I recently saw this posted on Facebook. It was posted as a suggestion for a fasting discipline for Lent, but sadly, it’s not biblical. The Bible clearly talks about fasting, which is a good discipline with great benefits. But the person who posted this fasting suggestion doesn’t seem to know what a biblical fast is.
Three Problems with the Suggested Fast
1. A fast is only for a time period.
A fast is defined as, “a period during which you do not eat food, especially for religious or health reasons.”¹
Therefore a fast always comes to an end. In the case of a Lenten fast, it would end on Easter Sunday, and one would resume partaking of what they had fasted from.
2. A fast is abstaining from food.
Again, a fast is defined as, “a period during which you do not eat food, especially for religious or health reasons.”
The things in the Facebook post don’t meet the criteria of a fast because they are not food.
3. A fast is meant to be a sacrifice.
Once again, a fast is defined as, “a period during which you do not eat food, especially for religious or health reasons.”
The biblical reasons for a Lenten fast is that the sacrfice of food (or even just certain foods) for an extended time period (40 days) is meant to be a self-denial of that which one enjoys and desires (especially select foods, eg. chocolate, soda, ice cream, meat, etc.)
Since hurtful words, anger, sadness, etc. are not food, abstaining from them is not a fast. And since they are not things to be enjoyed or desired, abstaining from them is not a sacrifice.
Let’s Not Redefine the Biblical Discipline of Fasting
Please hear me when I say: abstaining from the things mentioned in the Facebook post is a good thing. I’m sure the intention behind the post was good, but it was poorly conceived, and incorrectly presented as a fast. Even if someone is “figuratively fasting” from hurtful words, anger, worry, etc. during Lent, one should not resume such things after the 40 days.
Most people refer to “giving something up for Lent” (Read: What is Lent? Should I Give Up Something?) and such self-denial can be a very good Lenten discipline. But if you decide to give up the things mentioned in the post, don’t make it a fast. Determine to make it ongoing, not limited to Lent only.
Putting Off and Putting On
Paul wrote to the churches at Rome, Ephesus, and Colossae about giving something up and the importance of replacing that “something” with something else of greater value. He referred to this as “putting off” and “putting on” in Romans 13:12, Ephesians 4:22-24, and Colossians 3:8-10.
I suggest “re-framing” the Facebook post in this way:
Give those things up, put them off, but not just for the 40 days of Lent. Replace them with the good and godly things listed, and make a mindful commitment for lasting change, remembering that you have the power of the Holy Spirit to help you do so. Continually re-commit to “put off” that which is not of God’s will and ,His ways and “put on” that which does honor Him and reflects His love and light in the world — and trust that the Helper is with you!
John 14:26 the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.
Heb 13:5 [Jesus] said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper,
If you choose to fast during Lent…
Remember, a fast is not about self-improvement. It’s about sacrificing to create a hunger and desire that can be filled and satisfied by drawing closer to Jesus. It’s about reminding you of the great suffering Jesus endured when He made the ultimate sacrifice for you:
- What a sacrifice He made when He left Heaven and came to earth to live among us.
- What a sacrifice He made when He gave His life to pay for our sins.
- And what a Saviour He is, who rose again, conquering death, and gave you eternal life.
Check out our Salvation Page and be prepared to share the good news of Easter and the saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ the He offers to all who who come to Him in faith.
***Lent: 40 Titles for 40 Days (Download NOW: 40 Titles for Lenten Devotions)
What is Lent? Should I Give Up Something? (Article and Video)
This Time Called Lent (Video)
Prepare for Lent (Video)
Lent Reflections (Video)
How Should You Observe Lent? (Article)
How Should You Observe Lent? (Reflect and Prepare short video)
Have You Sat At The Master’s Table? (John 13-17)
What's Wrong with This FB Lenten Fast?
About Holy Week
The Last Supper
What is Maundy Thursday? The Basin & The Towel
Maundy Thursday until Easter Sunday (video)
What’s your Judas experience? The Pain of Betrayal
What Do We Know about Judas? This Might Surprise You.
The Last Supper was NOT a Passover Seder?
Was Jesus crucified on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday?
Thursday Crucifixion? Do these two reasons “nail” it?
Why do we call it good [Friday]?
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
How is Jesus Like a Worm? What’s the Crimson Worm? A Remez In Psalm 22?
Who do you need to reconcile with today?
Who Killed Jesus?
Since Jesus was the Passover LAMB, Why Didn't God Provide a Lamb in Genesis 22?
Did Pilate Proclaim Jesus to be God?
Was Jesus Forsaken by His Father?
The centurion's song from the foot of the cross: “Surely This Was a Righteous Man”
Journey to the Cross: Maundy Thursday and Good Friday
How Do We Know Psalm 22 Is About The Cross?
Q & A: Thursday Crucifixion Discussion
Three Days in the Heart of the Earth
The Days of Darkness
Sadness and Despair: The Darkest Days of All Time
Obituary of Jesus: Body Stolen or Risen? What do you say?
