A friend of mine told me she would fast from FaceBook for Lent. Interesting! “Good luck with that,” I replied as I tried to remember what I had given up in the past; pre-Facebook. I recalled it was hard not to eat meat on Fridays, let alone REMEMBERING not to eat meat on Fridays. I usually tried to give up something I felt I could easily do without.
Why? Because as an early Catholic Christian, I was still hanging on to my heaters and my Miller Lite. For several years my single friends and I gave up sex for Lent, and it was easy as none of us had boyfriends at the time.🙂 I knew God wasn’t expecting me to really give up anything important because He loved me and didn’t want me to fail just to end up going to hell. Sad, but as an uninformed Catholic convert, I was always worried about falling and going to hell.
One Friday in Lent, my spiritual director, Father L, and I were out for lunch. I said, “I would love a Reuben,” and he said “so would I,” as it was his birthday. Father L gave us both dispensation for the meal. Now, do you think that if the meat issue was a fast ticket to hell that my spiritual director would have encouraged me, let alone joined me?
No, I do not hate the Catholic church. I am grateful that was a part of my journey. And I am not telling you not to fast. I believe people need to fast because they want to and not out of obligation or fear.
A reminder that Jesus already picked up the tab! Jesus says, “Nah, I got this, and He means it.” He has ALREADY paid the bill. Stop offering to throw in the tip!!!!! Your money isn’t any good here.
We don’t need to fast to get God’s approval or attention. Fasting is also not a free get out of Hell card or a requirement for favor. Let’s stop feeding each other lies about God. Just stop. No wonder people are afraid of God.
God loves you. Period. End of story. Your fasting will not get you any more of His love OR anything else He has freely given you!