Lent: Giving Something Up vs. Becoming a Better Person

In Catholicism, Lent is about the 40 days that Jesus spent in the desert without food or water. This year, it starts February 17, 2021, and ends April 3, on Easter Sunday. Beginning on Ash Wednesday, it is a season about self-reflection in the coming of Easter. Christians replicate Jesus’ sacrifice by giving up something or a habit they are attached to, fasting from meat on Fridays, and eating minimally. 

Lent is about self-cleansing. “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time,” (1 Peter 5:6 ).

Growing up Catholic, the Priest always told us to give up something we liked to eat or do. These things included chocolate, talking back to parents, gossiping, swearing, playing on the computer, and even saying the word “like”. Though they sound easy, they were extremely difficult for me as a child and I never stuck with them. 

As I grew older, giving up something for Lent became less important, while conscientiously focusing on becoming a better person became more important. Going out of your way to hold the door for someone, donating to a needed cause, recycling, and being a better friend are just a few ideas. 

However, if you are looking to give something up for Lent this year, here are some more realistic and healthy recommendations. These include giving up Netflix, coffee, fast food, Tiktok (or any social media), overspending, and slouching. 

Whatever you choose to do this year for Lent, I hope that you feel self-reflected and cleansed for the Easter season!