About Easter and Resurrection Life
The Father's, Son's and Believer's Perspectives of the Cross
Because He Lives, I Can Face Tomorrow (video)
Christ the Lord is Risen Today, Alleluia (video)
A Place in the Sun (Son) (video)
You'll Never Walk Alone (video)
How to Close Your Eyes and Really SEE Jesus!
Open Your Eyes to The Full Gospel
Are you glad to see Jesus?
Ponder the Prophecies of Jesus’ Mission (video and downloadable file)
What If We Skipped Easter This Year?
He’s back….and it changed everything!
The Lord is Risen Indeed! Hallelujah!
Because He Rose: The resurrection changed everything! (video)
What’s the Meaning of the Folded Napkin in the tomb?
Keep Easter Alive in Your Heart: He Came Back (video)
The Only Soul-Saver, Sin-Forgiver, Chain-Breaker, Pain-Taker, Way-Maker, Hope-Giver: Jesus
Keep Looking Up
Praise God, He’s Alive
Christian Internet Forwards? The Rest of “The Birdcage” Story? (video)
Ways to Glorify God - Bookmark
Watch NOW...You will be blessed.
Jesus is the Reason this Ministry Exists
We continue to reach people worldwide with the truths of God's Word and the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Your generosity is both a blessing and encouragement. Our mission is to glorify God by equipping, encouraging, and empowering YOU to understand the Bible and grow in faith. If our online resources have blessed you, please support Reasons for Hope* Jesus. Our ministry outreach has grown significantly and . . .
Please support Reasons for Hope* Jesus with a donation of $5, $10, $20, or more. A donation of any amount is needed and greatly appreciated.
CLICK TO DONATE
to Reasons for Hope*Jesus(a 501c3 Ministry)
Use a Credit Card or PayPal for safe, secure giving.
***A Hidden Message in Psalm 23?***
Hidden in the six verses of Psalm 23 are 11 names for Jesus. When you subscribe to our newsletter, we’ll send you The Names of God in Psalm 23 PDF that reveals all 11 names and Scripture verses of comfort and hope (link will be sent in your confirmation email).
A Room with a View of Eternity—The Last Will & Testament of Jesus Christ Take a seat at the Master's table. Learn about the riches He gives to all who are His. This book will bless and encourage you, give you hope, and help you live in the joy of your salvation and the riches of Christ that are yours.
The Top Ten Got Questions? in 2022
- The Meaning of NUMBERS in the Bible?
- Was Jesus CRUCIFIED on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday?
- Did The Wise Men Arrive 12 DAYS AFTER JESUS’ BIRTH? Or Was It Much Later?
- How long did JOB SUFFER?
- What is the Significance of the Wise Men's THREE GIFTS? And were they kings?
- How are the Shepherd’s ROD and STAFF Different?
- Which Old Testament Book Did JESUS QUOTE most often?
- The Meaning of COLORS in the Bible?
- ONLY ONE LIFE, Twill Soon Be Past – by C.T. Studd (1860 – 1931)
- How was Jesus Like a Worm? What’s the CRIMSON (OR SCARLET) WORM in Psalm 22?
More Popular Got Questions
- Did Jesus Fight Satan to Take Back the KEYS of Death and Hell?
- How Did the Wise Men Know This Was the Messiah and KNOW TO FOLLOW HIS STAR?
- What do the 12 stones UNDER the JORDAN River mean? (Joshua 4)
- Jesus' Last Days TIMELINE: The Cross and The Crucifixion
- How Many MIRACLES Did Jesus Do?
- Is Leonard Cohen’s “HALLELUJAH” a Christian Song?
- Where did OT Saints go at death? ABRAHAM'S BOSOM?
- SIN, INIQUITY, TRANSGRESSION? How are they different?
- What are the NAMES of JEHOVAH Hidden in Psalm 23?
- Jesus in the Gospels: What are the Four Different Presentations of Jesus?
- If BAPTIZED as an Infant, Do I Need to Be Re-Baptized?
- Why Did God Create Man Knowing MAN WOULD SIN?
- What Did Jesus Say About HEAVEN (and HELL)?
- What are the “I Will ” STATEMENTS of Satan, God, and Jesus?
- Was MARY a LEVITE Making Jesus both a Priest and King?
- Why Was a RAM SACRIFICED in Genesis 22 Instead of a Lamb?
- Is Satan’s Real Name LUCIFER?
- Can Jews go to Heaven without knowing Jesus?
TOP TEN Videos from Reasons for Hope* Jesus
- Memorial Day BAGPIPES TRIBUTE: Amazing Grace
- RISE AND SHINE and Give God the Glory, Glory!
- WERE YOU THERE When They Crucified My Lord?
- PAUL HARVEY: THE BIRDCAGE
- PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: A SOLDIER'S PLEDGE
- Hark! the Herald Angels Sing -- CHARLIE BROWN Christmas
- JOHN WAYNE ~ WHY I LOVE AMERICA
- Jimmy Stewart - Nativity Scene Prayer: Mr. Krueger's Christmas
- THE LEGEND OF THE CANDY CANE - A Christmas Story to Share
- Not by Might, Not by Power, But BY MY SPIRIT says the Lord (Zechariah 4:6)
- Erwin Lutzer - We Will Not Be SILENCED