I must admit, I have never been fond of saying that I am “giving up” something for Lent. “Giving up” connotes a sense of resignation. In other situations when we say we are giving up, it means that we quit, we stopped, we are no longer making an effort. Giving up is a passive act, and that is far from the intention of preparing our hearts for Christ’s resurrection on Easter Sunday.
When we remove something from our lives during Lent, whether it be a favorite food, favorite activity, or something else, it is far from a passive act. By taking something from our lives for the 40 days before Easter, we are making room in our heart for prayer, meditation, and contemplation of Jesus’s love for us. By sacrificing something we enjoy, it gives us a very small taste of the very nature of sacrifice. It gives us a better understanding of Christ’s love for his people to have died on the cross for us. By disciplining ourselves to stay away from something we enjoy during the Lenten season, we also learn to discipline our minds to be better Christians.