For some, Mardi Gras is just a reason to get drunk on a Tuesday. For others, it is the last day to indulge before beginning a fast for the next 40 days leading up to Easter.
Lent starts on Ash Wednesday when certain Christian faiths spread ashes on their forehead to show their repentance to God. Different Christian denominations observe the Lenten season in their own ways.
Catholics abstain from eating red meat on Fridays and fast daily if their health allows. Other denominations only fast on certain days of the week.
Christians also give up certain luxuries during lent. It is supposed to serve as a reminder of the time Jesus spent fasting in the desert and the temptations he experienced.
Most Christians choose a vice that would be particularly hard for them to personally give up. One of the hardest parts of Lent is choosing which vice to give up. If you are searching for an idea to test your willpower, here are some options.
TV, YouTube or Video Games
Electronic entertainment can suck up a lot of time without people even noticing it. The time gained can be used for more productive outlets like reading, making art or reflecting.
Sugar, Cheese or Bread
While some Christians already give up meat, these options can be a great addition to your fast. Sugar, cheese and bread are often ingredients people consume without truly appreciating them. If you give one of these up, you will truly appreciate them on Easter morning.
Gossiping or Speaking Negatively About Yourself
These vices are sometimes hard to recognize if you aren’t conscious about it. Being aware of how you speak about yourself and others can have a great impact of your mood and outlook on life.
Drinking, Smoking or Nicotine
This option is often the hardest for some but can also be the most rewarding. Not only will it save money, going sober can also help clear the mind and reevaluate how often you indulge.
These are just the beginning of ways to observe Lent. It is important to choose something unique to yourself that challenges you and makes the experience worth-while. Otherwise, it's not really a sacrifice.