Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Giving up

I almost gave up doing something for Lent this year.
It's already a week from Ash Wednesday, you know.
My perfectionist nature wants me to just give it all up: well, Andrea, you didn't start on the "right" day, so you aren't doing it the "right way".
But I know my God better than that.
He accepts us where we are.
And no liturgical calender will get in the way of that.
So I am starting today with my Lenten fast.
I already knew what I would give up.
In the past, it has been chocolate, computer time, TV. Among other things.
This year?
I'm giving up fear, worry, and anxiety.
After all, the Lord calls us to live life abundantly.
How can we, as Christians, live life abundantly, when we are trapped by fear, worry, or anxiety?
Too much I "entertain fear".
I put it on stage, dress it up, and watch it tap dance for me.
Replaying out things that have never happened and probably will never happen.
I love "The Message" Bible's interpretation of II Corinthians 10:5:

The world is unprincipled. It's dog-eat-dog out there! The world doesn't fight fair. But we don't live or fight our battles that way—never have and never will. The tools of our trade aren't for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture. We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity.

And the NIV:
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

and lastly, the New American Standard:

We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.

This Lenten season I will give up entertaining worry and fear. Instead of imagining situations or circumstances that have not come to pass, that may never come to pass, or even that I have no control over, I am going to replace that imagination with the knowledge of God.
What's the knowledge of God?
Repeating scripture to myself instead of entertaining the fear.
Giving up the speculation--taking every thought captive and replacing it with the knowledge of God.

Are you giving up?

Elizabeth@Real Learning has a wonderful Lenten series daily devotional that is worth checking out.
It is not too late to start!

Gisela Yohannan  from "Gospel for Asia" spoke on entertaining fear a few weeks ago at a retreat I attended. She gave me some wonderful ideas for demolishing imaginations and fears.


Emilee said...

What an awesome verse, thank you so much for sharing!

Pink Slippers said...

What a wonderful thing to put behind you.

Janelle said...

I loved this post. Thank you!