking away from your life.
Spending time with God in prayer and Bible reading is a better use of our time, and it provides us with everything we need to live a life well pleasing to the Lord.
Giving up television may be hard, yet after a few days, you might realize how much you didn’t truly need television, but instead see how much you needed God.
A fifth unique idea of what to give up for Lent this year is complaining. I once had a professor in college tell the class that whenever we are complaining, we are complaining against God.
This vital truth hit me hard that day and reframed my entire thought process when it came to complaining about something.
We all have complained at one point in our lives, but instead of complaining, there is so much we have to be thankful for. Often, we don’t notice these things until they are gone. By giving up complaining, it will help us focus on all these little things and praise God for all His blessings.
We complain over a myriad of things, yet during Lent, you can choose to rewrite the script. Each time you feel as though you are going to complain, offer praise to God.
Giving up complaining can be difficult because complaining has been normalized, yet when you give up complaining, you will be able to take notice of all the blessings God has placed in your life.
I used to complain about the rain when I was little because it meant we couldn’t go outside, yet now, I stopped complaining about the rain and actually love rain more than any other type of weather. Once we give up complaining, it can change our perspectives on many things, and it can help us deepen our relationship with God.
For further reading:
What Should I Give Up for Lent This Year?
How Do We Observe Lent in a Biblical Way?
Prayers for Lent to Focus on Grace and Mercy This Lenten Season
Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/AntonioGuillem
Vivian Bricker loves Jesus, studying the Word of God, and helping others in their walk with Christ. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master's degree in Christian Ministry with a deep academic emphasis in theology. Her favorite things to do are spending time with her family and friends, reading, and spending time outside. When she is not writing, she is embarking on other adventures.