It is easy to think that Lent shines a bright light on our weaknesses and lack of self-control. And while this should lead us into prayer and a deeper relationship with God, it can be discouraging. I find it helpful to understand our humanness involved in committing to our Lenten sacrifices and any other new habit for that matter.
Human psychology does explain our struggles with committing to these new habits. Depending on who you ask it takes an average of 28 days for a person to develop a new habit. The good news is that Lent is 40 days long (and lest we forget about those bonus Sundays). The greater news is this is plenty of time to turn those Lenten sacrifices into a new way of life!
No good habit comes without a struggle and any habit worth the struggle is good enough to keep. Gretchen Rubin, international bestselling author, shares, “Fact is, habits are hard to alter, and that’s why developing a good habit is really worth the struggle.”
We are not damaged or bad people because we struggle. Rather, we are as God designed us; human.
We seek His strength through prayer. We cry out for a spiritual cleansing that only He can grant. It is our intention to glorify God in all we do and in observing our Lenten sacrifices we are striving for spiritual betterment. We know perfection is not possible in this life, so let’s take it easy on ourselves. Give up the blame game and commit to the long game.
These 40 days of Lent are worth every effort we pour into them and impact every aspect of our lives. Let’s strive to rise above and outside of our human limitations aligning ourselves in such a way to identify our need as well as ultimate dependence on God. He is greatest when we are weakest. Let His light permeate your weaknesses and keep up the good work. Don’t give up!
Reference: Rubin, G. (2009, October 21). Stop Expecting to Change Your Habit in 21 Days. Retrieved February 20, 2015, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-happiness-project/200910/stop-expecting-change-your-habit-in-21-days
Copyright 2015, Gina Felter
Photo by Gina Felter. All rights reserved.
Lyrics adapted from “Forty days and forty nights”