I overheard my daughter talking to a friend, not too long ago. They were FaceTiming, laughing and talking about their last few days. Amid their conversation, my daughter, Jorja, said, “So what will you do with Lent?“. The friend answered, “Lint? Yeah, I get it all of the time. And not only do I find lint in my belly button, but one time, I had paper in my belly button too!”
I died laughing.
Words matter. Clearly, so does explaining when two words sound the same but mean something vastly different.
Lint, of course, is frayed fabric that we catch in our dryers….and, obviously, our belly buttons as well.
LENT is the 40 days prior to Easter, a sacred season to contemplate the sacrifice of Christ who paid for the punishment of our sin, so that we could have a relationship with God again. This sacrifice is the most outward display of LOVE the world has ever seen.
These words are totally different.
BUT, maybe we can find one thing that might be similar to consider.
When you have lint in your belly button, the goal is to get it out. Lint does not belong in your belly button.
When it comes to the season of Lent, which begins tomorrow (Wednesday), we are to think about the sacrifice made on our behalf: totally unearned and totally undeserved. Lent is also a time to reflect on and repent of the things in your life that are not pleasing to the Father in preparation for the celebration of His death, and resurrection that provided forgiveness and new life. So, maybe we can also consider during the Lent season, what things are in our lives that don’t need to be there….maybe we were never created to have those things in our lives, in the first place. Maybe we have some things that need to be repented of, so that we can live in the fullness in which God created for us to live. God loves us enough to surface what needs to get out of our lives.
God loves us enough to surface what needs to get out of our lives.
Repentance is a word that we often don’t like because it can feel like we have done something terribly wrong since we need to repent of it. Truth is, to repent actually means, “a change of mind that changes the direction our thoughts are taking us to a better direction that results in better choices and behavior“. Based on that definition, repentance is a VERY GOOD THING, and actually, should be a vital part of our lives as followers of Jesus.
Repentance should be a vital part of our lives as followers of Jesus.
Repentance is a vital part of our LOVE relationship with God. To truly LOVE God is to want to live with our thoughts being completely overtaken by His thoughts. Paul even said that we have already been given the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16). We just have to learn to practice submitting our mind to His and repenting when we are thinking and then responding out of our flesh.
In the past, I have encouraged “40 days of praise”, and “40 days of prays”. This year, for Lent, I plan to ask the Lord to surface any thoughts in me that need to be removed from my mind, so that I can live the abundant life He died to give me. Then, I will repent of that wrong belief, humbly surrender it to Him, and replace that wrong belief with the TRUTH.
Would you be willing to join me? If so, send me an email, and I will happily send you what I am calling my “REPENT FOR LENT” list! I would love to hear from you after the 40 days about what the Lord did in your life over the course of this time! And to go even further, you may want to memorize a few of the Scriptures that were especially important for your renewing of your thoughts! Let’s press in together to prepare our hearts for the Easter season! I truly believe it will make ti so much more memorable and special for you!
You are loved,