What to give up…pepsi or Facebook?

Marsh Julian

As a Baptist, it is not our custom to participate in many of the practices of Lent. However, as a Christian, I believe in the importance of the story in which the forty-day season is based. The forty days of fasting are to emulate the forty days Jesus fasted in the wilderness before formally beginning his evangelistic ministry. During this time, Jesus was tempted and tried by Satan three times: lust of the flesh (turn the rocks into bread), lust of the eyes (Satan’s promise to give Jesus all the kingdoms of the world), and the pride of life (Satan telling Jesus to throw Himself off the pinnacle simply because the angels will save Him).


Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry. And the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’” Then the devil took Him into the holy city and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written, ‘He will command His angels concerning You’; and ‘On their hands they will bear You up, So that You will not strike Your foot against a stone.'” Jesus said to him, “On the other hand, it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.'” Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; and he said to Him, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.”  Then Jesus said to him,  “Go, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.'” Then the devil left Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him. (Matthew 4:1-11 NASB)


Jesus knew he was going into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. Therefore, he fasted in order to remove anything that would act as an impediment to his connection with His Holy Father. Every sin we commit falls in one of these three categories. This is why it is so important for Christians to realize that Jesus resisted these temptations as a man on earth, and therefore, so can we resist them. Today, Christians celebrate Lent as the forty days prior to Easter. Many Christians use this as a time in which they give something up for this period. However, have we lost sight of the true meaning of Lent? Some claim to give up soda, sweets, television, social media, etc., yet have they done this for the purpose of receiving a renewed and closer relationship with Jesus? This Lent, I implore Christians everywhere to look inside yourselves and truly examine your lives. Ask yourself what is the biggest obstacle between you and a more personal relationship with Jesus? It may be as simple as waking up an extra fifteen minutes early each morning to kneel in prayer to have a private talk with your Lord and Savior. Or maybe wake up thirty minutes early to study His Holy Word. We live in a highly materialistic world, and it is very easy to allow these things to cloud our judgment and act as a stumbling block to our closeness to Christ. So, as you decide what to give up for these forty days, consider what He gave up for you…His life. Then, ask yourself is it really a Pepsi He wants you to give up?