Use this list of things you could give up for Lent this year to grow more deeply in your faith.
Are you considering giving up something for Lent this year, but you aren’t sure what would be most helpful to your spiritual growth? During Lent, many people around the world give up eating meat, and while that is a meaningful practice, it’s not the only way to fast during Lent. Use this fasting list to consider other ways to sacrifice as you reflect on what Jesus did for you.
Fasting During Lent
Many people choose to give up something in order to deepen their daily spiritual practice during Lent. Lent, the 40 days before Easter (technically 46 because Sundays are not counted), is a time when Christians focus on Jesus’ death and sacrifice.
Lent is a somber time yet also a time of celebration in the sense that Christians remember and realize the importance of the great gift we have been given.
Things to Fast From Besides Food
Many Christians fast from food, or certain foods (such as red meat, soda or chocolate) during Lent. While fasting from food is a powerful Biblical exercise, it’s not the only way to fast.
Spiritual fasting for breakthrough can happen when fasting from other things besides food, during Lent and throughout the year.
Fasting from food may not be advisable for you due to medical reasons, health history or eating disorders. Fasting for weight loss (often Intermittent Fasting or IF) is not the same as fasting for spiritual growth.
10 Things You Could Give Up for Lent Besides Food
Here are 10 things you could give up for Lent that are not food:
- Social media
- TV or Netflix
- Music in the car (use the time for prayer instead)
- Snooze button
- Spending with a credit card
See the list below for more ideas.
Why Do Christians Give Up Something for Lent?
Typically Lent has been a time of fasting and self-denial, especially in Catholic traditions. It is important to note that fasting or other traditions do not earn you extra blessings from God. Romans 5:17 says, “For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.”
Grace is a free gift through Jesus. You do not earn God’s good favor.
The Bible also says that fasting should be done privately. Matthew 6:16-18 says, “And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”
Fasting is a spiritual discipline that is between you and God.
50 Things You Could Give Up for Lent This Year
Here are 50 things you could give for lent this year.
- Fast food
- TV viewing
- Social Media
- Snooze Button
- Warm Showers
- French Fries
- Cell phone
- Working overtime
- White lies
- Last bite
- Junk food
- Music in the car
- Being late
- Taking credit
- Hurtful words
- Artificial sweeteners
- Going first
- Plastic bags
- Bottled water
- Holding grudges
- Road rage
- Iphone apps
- The last word
Adding Something for Lent Instead of Taking Away
In recent years, I’ve read about families who choose to add something in during Lent, instead of taking something away. Here are some ideas.
10 Things You Can Add In During Lent
- Donate a food items to a food pantry for each day of Lent (40 items).
- Do a random act of kindness each day.
- Complete a Lent Bible reading plan, reading a Bible verse each day.
- Read a Lent devotion each day.
- Post a Bible verse on social media each day for 40 days.
- Post something you are grateful for each day for 40 days.
- Clear out clutter and donate 40 items.
- Spend 15 minutes each day decluttering. Pray and thank God for your blessings of abundance.
- Make a monetary donation to a charity of your choice, perhaps $1 or $5 for each day in Lent.
- Write in a fasting journal to reflect on all you have learned during the season. (Get 20% off this journal with exclusive coupon code HOLYMESS at checkout.)
With these ideas, you’ll be able to make your Lenten season meaningful this year as you reflect on Jesus’ death on the cross for you.
Have you given up something for Lent in the past? Will you give up something for Lent this year? Share about it in the comments below.
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