Lent: Day 17

Fasting sets us free… and we are free to fast or not.

It helps us identify how dependent we have become on various comforts and luxuries. And as we say “No” to those things, it weakens their grip on our lives. But Christ does not condemn us if we choose not to fast. We are free indeed.


One woman started Lent, only to break her fast several times in the first ten days. Frustrated by her struggle, she decided to just stop—she “gave up Lent for Lent”—and felt great relief and freedom once she abandoned the structured fast.

Of course, she could give up the fast precisely because she is already free. Christ has set us free—to fast or not fast. If we feel a burden or bondage associated with Lent, it’s of our own making. He does not lay such a burden or demand upon us.

It’s precisely because I am free, that Lent can be so rich and meaningful. If it induces guilt or shame, that says more about my grip on grace rather than Christ’s failure to extend it. I’m free to fail in the fast; not that I want to. But His grace always surpasses my success or failure.

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” (Galatians 5:1) This week, may our freedom allow our fast to be a blessing, not a burden.

Embrace it. Learn from it. Draw closer to Christ through it. Grow because of it. Be free in it.

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, thank you for the freedom to pursue You through this fast. Thank you for the grace that guards me from guilt and shields me from shame in this Journey with You. To You be all glory, power, honor, and dominion. Amen.         

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