Christian purpose of fasting or self-denial

Today’s quote about fasting:

16 Lent--week 2 - fasting--Foster

There are several good reasons why Christians might fast or practice some form of self-denial. One reason is found in these words from Richard Foster, reminding us that when we fast, we are to replace the time and energy we spend on one thing (i.e., preparing and eating food) with something of even greater value.

This makes me think of Jesus’ 40 days in the desert. During his desert time, Jesus wasn’t doing active ministry or working in the carpenter shop or even visiting family. Jesus was practicing a kind of self-denial in order to  have some time alone for prayer.  It’s not that ministry, work, family togetherness are bad–they are good things. However, Jesus knew he needed some time to deepen his relationship with God in prayer.

So, when we fast or “give up” something for Lent, it is good to replace it with something even better. If we give up chocolate, we can replace it with fruit or vegetables. If we give up social media, we replace it with prayer or acts of kindness. If we give up a meal, we give the money we would have spent on the food to agencies who feed the hungry.

Until next time, Amen!