A Catholic priest working in an inner city was walking down an alley one
evening on his way home when a young man came down the alley behind him and
poked a knife against his back. "Give me your money," the young man said.
The priest opened his jacket and reached into an inner pocket to remove his
wallet, exposing his clerical collar. "Oh, I'm sorry, Father," said the
young man, "I didn't see your collar. I don't want YOUR money."
Trembling from the scare, the priest removed a cigar from his shirt pocket
and offered it to the young man. "Here," he said. "Have a cigar."
"Oh, no, I can't do that," the young man replied, "I gave them up for Lent."
GIVE UP grumbling! Instead, "In everything give thanks." Constructive
criticism is OK, but "moaning, groaning, and complaining" are not Christian
GIVE UP 10 to 15 minutes in bed! Instead, use that time in prayer, Bible
study and personal devotion.
GIVE UP looking at other people's worst points. Instead concentrate on their
best points. We all have faults. It is a lot easier to have people overlook
our shortcomings when we overlook theirs first.
GIVE UP speaking unkindly. Instead, let your speech be generous and
understanding. It costs so little to say something kind and uplifting. Why
not check that sharp tongue at the door?
GIVE UP your hatred of anyone or anything! Instead, learn the discipline of
love. "Love covers a multitude of sins."
GIVE UP your worries and anxieties! Instead, trust God with them. Anxiety is
spending emotional energy on something we can do nothing about: like
tomorrow! Live today and let God's grace be sufficient.
GIVE UP TV one evening a week! Instead, visit some lonely or sick person.
There are those who are isolated by illness or age. Why isolate yourself in
front of the "tube?" Give someone a precious gift: your time!
GIVE UP buying anything but essentials for yourself! Instead, give the money
to God. The money you would spend on the luxuries could help someone meet
basic needs. We are called to be stewards of God's riches, not consumers.
GIVE UP judging by appearances and by the standard of the world! Instead,
learn to give up yourself to God. There is only one who has the right to
judge, Jesus Christ.
Rev. Craig Gates, Jackson, MS, "WHAT TO GIVE UP FOR LENT"