Best Ideas of Meaningful Things to Give Up for Lent to Strengthen Your Faith
This post is all about things to give up for lent.
So, lent is coming up and you’re wondering what to give up. This is exciting! As you sift through this list of things to give up for lent, just remind yourself that what matters most during this time leading up to Easter is to focus your mind and heart on God. Lent might just be a practice that will help you do that!
I was never forced by my parents to give something up for lent every year, but I decided to start doing it from a pretty young age (8th grade!) and I have done it every year since.
I’ve truly seen the benefits of giving up something worldly (especially if it’s something you find hard to give up). This is a great opportunity to strengthen your faith through focusing more on God and less on the things of this world!
This post is all about things to give up for lent.
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WHAT DO YOU GIVE UP FOR LENT?
1. Secular music
I know giving up secular music might seem a bit over the top, but this is one of the best things to give up for lent because we seriously don’t understand how much music impacts our minds. Listening to worship music only for 40 days is a sure way to centre your mind on God and fall in love with worshipping Him!
2. Retail therapy (aka buying things you don’t need)
Even if you just buy a few things for yourself per month, giving up buying stuff you don’t need will not only save you money but also teach you to be more grateful for what you have rather than focusing on new things you want!
If you’re a bit of a soda/pop addict, this is a great way to take better care of the body God gave you!
4. Chocolate or chips
Give up chocolate or chips (or both), depending on which is your weakness. These are great things to give up during lent because it means you’re still doing a food fast of sorts, but if you can’t do a more intense food fast for any reason, taking away one of your favourite indulgences is a worthwhile sacrifice to make.
5. Breakfast and/or lunch
If you want to do a bit more of an intense food fast for lent, pick a meal (or two) to give up so that you’re fasting for a good chunk of the day. The Bible talks a lot about prayer and fasting, so this is probably one of the most popular things to give up for lent!
I know it might be hard, but if you want to kick the addiction, lent is a good time to do it!
7. Social media
It’s a pretty common thing nowadays to take a break from social media. So, why not take 40 days off?! I can pretty much guarantee your mind will be less cluttered by the end of it and you’ll feel more focused on God, your community, and the beautiful relationships in your day-to-day life.
8. 30 minutes of sleep
This is a life changer! Waking up 30 minutes earlier and replacing that sleep time with prayer or reading scripture is a sure way to centre your mind on God and grow in love and understanding of the scriptures!
[RELATED – How to Wake Up On Time for Your Morning Class]
9. Eating out
This one might be really hard, but giving up eating out will save you money, force you to eat healthier (thus taking care of the body God gave you) AND prevent you from indulging in your favourite fast food.
So, this could be considered another type of food fast that will really require intentionality during lent.
This is probably one of the top things to give up for lent, and for good reason.
If binging your favourite shows or movies is a weakness of yours, consider giving up TV/Netflix/movies. Instead of turning to a screen when you want to relax, take up journaling, scripture reading, prayer, or even a nap or a walk. It will work wonders for your soul!
Sweets can be addicting. So, just do it. Give it up. It’s only 40 days.
If you drink alcohol enough that giving it up will help strengthen your faith, then do it!
13. Selfies/pictures of yourself
This is a great one because it helps you take the focus off yourself and delight more in the way God made you, regardless of what you look like! In a world of social media, it also means you may spend less time stressing over what you look like in a photo.
If you have a habit of swearing (we’ve all been there), a great option for lent is to give up swearing. In the long run, this makes you more mindful of the words that are coming out of your mouth so that you can ensure that those words are always uplifting, truthful and loving.
15. Cream and sugar
If you don’t feel like you can give up coffee, try giving up cream and sugar in your coffee. This is just a tiny indulgence that can really make a difference if you give it up…. Of course, that’s IF you don’t already drink your coffee black!
Don’t think you can do a full-on food fast?
That’s fine, just give up condiments! I know this makes it sound like your food will be kinda boring, but part of the point of giving something up is to indulge less and be grateful for what you do have. So, giving up condiments (on sandwiches, burgers, even salad dressing – you name it) can really shift your thinking in a surprising way.
17. Hitting “snooze”
If you suck at waking up in the morning, try to give up sleeping in or hitting “snooze” for the duration of lent. Just for 40 days! Waking up on time will help you feel more clear-headed and productive (which is honouring God!).
Again, another variation of a food fast if you don’t feel you can commit to skipping meals.
This one will also save you some money. If you want to take it a step further, you can donate some of the money you saved to your church or use it to bless others!
Makeup is one of my favourite ideas of things to give up for lent because this sacrifice forces you to spend less time on yourself in the morning.
Want to take it a step further?
Trade the time you save by not doing your makeup for some prayer or studying the Bible!
20. Video games or phone games
If you spend lots of time on video games, or even phone games, it’s a great idea to give these up for the duration of lent.
21. All drinks except water
A great way to take better care of your body!
22. A random food item
Is there a random food item that you eat a lot of or are addicted to but it would seem weird to someone else? Yeah, just give that up. Ignore the judgement from other people.
You might want to get someone close to you to hold you accountable for this if you choose to give up complaining, because it’s a bit harder to measure. But trying to stop complaining is a definite way to have an attitude of joy and gratitude!
24. Staying up late
If you stay up late a lot and waste time while doing it, choose a time of night like 10pm and decide to go to bed at that time every day for the duration of lent. A great way to get your schedule more on track and achieve more mental clarity and productivity!
If you’re a college student surrounded by lots of party life, it’s a great idea to give up partying for lent.
Not partying means you’re not putting yourself around a million temptations during lent, which will really help you refocus on God!
26. Immodest clothing
Try dressing more modestly for the duration of lent. This will help you care less about what you look like and is a great way to take some focus off yourself!
27. Non-Christian books
For all the avid readers out there, this is a great one. For the 40 days of lent, try only reading books that are either the Bible itself or are Christian books that help you understand the Bible and point to Jesus.
28. Window shopping/online browsing
Even if you don’t have money to spend on yourself all the time, giving up window shopping and online browsing is a great option if you’re struggling with how to pick what to give up for lent.
Well, even if you don’t spend money a lot, browsing and window shopping makes you focus a lot on what you want rather than what you already have. So, try shifting your focus to what you already have instead!
Another type of food fast!
Gluten and dairy can be tricky things to give up, but this just makes you think twice about what you’re eating and this is a great way to do a type of fast without having to skip meals.
There are a few ways you can do this! Either commit to not buying things that will end up being clutter, or you can even spend a few minutes a day decluttering and getting rid of things.
Getting rid of clutter is a great way to realize how much stuff you have and increase in thankfulness for it!
32. Working overtime
So, this one obviously depends on your situation. But, there are a lot of people who become somewhat workaholic and this can definitely be a distraction from your faith or the relationships in your life.
If you’re the type of person who constantly wants to work even when you don’t really need to, try cutting back a little if it’s possible for you and dedicate more time to your family and your relationship with God throughout the duration of lent.
33. Give away an item a day
This is another way of decluttering, but giving away just one item a day is super doable and is a great way to give back to your community! Whether you donate items to charity or give them to a friend, this is a great way to become thankful for all the stuff you have and give back to your community in a small way.
34. Single use plastic
Lent is a great time to glorify God by thinking about the beautiful earth He gave us. If you can challenge yourself not to use single use plastic at all during lent, this is a great way to be more mindful of how you’re treating God’s beautiful creation!
35. Go vegan for 40 days
Challenge yourself to going vegan for 40 days as a type of food fast. This will mean healthy, intentional eating and less indulging in some of the junk food you love.