Giving Up is Hard to Do

Lent.  In general, Lent is supposed to be a time for reflection, penance, and self-denial.  I asked my kids today, "so what are you giving up this year?"  My one son told me he is giving up Lent, "that way I'm killing two birds with one stone," he says.  One time a friend of mine asked me, "what are you giving up for Lent this year?"  I said, "potato chips."  He said, "way to stretch yourself."  I had given up potato chips for Lent every year for the past 15 years.  This year I thought about trying something different, "stretching" myself a little bit more.  I decided to give up trying to be all things to all people.  Instead of looking others in the eye and trying to please them, I am going to try and look Jesus in the eyes and please him.  Do you think that  is going to be easy?  Heck no!  You try and see if you come up short.

For as long as I can remember I have been trying to make others happy (unsuccessfully I might add).  My boss, my mother, my kids, my husband, my family, my friends, my dog....yada yada.  When I think of how little success I have had just trying to achieve that goal I realize that I am a complete failure!  So this Lent, instead of unsuccessfully trying to please PEOPLE, I thought for the first time in my life I would try to please the one and only person who truly loves me...God!

I wonder if I will succeed?  I wonder if it will be as hard as I think it will?  I wonder if He will notice?  I wonder... In 40 days I will no longer wonder, I will know the truth.  So where did this idea come from?  Well, I hate to say it, but again I must credit Joyce Meyer, the TV evangelist.  She brought up a very good point.  She said that people gotta stop trying to please will never work!  She said, "stop spending so much time trying to please the people in your life that are not happy, and try to please God in your life who wants YOU to be happy."  Can I really be happy not looking for acceptance and approval from others?   Well, I'm sure going to try, even if it does kills me!  However, I might find that it is was much easier to do than not eating chips!  In which case, my Lent would be lacking in penance and self-denial.  Hmmm, I better reflect on that.


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