By Vickie Yandell
The Lenten Season….........why would someone do that? It was not a practice I knew about as the churches I have attended over the years did not observe or teach about Lent in an experiential manner.
At first glance, I was going to be giving up some food or drink ….chocolate, coffee, etc to help create something different on the inside – but what? After a more thoughtful review the “what” was clarified. “An outward token of change as a daily reminder of an inward change Christ has brought to me through the Holy Spirit"……yes, I get it…. my heart change and transformation!
Emille Griffin in her book Small Surrenders says “One way to approach Lent is to try to discover our worst flaws and work on these – to surrender, if you will, our worst character failings". As an example she quoted Catherine Marshall who considered herself to be too critical of others, who gave herself the task to fast from critical remarks discovered that it was very hard and somewhat subjective. Maybe that was not the only lesson revealed in the scripture she referenced below.
"Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven" // Luke 6:37
Is that what Jesus was really talking about? I think He wants us to be and love like Him. I think for me He wants a pattern interruption - a return to and renewed look at His Story – at the people He loved and showed grace, mercy and forgiveness. He doesn’t reject them but is constantly faithful to them and He looks down and listens to them and smiles – now that is mercy and grace!
He wants me to rest so I can listen and hear His Voice. He wants me to refocus so I can look at people through His eyes and my heart will melt. He wants me to remember my legacy so my touch will be gentle and humble.
Got a critical attitude? Surrender - only God’s grace and mercy can change us!
Remind me again, Lord, You know how I tend to forget!