Encounter, Leeds Sanctuary

Why do we give things up for Lent?

It is a Lent tradition within the Church to give something up, but why do we do it? We asked our Leeds Sanctuary team why they’ve given things up (or started new things) during Lent, or for any other reason…

David: One year I gave up social media for Lent which gave me more time to read. I’ve given up snacks between meals this year, which I’ve done before, and feeling hungry gives me a prompt to pray.

Anna: I haven’t given anything up for years… but I do tend to take things up. Last year I did a Lent book and this year I am reading the new Brene Brown book (Atlas of the Heart) over Lent.

Emily: Last year, I gave up chocolate but I did allow myself to have it on Sundays, and I couldn’t believe how sweet it tasted after just six days without it! I have also given up social media in the past, and chose to read a devotional on the Bible App every time I got the urge to scroll; I really noticed how much healthier my thought-life was during that time.

Erica: I once gave up chocolate for a month and that broke an unhealthy cycle which I’ve never picked up again.

The topic also led us to have a great discussion and Sam pointed out what a test this can be – am I in control of this habit, or is it controlling me?

You can read more about the meaning and history of Lent here.

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