March 3, 2022
Read Isaiah 1:11-17 What stood out to you in this reading of the text?
I love that you gave us great practical suggestions to improve our lives and helping us to do the things that God would have us do. Thank you for writing all these posts for us to reflect.
Thank you for participating! Hope to see more from you, Sandy!
This entry is about getting “real.” In the verses, the prophet is telling the people that God hates their sacrifices because the people are just going through the motions. Their hearts are not invested. I thought the prophet sounded a lot like Jesus in verses 16 and 17: “Clean up your act. . . . Learn to do good. Work for justice. . . . Go to bat for the defenseless” (The Message).
In the devotional entry, the author talks about the tradition of giving something up for Lent. If we follow that tradition, are we just going through the motions like Isaiah’s people were, checking off a box on our list of “shoulds”? How can we invest our hearts?
Is there something in my life that I can give up that will help me clean up my act? Something that will also help me focus on doing good, working for justice, going to bat for the defenseless? I did a little searching and found these ideas to consider:
Give up frequent social media exposure; replace with silence and contemplation.
Could be→one less app on phone
Could be→more communing with nature
Give up nonessential shopping; replace with decluttering and donations.
Could be→appreciating what one already has, ”Hey, look what I found!”
Could be→more simplicity
Give up resentment; replace with forgiveness.
Could be→having a talk with a person
Could be→having a talk with God
Give up procrastination; replace with positive action.
Could be→taking care of needs
Could be→doing some of the other items on this list
Give up complaining; replace with prayer.
Could be→less distraction from progress
Could be→more supportive environment for others and self
Give up time-wasters; replace with self-care.
Could be→less screen time, more movement
Could be→less consuming, more relaxing
Give up unhealthy food and drink choices; replace with activity.
Could be→less sugar, more gardening
Could be→less processed food, more home cooking
Give up gossip; replace with passing along compliments.
Could be→creating space for solitude
Could be→cards or notes of support to someone struggling
Give up blame; replace with voicing gratitude.
Could be→refraining from joining in a negative conversation
Could be→sending cards or notes of appreciation
Give up negative self-talk; replace with treating yourself as you would a best friend.
Could be→journal of self-positives
Could be→pep talks in the mirror
Give up energy-consuming conveniences; replace with clean alternatives.
Could be→taking reusable bags to the grocery store
Could be→hanging laundry to dry
Give up bias; replace with open-mindedness.
Could be→joining in with a group outside your usual
Could be→joining a group that studies and works for justice and equality