An Idea For Lent: Treat People Better

If you look at the life of Jesus, he reserved his indignation for a few particular types of people, mainly the Pharisees. The Pharisees, chief interpreters of the Mosaic law during the period, made people’s lives more difficult and burdensome, by emphasizing little rules that the Pharisees themselves didn’t even bother to follow.

I think many of us Christians forget this. Jesus made people’s lives better. He healed them, fed them, and spiritually liberated them from oppressive rules that hindered them. A great example is when his disciples ate grain on the Sabbath. Jesus reminded his accusers that the Sabbath rest was made for us, not us for it. In other words, following all sorts of crazy rules about the Sabbath pretty much gets rid of its original point: to provide mankind with a day without work.

I worry that sometimes Lent can become a time for all of us to get a little crabbier and meaner. After all, we are denying ourselves things, and going without food in some cases. The great saints recognized that Lent is not about diet or even food, but about leading us to love God – and neighbor – more perfectly. If our Lenten disciplines do not lead us to become more loving, and more like Christ, then they are a waste of time, no different than trying out Slim-Fast or any other restrictive diet.

I suggest remembering the person of Jesus this Lent, particularly he genuine humanity. Yes, he was fully God as well, but let’s not forget that as a true human, Jesus treated people right. He celebrated with them, and wept with them. He met people where they were, and aside from his dealings with Pharisees, he always recognized that people are more sick than lost, in need in compassion, not judgment.

I am not suggesting that I have everything figured out, and this is just as much a call for me to improve as it is to our readers. May everyone continue to have a blessed Lenten season 2013.

About David Bennett

David Bennett is an author, speaker, and small business owner. He started ChurchYear.Net in 2004, along with his brother Jonathan. The site gets over one million visitors a year, and Bennett's writings have appeared in church bulletins, newspapers, and other media.

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