On Motive

"Is such the fast that I choose, a day to humble oneself?" Isaiah 58:5

Read Isaiah 58:1-9a.

Lent will begin in a few weeks and many of us will consider fasting as a spiritual discipline throughout the season. Maybe you will decide to give up sweets or the fancy coffee or social media. Maybe you will even decide to skip specific meals. This reading helps us to think about our motive in practices like these. Do we participate in these practices to better ourselves, to deepen our relationship with God, or to remind us of our reliance on God? Do we, like the Hebrews to whom Isaiah is speaking, have an unspoken hope that God will somehow reward us for our sacrifice?

What would it look like to take your fast a step further – like donating the money you would have spent on that fancy coffee to a local foodbank or to the person standing on the corner holding up a sign? How could you use the time you would have spent scrolling Facebook to someone else’s benefit? How might skipping a meal help you to experience in a small way what it is like not to have easy access to food?

Today, prayerfully consider how you will spend the Lenten season.


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