Giving it up for Lent
As the pageantry and excess of Mardi Gras fades away, the revelry turns to repentance and reflection as Ash Wednesday marked the beginning of the Lenten Season.
Being Baptist, I am not in the habit of giving up anything for Lent, however, for all of us there are a few things that could be given up — being Lenten season or not — which would make this world and our local community a better place to live and worship. Here are a few simple things we can all try…
Try giving up swearing. A famous quote by Spencer W. Kimball says, “Profanity is the effort of a feeble brain to express itself forcibly.” Most people have uttered a swear word on occasion — including myself — but to use constant profanity in everyday conversations is not only irritating but embarrassing to those listening.
Try giving up littering. Not many things send a negative impression to visitors like a big, stinking pile of trash strewn on an otherwise well-groomed roadway. It’s actually quite simple give up littering; save it until you get home and then put it in a trash bag. If hauling trash to the dump make sure it is secure and in place until you reach the landfill.
Try giving up complaining. We are living in a country deemed most prosperous by most of the world, yet we are still a nation full of complainers. Complaining does nothing to solve the underlying problem, which is causing the complaint. We should be a nation of problem solvers and leave the complaining to those who are in really dire conditions and deserve to issue a complaint or two.
Try giving up selfishness. Of course we enjoy when friends and family do something nice for us. It makes us feel cared for and loved. How often do we reciprocate those actions, or better yet, help a perfect stranger in need. In helping one another we can make our community and world a better place for future generations.
People of all denominations can give something up for Lent. Chances are it will make a difference in the way we feel about our fellow man and ourselves.