Saturday, 16 February 2013

Lent danger: living by sight instead of faith

The Church is now in the season of Lent, with tomorrow marking the 1st of 4 Sundays in Lent. Traditionally, this season has been a time when Christians have given up things – things they consider important like certain kinds of foods or drink or certain kinds of pleasures in order to re-focus their commitment to God.  Generally speaking the idea of giving up something in order to rejuvenate and deepen one's commitment is a good thing but... there is a major danger that needs to be acknowledged and if present totally banished. The danger is this - focussing on the external (what's outward) whilst ignoring the internal, what's in your heart. Focusing on the visible - chocolate, coffee or cake - whilst forgetting the invisible - sin, selfishness and self-righteousness. That would be to live by sight instead of faith. What an irony (and travesty) it would be to give up caffeine while at the same time being grumpy or jealous or full of anger or bitterness or lust. How messed up it would be to be outwardly seeking God but in your heart being so far away from Him! If you are giving up something this Lent make sure you also pay attention to where it really matters the heart for as someone once said the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

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