I know it was yesterday, but I wasn’t able to connect to the wifi last night, so here it is.
When I was little, I used to wonder why was there a Wednesday named Ash Wednesday? Knowing me and my Rose Nylund naivety, I probably asked the following was it an ashy Wednesday? Was it a day where we’re supposed to skip lotion? What say you now?
Well, then I got older and learned that it was the beginning of the lent season, before Easter. Like forty days or something like that, where you would give up something (Whether it’s food or breaking a habit) or maybe even fast for that period of time until Easter Sunday. Now, even after I got saved, I still honored it, I gave up ice cream, sweets, chips, sodas, Facebook, and I think makeup. Now, I can’t remember when I actually stopped honoring Ash Wednesday and the Lent (or Lentil, as Amber from RHONJ said) season, but I learned that it was in a nutshell, not scripturally required. It’s a religion thing and not a relationship thing.
Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s nothing wrong with partaking in the Lent, if that is what you want to do, but understand it’s not required. It’s more observed by Catholics and Protestants. Now, if you participate, then do it because you want to do it and not for show and tell. If you choose to give up something or stop a habit that is considered to be sinful, then that should actually be a daily event. You should just remember that we cannot make up or use the world’s way of thinking to get ourselves right with God. He has already told us in his word how we can accomplish that so don’t bother going off the mark.
If Ash Wednesday (Lent) is something that is on your heart to do, then talk to the Lord first and foremost about it and keep it between you two. Don’t let anyone else know, because it can possibly dance into a performance of pride, instead of doing it for the Lord. In other words, it’s no one else business, so don’t make it their business.
Also, if you do decide to participate, please remember you cannot earn God’s favor or get points for participating or because you have something to prove. I know when I have giving up stuff during this period, I felt no different and the only thing that was accomplish was that I was able to leave alone what I gave up for 6 weeks and let me tell ya, I don’t like giving up chocolate.
Another point to remember is that we’re under grace, God’s grace. It’s the blood of Jesus and his blood only that cleanses us from our sins. Giving up something doesn’t equate to repentance. If you feel repentance regarding a particular sin, then you confess that sin to God and move on, with the notion of not doing it again.
The last point to remember is that when any of the things that you may wish to give up, be realistic with it. Don’t say you’re going to give up smoking, drinking, cussing, or any type of addictions within those 6 weeks or use it as a time to make health changes and then countdown to Easter so that you can shampoo, rinse, repeat. Those are lifestyle changes with the intent of longer, if not permanent remission. Not only that, but you cannot conquer a lifestyle change by yourself and by your own efforts, you need divine help to get you through that. When I wanted to kick my candy crush game addiction, I realize that I was in deep trouble and I prayed for the Lord to help me quit and to give me the courage to stay away. I’ve been candy crush free since 2012 or 2013 (I forget). Glory be to God.
So, in a nutshell, you want to participate, feel free, but don’t you do it because everyone else and their dog named puff is doing it. If you want to do it, do it for you and make it between you and God and God alone. Ash Wednesday and/or Lent is like Valentine’s Day, it’s not a requirement to do participate if you don’t feel like it. (Ok that was probably a bad example, lol) Seriously, again, there is nothing wrong with participating, but do it because you want to and don’t do it for personal gain or favors. It aint about that life.
Disclosure: No scriptures are given in the post, because the event is not scriptural and don’t argue with me or anyone else that it is.