Repenting and Renewing During Lent
Lent is a season of preparation and renewing our lives. It is a time to remember Jesus’ passion and death that saved humanity from sins.
Here are some ways to repent and renew during Lent. Prepare for Jesus’ coming in the most empowering way, such as by reading the Gospel and engaging in internal conversion!
Ask God How He Wants You to Change
Make sure your act of repentance and renewal should not be based on your decisions or plans. Instead, ask for God’s guidance. Pray to God and seek His recommendation on how He wants you to change. Your prayer can be as simple as, “Lord, tell me how you want me to prepare for Easter. How do you want me to grow?”
God will speak to you through your thoughts and intuition. All you have to do is hone an excellent habit of hearing from God in different ways.
Attend Ash Wednesday
Ash Wednesday is one way to celebrate the start of Lent. This occasion is remembered through the tradition of putting ashes on one’s forehead. This Catholic ritual has its roots in the Old Testament.
“I turned to the Lord God, to seek help, in prayer and petition, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes” – Daniel 9:3
The act of putting ash on one’s forehead is a physical call to repentance. It helps us remember that we are humans, sinful, but also deserving of forgiveness.
Read the Gospel
Reading the gospel not only helps you understand the importance of repentance. It also makes you more self-aware as a Christian. As the famous statement goes, “repent and believe in the Gospel.”
This call refers explicitly to the four Gospel books: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Make it a goal to read at least two chapters daily during Lent. By Easter, you will have completed all four gospels.
Abstain from Unhealthy Food and Drinks
I understand how a bite of pizza or a sip of alcohol can be tempting. But for Christians, Lent is all about abstinence. Challenge yourself to a diet at least every Friday, abstaining from meat, chips, alcohol, and other problematic foods and drinks.
Make sure your motive for abstaining is pure. Do it out of the desire to be cleansed. Do it to remember Jesus sacrificing His life for you. This is how you will unite yourself with Christ.
Confess Your Sins
Another way to repent and renew yourself during Lent is to confess your sin. If you are Catholic, you can receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation from your most trusted priest. If you are Born Again or a member of other denominations, you can just sincerely pray and ask for forgiveness. You may also ask for your pastor’s blessing.
Confessing humbles you and will help you take accountability for your actions. It will also encourage you to avoid sinning in the future.
Give Up Something
There are many other things you can give up for Lent aside from unhealthy foods and drinks. This simple act can include reduced social media use, electricity consumption, or spending less money during weekends.
Remember that Lent is a time for sacrifice and penance. In Luke 9:23, Jesus said, “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”
Giving up spending money, social media use, and other things are all external. It would help if you balanced these actions with internal conversion. This is where reading the Bible, praying, and almsgiving come into play.
Extend your compassion and generosity to others, especially the less fortunate. Buy someone a meal or donate to your local charity now.
You Don’t Have to Suffer During Lent
Lent is not a season of punishment. Instead, it’s a season of preparation for Easter. And we get ready for Jesus’ coming through repentance and renewal. All you have to do is create space for God’s grace to enter our hearts and souls.