The season of time leading up to Easter, called Lent, is often a time when people "get serious" about spiritual disciplines, like fasting meat and giving up sweets. This year, I am challenged to redefine Lent for myself. Instead of adding requirements and hoops to jump through, I'm going to (re)Lent.
The word RELENT has 2 meanings. The first is to become less severe, harsh, or strict, usually for reasons of humanity. In this season, I hear God whispering to relent. To judge yourself less severely. To speak to yourself less harshly. To accept your humanity and stop punishing yourself for your failures and sin. He's asking you to put down the weapons you use to inflict self harm, to relent the onslaught against your soul.
We can be incredibly judgmental and cruel to ourselves, criticizing ourselves far more harshly than we would a friend or stranger. That inner voice can cut us down, make us feel stupid and worthless. Some of us have that voice on repeat, beating us down relentlessly. It acts as a barrier to us accepting forgiveness and intimacy with God, who we deem to be out of our reach.
But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.
The second definition of relent is to cease resistance : to GIVE IN. If you're brave enough to put down your weapons, will you also take the next step and cease resisting His love? Will you throw down your weapons and your shields? Will you lower your defenses and let Him in? Will you give in to His quiet call, His gentle touch?
The path to the cross was one of surrender, sacrifice and great love. There's nothing I could ever do to earn it, but I can, and should, honor it. This year, to honor what He did for me I'm going to practice relenting. I'm going to extend grace to myself, accepting my humanity. If God sees my worth, I'm not going to doubt it. I'm going to give-in to the move and leading of the Holy Spirit. If He's up to something I want to be in lock-step with Him. All He asks is for me to re(Lent).