It’s the first full week of Lent – are you ready for “the cleanse”?
As we head into the Lenten season, we prepare to go with Christ into the desert and be made new. What does that mean for us in a practical sense? If the goal of our Lent is to look more like Jesus when we celebrate resurrection and new life in Easter, maybe we can turn to the description of our “new self in Christ” in Colossians as our guide.
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if one has a grievance against another; as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do. And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection. And let the peace of Christ control your hearts, the peace into which you were also called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, as in all wisdom you teach and admonish one another, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:12-17)
This week, let’s pray with those words and make an honest assessment of what in our lives need to change to reflect this picture of what it means to put on Christ.
Compassion: Are there people in our lives we have a hardness of heart toward?
Kindness: Do we approach everyone with a respect for their dignity?
Humility: Do we seek our own glory, or point to the glory of God?
Gentleness: Toward whom do we react harshly, and how could we soften our behavior?
Patience: With whom do we have a short fuse? What is it we need to grant them more grace?
Forgiveness: Do we hold a grudge or resentment toward anyone in our lives?
Love: Is there anyone in our life we hold any hatred toward or wish ill?
Gratitude: Are we thankful for more than we complain about?
Sit with Jesus and let Him help you answer those questions. If any really stick out to you as things you need to work on, maybe this is the Lent you surrender those obstacles to Jesus and let Him create a new heart in you.