Lent began March 1st.
This year, I’m fasting negativity.
The idea came from Catherine Marshall, author of Christy. Richard Foster, in his book Spiritual Classics, relates this story from Marshall, “The Lord continues to deal with me about my critical spirit . . . One morning last week He gave me an assignment: for one day I was to go on a “fast” from criticism. I was not to criticize anybody about anything.”
Her insights from the day were humorous—and convicting.
So, I’m headed to the gym of self-control. I’m building muscles for positive outlooks, encouraging words, and silence. Here’s my training plan:
Accountability: My husband has been given the task of calling me on it when I stray.
Proverbs 12:18 “the tongue of the wise brings healing.”
Proverbs 15:1 “A gentle answer turns away wrath”
Proverbs 15:2 “The tongue of the wise adorns knowledge”
Proverbs 15:4 “The soothing tongue is a tree of life”
Proverbs 15:7a “The lips of the wise spread knowledge”
Proverbs 15:23 “A person finds joy in giving an apt reply—
and how good is a timely word!”
Proverbs 16:24 “Gracious words are a honeycomb,
sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.”
Ephesians 4:29 “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
Positive Focus: Psalms 90-100
Living Sacrifice: Romans 12:1-2
Whether I’m fasting caffeine or criticism, I’m always stretched. Pray about what God would have you fast, and give it a try. What would He have you do in place of what you’re fasting?
Nail your spiritual workouts and change your corner of the gym.
Workout of the Week: Fasting from Negativity
Memory Verse: “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Ephesian 4:29
Meditation Passage: James 3:1-12
Just Do It: Speak life.
Richard Foster is one of the go-to guys for teaching on the spiritual disciplines (like fasting). Celebration of Discipline and Spiritual Classics are two of Foster’s best.