By Melodious Monk
We tend to look at self-denial and Lent very negatively. Often I think I must give up another bad habit or tackle some self-punishment to feel like I’m being more holy and sacrificial.
I think it is a great tool of the devil to get us Christians to fall into this trap of self abasement. Are we not made in the image of God? He is wonderful, full of beauty, majesty, mercy, and things innumerable. This image of God is present and available in us all.
A friend recently told me about an exercise she had been given once. The exercise was: every day, for one week, to write 10 different positive things about herself. She said it was helpful, but surprisingly difficult and painful. Self-denial may be painful, but it is only to allow for an increase of this wonderful God inside us.
I’m trying to approach this Lent differently. In this season set aside for repentance and changing one’s direction, rather then commiserating over all the terrible parts of myself, why not try to see what I can add to my life this Lent instead of what can I take away?