Sunday, February 10, 2013

Fast Dieting

So, with Lent around the corner (it starts on Wed.), I figured I'd talk about something I have done that I want to encourage all of you to avoid - dieting over Lent.

Let me explain myself. Lent is a period of time before Easter during which celebrants abstain from a particular something and, instead, spend the time in prayer; this is also called fasting. Most commonly, people choose to abstain from some sort of foodstuff they particularly enjoy.

There's a fine line between fasting from certain foods and dieting.

Last year, I chose to fast from desserts as a whole. For me, that was something I enjoyed and spent too much time and thought over - a perfect choice for a fast. Now, here's the kicker: I never actually fasted. I merely dieted.

So, yes, I abstained from all desserts during Lent, but what I didn't do was redeem that time otherwise spent eating or craving dessert in prayer, devouring the Word of God and desiring Him. My fast had become a diet.

This, I think, is one of the biggest dangers a faster faces and in the face of this, I want to encourage you to spend Lent fasting, but properly so. Give something up for these next 40 days, but also remember to be praying and seeking God throughout the whole time. In fact, set goals to fast about during this time, while you're at it.

Footnote: I think it's fine to turn a diet into a fast. You're already giving something up, now you're just redeeming it to draw closer to God. Turning a fast into a diet, however, I think is a big mistake, as outlined above.