Lent is a season of reflection, traditionally a time of giving up things in order to draw closer to the Lord. I have no problem with this. There are things we all could, and should, give up. How much time, for instance, do we here in America spend watching televisions versus in Bible study and prayer? What about social media–Twitter, Facebook, and other social games (such as Words With Friends).
It certainly would not hurt to spend less time doing those things, or to go without them, during Lent. How much of a sacrifice, however, is giving up Facebook for Lent? In our culture of entitlement, I would say not much at all. It is the sacrifice of the least common denominator, and something which is rather convenient to do.
Folks, it is not a hardship to give up Facebook, or Twitter, during this season. Especially if one announces one’s intentions via social media. That does not bespeak of the humility associated with the Lenten season, and really only serves to self-aggrandize:
Which is why I’m not giving up social media, blogging, or an online presence during Lent. I am not interested in drawing attention to myself by highlighting my humility (which is really just pride, cleverly disguised). What I am giving up, if I give up anything at all, is between me and my Lord.
If you are giving something up, making a sacrifice of some kind, please don’t tell anyone. Just do it. Let it be between you and Jesus. He already knows all of your idols, inordinate affections, where you spend your time, energy, and attention. My rule is simple: if we are give anything up, it should be something near and dear to us.
Not something outside of us. Because anything outside is merely a symptom of an inner condition. A sacrifice would not necessarily be giving up social media, television, online gaming, etc., but rather laying down our rights, our pride, our arrogance, and our vanity. It is not the thing, but rather the why behind the thing that matters. It is motivation that is key.
And in motivation, the heart is central.
My best advice? Get in a place where you can be quiet before Jesus, and ask Him what–if anything–He wants you to give up this Lenten season. I guarantee the answer will surprise you.
Jesus is like that.