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Not my own

You are not your own, for you were bought with a price.

—1 Corinthians 6:19-20

This verse is my touchstone for the forty days of Lent*. Having a focus like this keeps me mindful of the work I think God wants to do in my life and gives context to any disciplines I observe in Lent. Right now, it's important for me to realize and remember that I belong:
  • I belong to God—He accepts me and loves me wholly in Christ, and He has also purchased me as His own.
  • I belong to the Church, to God's people, to Christ's Body and Bride.
  • Just as Lent is a season of preparation for celebrating Jesus' death and resurrection, I am also in a season of preparing to give myself to barlow_girl as her husband—I will belong to her.
  • Because I belong to God, I am not my own in the world. I am here to love and to serve.
  • Because I belong to God, I am not my own in my body. It is a temple in which the Holy Spirit dwells and a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God. Presenting myself to Him is my spiritual act of worship and my reasonable service.

Here are my some disciplines and fasts for this season:
  • No pizza (it's a first domino—pun intended—in my being lazy and gluttonous)
  • Cut back cable service
  • Dine out no more than twice weekly (unless with others)
  • Have coffee out no more than twice weekly (unless with others)
  • Get up between 0600 and 0700 for devotional time on workdays
  • Take lunch between 1200 and 1300 on workdays
  • No eating after 1900 daily (unless with others)
  • No television after 2200 on workdays (unless in mid-program)
  • No web browsing after 2200 on workdays
  • Go to bed between 2200 and 2300 on workdays
  • Make my bed daily
  • Call family weekly
  • Get together with friends (outside of work and Community Group) weekly
  • Record expenses and create a budget
  • Maybe a weekly fast day
Most are pretty familiar from prior years; it's the context above that frames them. As before, my main goal isn't taking on new things, but letting discipline help me release obstacles to living faithfully and walking with God and others. It's hard for me to give myself away, but I've been freed to do that boldly because I am not my own. I hope to learn more of what that means and looks like during this Lenten season.


*If you're interested, a brief explanation of Lent from last night's Ash Wednesday service is here, and information on observing Lent is here.

Comments

That's an awfully complex rule.
It's pretty consistent with my past couple of years' Lenten disciplines. Much of it is stuff I've been trying since the beginning of the year, too, so it's not really starting from zero—no pizza, finally chopping down my cable, and a possibles fast day are the unique additions. The rest is just recommiting myself to simple, solid disciplines. I don't mean for it to appear impressive in the least, because A) a huge chunk of it is a simple schedule, and 2) defining the marks doesn't mean I'm hitting them.

For me, a bigger, broader picture gives me better data in the spiritual exam, which is more helpful to me than just having a thing I can give up or knock out.
I like how you explained the context of this year's Lent. May your preparation for marriage indeed be blessed.... And equally, your disciple because of the other four reasons.