Sacrifice. Surrender. The spiritual disciplines urge us to give up things we might prefer to retain. The term “discipline” itself carries a grim reputation. Those who observe the season of Lent often wrap these pre-Easter weeks in terms of self-deprivation. We must resist all things delicious, luxurious, or fun so we can suffer for Jesus. And complain publicly about the practice so others can see our self-imposed drear.
*Sigh* “Oh, I can’t have a pastry. I’m giving up sugar for Lent.”
Nothing wrong with sugar abstinence or fasting. But bewailing this season as a time of spiritual crash diets could inspire someone else to take a step back from the church threshold. Or at least question our motives.
Perhaps a little introspection could benefit us.
Why should anyone give up part of their lifestyle, at Lent or otherwise? Does self-imposed sacrifice have any purpose?
Allow me to redefine the oft-misinterpreted terms of sacrifice and discipline. Rather than depriving us of delight, surrender of things which benefit us less will make room for greater joy. In this new series, we’ll discuss ways to live delighted by design. Today’s video highlights the following tips, some of which we’ll explore in greater detail during the upcoming posts:
- Plan Dessert First.
- Make room for life’s best.
- There’s no such thing as empty space.
- Recognize the difference between self-glorified whining and true spiritual discipline.
- Expect a delicious course after the current meal.
- Reframe surrender as freedom from the tyranny of control’s delusion
- Re-imagine sacrifices as trade-ups, power-ups, and victories.
- Learn to celebrate and rejoice through seasons of sacrifice and surrender.
- Practice joy in the white spaces of life.
- Dance in the wings.
- Cultivate the art of unconditional joy.
I hope this inspired your current season, whatever sacrifices or surrender you might face. Share your concerns and feedback with us in the comments. I look forward to hearing from you.