Peace family, whether you call today “Fat Tuesday,” “Mardi Gras,” “Pancake Tuesday,” or “Shrove Tuesday,” it’s a special day, and we don’t usually put as much thought into it as we could.
While Mardi Gras has become famous as a day of reveling, when we look back at its roots, it’s something a lot more important and touching. You probably already know that people traditionally eat pancakes and sweets on this day, because people used it to get those things out of their homes that they would fast from during the Lenten season (oil, eggs, sugar, etc.). Instead of today’s society’s focus of bringing in and doing all of the things that you might abstain from later (sometimes seeking out some pretty bad things), the day was actually intended for reflecting upon, using up, and cleaning those things out of your life.
Peace family, I love pancakes as much as the next person, but let’s not abuse or waste this special day! It’s a great opportunity to ask yourself some questions about your friendship with God.
I Peter 1:13-16 says, “Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” (NIV)
Is there anything hindering or damaging your friendship with God? What are some things you can clean out of your life and home today, that either distract you from God, or even push you away from him? Is there a place in your life where you’ve been compromising with sin? Maybe there’s a movie that you’ve known you ought to get rid of, but you’ve been holding back (there are lots of other things God might be asking you to get rid of, and some of them might be more costly; that’s just my example, because I can think of a movie that I need to throw out.) Today is the day for it! If it’s not good for honoring your friendship with God, get rid of it!
On a spiritual level, what sin habits can you submit to him today? What dreams or worldly ambitions can you submit to him? What worries can you submit to him? What thoughts and behaviors are in your life that might be dishonoring him?
What idols have you set up in your heart, maybe without even realizing it? Another way to ask that is, what things do you get comfort from instead of God, and is there anything you care about more than you care about pleasing God?
Be encouraged, Peace Family! Don’t allow shame or condemnation to keep you from cleaning things out, confessing, and making the choices that honor God. Talk to safe people in your life who can help to hold you accountable. Let’s use this time to purify our lives, and allow God to purify our hearts!