Lent is the time to really focus on developing new habits and becoming better people in order to make the world better. Finding areas where we could use improvement or refinement helps us identify the habits we could form to become better humans. One way to find these areas is through taking a “fearless moral inventory”--looking at who you are and what you want to change about yourself. After we’ve taken our “fearless moral inventory,” what happens when we discover those actions, prejudices and character flaws?
Today, pick one thing you do and focus on it. Maybe you have a quick temper. Maybe you drive aggressively or will never let anyone cut in front of you. Maybe you overspend, then lie to your spouse about it. Maybe you work too much and don’t spend enough time with those you love. Maybe you are critical of others.
Whatever it is you feel you would like to change, pick that one thing and focus the next two weeks on just that. This is a fairly common way to approach a Lenten discipline. Be mindful about your focus and try to proactively stop yourself from doing the offending action. Many people feel it is helpful to wear a rubber band around their wrist as a reminder of their commitment to change. Others pick a specific time each day (say 10 a.m.) to spend a moment reflecting on their goal in order to strengthen their resolve. Some have a small coin bank and put in a specific amount of money each time they do the offense, and then donate the money to the church or a charity at Easter. All of these tools work and are merely ways to reinforce our journey to our goal.
And remember: What is our goal? Our goal is to remember Christ’s sacrifice for us, to strive to become more like Christ, and to participate as fully as possible in being the people God designed us to be. Love ourselves, love others and love God.
Teresa Angle-Young is providing articles about the Christian season of Lent and ways we all can join in the practice of Lent. She is a pastor who is simply seeking God, loving neighbors, and trying to follow Jesus.