Yesterday, Septuagesima Sunday, began the Pre-Lenten season. This season has grown on me in recent years. I’ve found that if I prepare for Lent for only very few days, if even that, beforehand, it is difficult for me to get a handle on what my Lenten focus should be. So I appreciate having two or so weeks to nudge me to reflect and get ready (and to remind me to finally take down all my Advent/Christmas/Epiphany lights.)
Since I think my Lenten focus this year should involve an area relevant to my public conduct, I think I should be less private than usual about it.
I am convinced that I should be significantly more careful to avoid giving needless offense.
Yes, that does seem in opposition to my New Year’s post bravely proclaiming my intent to offend and offend well in 2015. But actually my Lenten intent now forming goes very well with that earlier stated intent. For if we are so bold to proclaim truth and to tear down lies that it offends, it is all the more important that we avoid needless offense - the truth offends enough as it is! Therefore, we should otherwise be gentle and winsome to add credibility to our message lest it be thought, with some justification, that we are just being offensive, period. And I confess I have not been nearly careful enough in that regard, neither on this blog nor in my personal life.
And that includes my life-long struggle with unrighteous anger, particularly being quicker to anger than to forgiveness. Another life-long tendency has been to be so much an individualist that I often pay not enough heed to “take thought for things honorable in the sight of all men.” (Rom. 12:17)
And that’s for starters. So, yes, if you wish to pray for me as I prepare for and then enter Lent, there is much for which to pray! Gentle readers, please feel free so to do.
NOTE: Yes, I am aware today is Candlemas. That I do not have any particularly edifying thoughts on this glorious feast should not at all be taken as a knock on it. I should educate myself more on this day for sure.