Things to give up during Lent:
1. Fear of Failure – You don’t succeed without experiencing failure. Just make sure you fail forward.
2. Feelings of Unworthiness – You are fearfully and wonderfully made by God.
3. Impatience – Count to 10 and extend grace.
4. Blame – Tell yourself, “I am not going to pass the buck. I will take responsibility for my actions.”
5. Guilt – Remember, you are loved by God and forgiven. Today is a new day and the past is behind.
6. Over commitment – Do less better and accomplish more.
7. Entitlement – The world does not owe me anything. God does not owe me anything. I live in humility and grace.
8. Apathy – Life is too short not to care.
9. Hatred – Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
10. Complaining/ Bitterness- Put aside negative thoughts. Work to minimize contact with people who are negative and toxic. Instead of contributing to the problem, be the solution.
11. Destructive Speech – Encourage one another.
12. Worry – God is in control and worrying will not help.
13. Resistance to Change – Change is certain. It is not if we will change, but how we will change.
14. Ungratefulness – You have been blessed in a way greater than you realize. Give thanks.
15. Reduce the Use of Electronics– Spend more time making direct contact with others and less time utilizing electronics (i.e. instead of sending that text or email, pick up the phone and call).
Things to start doing for Lent:
1. Give away something every single day, be it time, money, or something you own. Clean out closets and drawers. Donate, recycle, and get rid of 40 things in 40 days.
2. Make a list of 40 people who have touched your life and write one each day with a letter of appreciation.
3. Plan to read the Sunday scriptures before you go to church. In the same way that reading up on football players, opposing teams, and coaching strategies will help you experience a game more fully, familiarizing yourself with the readings ahead of time will help you experience them in a deeper way on Sunday.
4. Plan 40 acts of kindness, and/or 40 phone calls to the important people in your life.
5. Read the entire Gospel of Mark in one sitting. As the shortest Gospel, it is the most concise story of Jesus’ life.
6. Unplug from your iPhone or turn off your car radio on your commute. The silence may be jarring at first, but you may find that you are able to concentrate better and will be more observant of your surroundings.
7. Plan to volunteer at least one weekend or evening during Lent. Serve a meal at your local soup kitchen. Visit the elderly or those who are ill. Stock shelves at a food pantry; pick up litter; volunteer at church, etc.
8. Pray for someone. As you’re walking the streets, driving the highways, or sitting in your cubicle at work, pick out a person who appears to be in need and pray for that person.
9. Get to know your neighbors. Introduce yourself, plan a dinner, or bring food to an older person on your block.