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Turn Your Sacrifices Into Blessings - Guideposts
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Turn Your Sacrifices Into Blessings

In addition to giving up something for Lent, try offering a helping hand.

Young woman helping senior woman during Lenten season; Getty Images
Credit: Eva Katalin Kondoros

“I desire mercy, and not sacrifice….”—Matthew 9:13 (RSV)

An excellent idea for Lent comes from a reader of Daily Guideposts, now called Walking in Grace. It is a privilege to share it:

This year, instead of giving up something for Lent, I decided to do something worthwhile. For instance, write at least one letter of appreciation, like this one, every day. Or write to somebody who might be sick or lonely and need a word of encouragement, or maybe just to an old friend I’ve neglected too long. It occurs to me as I write this even now that I am giving up time, which is so important. And maybe it isn’t really a sacrifice to do something I’ve already found rewarding. But why not turn our ‘sacrifices’ into something productive for somebody else?

I agree with Camelia Zeitner. Self-denial can make us feel virtuous, but what does it accomplish? Swearing off something you like to eat means nothing when other people are hungry. Carry those sweets to a rest home, hospital or children’s home. Contribute to a soup kitchen. If you’re giving up entertainment, give away your theater tickets, treat somebody to the movies…the list of possibilities is endless. And the blessings boundless.

I’m making a list of my own right now. I hope you will, too.

Lord, surely this is a better way to serve You as we celebrate the miracle of Your Resurrection.

Excerpted from Walking in Grace.

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