No man knows how bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good. A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means. This is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is. After all, you find out the strength of the German army by fighting it, not by giving in. A man who gives in to temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later.
That is why bad people, in one sense, know very little about badness. They have lived a sheltered life by always giving in. We never find out the strength of the evil impulse inside us until we try to fight it.
(C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity)
This Wednesday (3/5) marks the beginning of Lent. I always look forward to this season, as in recent years I have cherished Lent more closely than years past. For me, it’s not just the taking away of something I hold dear to me, it’s more about the intentional time spent meditating on Christ and His work on this earth. Just like any relationship, the more I invest, the better I know Him, and the greater my love grows for Him. After 40 days of focusing my attention on Christ’s life as a man, I’m moved so much more deeply when the anniversary of His death draws closer. This is only followed by joy almost too great to contain when we get to celebrate His defeat of death on Easter Sunday. This is truly the greatest, most redeeming moment for those who put their trust in our Lord.
Ryan asked me tonight to be reflecting on things in my life, whether tangible or not, that are hindering my love for Christ and spending quality time with Him. It’s already easy for me to pinpoint some things, but we are taking the next few days to really pray about this season of Lent, and work through putting those things aside for a time in order to admire who Jesus is more deeply.
We’re also reading through this book (started today) and will finish right around Easter. If you don’t have a Lent read, I encourage you to pick this one up. Each day is only about 2 pages long, and helps to reflect on Christ’s purpose and design in His death.
I’ll leave you with the same question the hubs asked me. What in your life, tangible or not, is hindering your love for Christ? What takes the place of quality time spent with Him? Where do you go to, or what do you do to distract, get away, cope, or ignore stuff you don’t like? My challenge to you is to trust Christ with those things, and give them to Him this Lent season. Force yourself to rely on Him, and ask Him to be enough for you. Ask Him to speak to you clearly, and that you’d be receptive to what He has to say. I’m excited to see where He brings us on this journey with Him.