As adults adulting, we all know that life is dynamic and risky. Things don’t always turn out the way we anticipate, much less the way we want. You win some, and you lose some. As people in recovery, we cannot spend a lot of time reliving the past, particularly the times that we tasted defeat or the moments we came face to face with losing. Live long enough, and you’ll lose something. The same holds true for hurts people cause us or that we cause. There is no benefit in hanging onto our aches and pains. We must be quick to forgive and even quicker to ask for forgiveness when a slight or injury occurs. Otherwise, we risk building resentments. For regular people, resentments are bad news.For addicts living in recovery, resentments are deadly.
Scripture says there are times and seasons for everything. God’s Word instructs us to guard our hearts and be careful with what we let live in them. Resentments are quick to take residence in our hearts and ready to devour our souls if we let them. But that’s just it. We don’t have to let them. We can give them over to our Higher Power…to God as we understand Him. The longer we entertain them, the deeper they will take root. Let go, and go on. Release the anchors of resentment that weigh you down and that will drown you if you let them. Living a life of recovery means holding things loosely, so we don’t suffocate the light indwelling us. The fields of resentment are a maze populated with valleys of darkness and roads leading to death. Go in peace, live in love, share the light.
How Are You Observing Lent This Year? With today being Ash Wednesday, believers around the world start observing Lent. Lent is the annual time of fasting and reflection that begins the forty days before Easter, excluding Sunday. This year, Lent runs from March 1 to April 16 (Easter Sunday).
Lent commemorates the 40 days Jesus spent in the wilderness, described in Matthew 4:1-11. Scripture tells us that after his baptism, the Spirit sent Jesus into the desert where he was tempted by Satan while finding clarity and strength to resist temptation. Afterward, Jesus began his ministry.
How will you observe Lent this year?
Our lives are filled with busyness and distractions diverting our attention from the things of God and focusing on the demands of man. Lent helps us return our eyes to Jesus and realign our lives with the Lord. Through the practices of prayer, service, and fasting, we can exercise our spiritual muscles and take our minds off of ourselves and turn them to the Lord and to others. We can actively work on the concept that God must increase, and we must decrease if we hope to serve the Lord faithfully and obediently in whatever He has called us to do. And yes, as believers, we all have a calling and a purpose.
Here are some ideas that you might consider if you are still searching for a way to actively observe Lent in 2017.
- Commit to a deeper study of God’s Word, studying something specific for the next 40 days. For example, you might engage your spouse in a study of holiness and focus on passages that teach and demonstrate God’s righteousness.
- Devote time each day to specific prayer. Perhaps there is a member of your congregation that is in desperate need for God’s healing touch. Spend 10-15 minutes each day praying specifically for them and their needs.
- Forgive someone who has hurt you that does not deserve it. You could study forgiveness as it is taught in Scripture to prepare your heart to do this.
- Fast from social media or television. You could set boundaries and fast from these things for certain periods of time each day if you are unable to go an entire 24 hours without checking your Facebook page or catching up on the nightly news.
- Pray for people as you walk your neighborhood. Make it a point to go for a walk through your neighborhood in the morning or evening and pray for each home you walk by and every person you pass by.
Repentance and Revival start with us. Lent offers each of us as believers to recalibrate our lives and get them back in tune with the Lord and demonstrate our love for others.
I’ll be praying for you.