On Lent and Pennance: Part II

angry-facebookLast year I posted some thoughts on Lent

and as it turns out, I have another thought.

Like last year, I see the facebook posts coming out about ASH WEDNESDAY and LENT and whether people use ashes or not. The standard “I am giving up _______ for Lent” posts are all there. All the same preening and vanity I have come to expect from the season.

I also see a long list of people responding to these posts with unbridled tongues. Some people have strong opinions about:

  1. Ashes
  2.  No ashes
  3. Giving up stuff
  4. Telling people about giving up stuff
  5. Keeping your “giving up stuff” to yourself
  6. People who tell people they don’t give up stuff
  7. People who keep their “don’t give up stuff” to themselves
  8. People who turn Lent into a “Jesus free zone” and focus so much on being sad and mopey
  9. People who pretend there is no element of reflection on one’s own sins

The list goes on, but I think you get my point. My thought on all of this is simple: For the people who have extremely strong opinions on it, consider tempering your words with more love. I’m certain it is very difficult to deal with people on facebook who have clearly inferior thoughts than yours. The solution to dealing with the “uninitiated” (As CFW Walther used to call them) is not by grinding them into a light pumice and casting them to the wind, but rather to speak your case kindly and if it fails, then shake off the dust and move on.

For Lent, I recommend giving up trying to fix people on facebook. Give it a try for these 40 days and come Easter, as we celebrate the hope and joy of the resurrection of Jesus, you can reconsider if you want to return policing all of the Internet.

In the meantime, I pray your Lent is one which ever points you to the cross of Christ and Him crucified for you. A blessed Lent!

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