I think one of the reasons Martin Luther posted his 95 theses was because he was hungry. Not because his monastery had a lack of food. But there were times he was expected to fast for long periods. Perhaps this wasn’t his biggest issue with the Catholic church but it is why today, we, as Lutherans, aren’t required to give up anything for Lent.
When you decide to give up something like fast food (one of my many vices) are you giving it up for your own health, or God, or both?
Giving something up for Lent is not a bad idea in theory—it is supposed to help us keep our eyes on Jesus—but when it ends up being a contest, the intent has been changed. Lent is the time we should return to God.
If you are giving something up for Lent for the wrong reasons, stick to moderation and instead get in a good small group for growth and discipleship during Lent, and find time for prayer.
This message is adapted from “Relationships around Food” by Laura Johnson in the February 2010 issue of Cafe.