But this past Sunday also brought to a close another big event for many who consider themselves to be “Christian.” It brought to a close the season of “Lent.”
Lent begins on “Ash Wednesday” and lasts through “Easter Sunday.” Suffice to say that “Lent” is an invention of the Catholic Church (it is not taught anywhere in Scripture), but it has spread to many in the denominational world.
During Lent, those who observe it are to show their piousness by abstaining from various practices that, in effect, come between them and God or prevent them from serving God. Thus the tradition of “giving something up” for Lent.
But what happens when Lent is over? For most of those who gave something up for Lent, they pick right back up doing whatever they had “given up for Lent.”
My question is this: if something is coming between you and God (i.e. “sin”), why would you want to only give it up for 40 days a year? If something is coming between me and God, I’d want to give it up permanently.
There is a word for setting up something that gets in the way of your relationship with God: idolatry. Anything that comes between you and God, then, is an idol. Why would you WANT ANYTHING to come between you and God? Why would you ALLOW ANYTHING come between you and God?
Some “things” may be good things, but they can still become an idol if you allow them to come before God. For example, exercise is a good thing. But if you spend more time working out at the gym than you spend with God, perhaps exercise has become an idol (see 1 Timothy 4:8).
Really any “hobby” could be substituted for exercise above. If you spend more time doing the hobby and less time with God, that hobby might be or become an idol.
If something is coming between you and God, let me urge you to NOT give it up for Lent...give it up for LIFE!