10 Ways to Have a More Meaningful Lent

LentAre the words “meaningful” and “Lent” in the same sentence confusing? How can fasting, giving up your favorite stuff, etc. translate to meaningful? Giving up cherished things, serves as a reminder that all our goodness comes from God.

#1. Express Your Kind Side

Show your love for Jesus through Christian kindness to others. Surprise co-workers with bagels and cream cheese for breakfast. Write a sweet note and leave it in a paperback book where someone will find it. Let a driver turn left in front of you.

#2. Make Amends

It can be more difficult to apologize to someone you’ve hurt, than to give up something you love. Asking for forgiveness lifts a weight from your heart.

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you – Ephesians 4:32

#3. Keeping “I love you.” Up to Date

Remember when the Twin Towers fell? People all over America were reaching out and saying, “I love you.” Wouldn’t the world be a better place if we made this a regular practice? The Lent season is an excellent time to use your words and let your family. friends and others who matter know you love them.

#4. Convey Written Thanks

They say letter writing is a dying art. And thank-you-notes seem to be a nicety of the past. Challenge yourself to send as many notes of appreciation to as many people as you can. Don’t forget about teachers, hairdressers, mentors, service people (your plumber, lawn service, pest control service, etc.), good friends and so on.

Show appreciation to anyone who has touched your life in a meaningful way.

#5. In-Depth Study of a Book of the Bible.

Is there a book in the Bible you would really dig into, if only you could understand it? Why not put the 40-days of Lent to good use through in-depth study of the Bible book of your choice?

Read the book at one sitting. You won’t understand it. No worries. Ask God to open your spiritual ears to hear his Word. Read it again slowly. Memorize key verses. Pray for greater understanding.

#6. Kick the Gossip Habit

Gossip is judging others by committee. Gossiping is a habit, one that to kick during Lent. It’s not easy to quit spreading the news or refrain from putting your two-cents worth into a gossip fest. Distance yourself from toxic people who thrive on gossip. They are highly contagious.

#7. Almsgiving

Lent is a marvelous time to distribute ‘alms’ to people who are less fortunate. Ask yourself what you can give. Your time? Your talents? Money? Material Possessions?

How about those double mocha cappuccinos you love? Use the money you save to help the poor and suffering. Consider cleaning your closets and taking gently worn items to a nearby shelter.

#8. Spread Cheer

In your own neighborhood, office or church family, someone is sick, someone else is lonely, another has lost a loved one. Lent is an auspicious time to spread cheer to those who are experiencing pain and suffering.

Volunteer at your local senior citizens center. Ask if you can bring your dog or cat. There’s nothing like a friendly lick on the hand to send the blues packing.

#9. Embark on a U.S. Pilgrimage

It isn’t necessary to travel to the holy land to embark on a pilgrimage for Lent. The U.S. is rich in sacred places. From the Shrine of St. Francis of Assisi in San Francisco to The Grotto of the Redemption in Iowa, making a holy pilgrimage ensures your Lent will be more meaningful.

#10. Lent Unplugged

Unplug electronics for the 40-days of Lent – Facebook, Netflix, TV, Texting, E- mail, etc. – and use the time you’ve freed-up for reflection and prayer.

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