Good morning, Father.

February 18 is Ash Wednesday. It is the beginning of the church season of Lent, a 40-day period (excluding Sundays) leading up to Easter. Lent is a somber time in the church where we reflect on the great sacrifice of Jesus on our behalf because of His love.

In biblical times, people in mourning would often put on “sack clothes of ashes.” These were symbols of sorrow. A reminder that we were formed from the dust of the earth, and it is to the dust of the earth we will return. Jesus died to save us from the consequences of our sin.

There is much to ponder and reflect upon. Below are 40 things you might consider giving up for Lent not only this year, but for the rest of your life. (Source: Phil Ressler, 2015, Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd)

1.  Fear of Failure-You don’t succeed without experiencing failure. Just make sure you fail forward.

2.  Your Comfort Zone-It’s outside our comfort zone where new discoveries are made.

3.  Feelings of Unworthiness-You are fearfully and wonderfully made by your Creator.

4.  Impatience-God’s timing is the perfect timing.

5.  Retirement-As long as you are breathing, you are here for a reason.

6.  People Pleasing-I can’t please everyone. There is only One I need to strive to please.

7.  Comparison-I have my own unique contribution to make and there is no one like me.

8.  Blame-I am not going to pass the buck. I will take responsibility.

9.  Guilt-I am loved by Jesus, and He has forgiven my sins.

10.  Over commitment-Do less better and accomplish more.

11.  Lack of Counsel-Wise decisions are rarely made in a vacuum.

12.  Impurity-Live lives pure and without blemish.

13.  Entitlement-Neither the world nor God owes me anything. Live in humility and grace.

14.  Apathy-Life is too short not to care.

15.  Hatred-Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

16.  Negativity-I will put the best construction on everything when it comes to other people.

17.  The Spirit of Poverty-Believe that with God there is always more than enough and never a lack.

18.  Going Through the Motions-The more you invest yourself, the more you will get back.

19.  Complaint-Instead of contributing to the problem, be the solution.

20.  The Pursuit of Happiness-God wants something greater and more lasting than happiness; it is called joy.

21.  Bitterness-The only person I am hurting by holding on to this is myself.

22.  Distraction-Life is filled with distractions that will take our eyes off the prize.

23.  Giving Up-God never gives up on us.

24.  Mediocrity-If you are going to do something, then give it all you got.

25.  Destructive Speech-Encourage one another.

26.  Busyness-It is a badge of honor to be busy, but that does not always translate to abundance.

27.  Loneliness-With Jesus I am never alone. He is with me wherever I go.

28.  Disunity-If two of you agree on earth about anything, it will be done for them by the Heavenly Father.

29.  The Quick Fix-Rarely does true transformation happen over night.

30.  Worry-God is in control and worry will not help.

31.  Idolizing-Don’t assign anyone a standard they cannot live up to.

32.  Resistance to Change-Change is certain. It is not if we will change, but how we will change.

33.  Pride-Blessed are the humble.

34.  Small View of God-Don’t tell God how big your problem is, tell your problem how big your God is.

35.  Envy-My value is not found in my possessions, but in my relationship with my Heavenly Father.

36.  Ungratefulness-You have been blessed in a way greater than you realize.

37.  Selfish Ambition-God has a mission for me that is bigger than me.

38.  Self-Sufficiency-Jesus is my strength. I can do all things through Him.

39.  Sorrow-Weeping may tarry for a night, but joy comes in the morning.

40.  My Life-Whoever loves his life loses it and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.

In the power of Jesus’ name, Amen.

Janet Waters, Preschool Sunday School Teacher/Prayer Room Intercessor
Campus(es): ,