This challenged me this morning, so I thought I'd pass it along to you. It is worth thinking about as you consider what to "give up" during this Lenten season. I certainly found myself convicted by these words! My first thought after reading it? That all sounds way too difficult! That is when I knew this must be my resolution during this season. And hopefully this sacrifice will leave a lasting impression on my life and extend far beyond the 40 days of Lent...
A Lenten Reflection
Give up complaining - focus on gratitude.
Give up pessimism- become an optimist.
Give up harsh judgments- think kindly thoughts.
Give up worry- trust Divine Providence.
Give up discouragement- be full of hope.
Give up bitterness- turn to forgiveness.
Give up hatred- return good for evil.
Give up negativism- be positive.
Give up anger- be more patient.
Give up pettiness- become mature.
Give up gloom- enjoy the beauty that is all around you.
Give up jealousy- pray for trust.
Give up gossiping- control your tongue.
Give up sin- turn to virtue.
Give up giving up- hang in there!
WARNING: Catherine Marshall, best known for the novels Julie and Christie (and for being the wife of great preacher/teacher Peter Marshall) once wrote about her own experience of fasting from complaining. I'll try to find the book where she speaks of it and post some of her thoughts. For now, just know that she said that this one experience really exposed how negative she had become and how often complaint and pettiness consumed her. Be prepared to be humbled by this experience!