33 things to give up for Lent

Here are some unexpected things to give up for Lent.

(from Lent for Non-Lent People: 33 things to give up for Lent and other readings.)

  1. First place in line.
  2. The last piece of pie.
  3. Second thoughts about commitments.
  4. “Just five minutes more” (when they keep you from family).
  5. The last word.
  6. A fifth. Of something.
  7. A quarter-pounder.
  8. Forty cents a day. (It adds up to $12 a month and over a year and with 100 other people, gives a village in Africa water.)
  9. 1400 characters (or a day without tweeting).
  10. Three scowls.
  11. A second helping.
  12. The last place in line, which demonstrates just how humble we actually are.
  13. The Eleven O’Clock News (or whatever kept you from turning off the TV and going to bed last night.)
  14. Six simultaneous projects.
  15. 10 minutes of frantic activity.
  16. The Final Four [pool] that consumes your attention for a month.
  17. One argument.
  18. A fourth pair of shoes.
  19. Eating alone.
  20. 12 disciples (Jesus did it. At the end. Course, they left him. So never mind).
  21. 8 minutes on the snooze.
  22. A second glance.
  23. The first 15 parking places closest to the door.
  24. A five minute well-justified rant about the way that person completely mistreated you when they cut you off as you were driving…
  25. One minute of worry each hour.
  26. 30 minutes that could have been filled with, “Wait, what did I do with that 30 minutes?”
  27. 49 cents for a stamp on an envelope with a piece of paper that says, “I love you.”
  28. 60 minutes a week to converse with someone about God. (or read 300 words).
  29. Friday. (or any one day that you spend willingly on the well-being of someone else.)
  30. Credit. (for number 29)
  31. An extra coat.
  32. $10,000. (Maybe you could.)
  33. My will (let’s go with Your will instead).


“How can I hear God better?”

One way is by learning to pay attention. Lent For Non-Lent People is a seven-week guide to learning to listen for God. In this short book, pastor and social media chaplain Jon Swanson helps readers use the season of Lent to learn to focus on God by:

-Learning how to break habits of distraction and busyness;
-Learning how God spoke to a prophet in depression after a big event
-Listening to Jesus talk to an ostracized woman, to a close friend, and to the enemy of our souls.

In the appendix, Jon shares his own story of Lent and the loss of a child.

Whether or not you grew up with Lent, this book can help you listen for God.

Available in paperback and for Kindle.

(post last updated February 5, 2018)

24 thoughts on “33 things to give up for Lent

  1. Christine Ida Daniel

    Thank you for this wonderful post :-). I needed this. Especially #24. May God Bless.


  2. Rich Dixon

    I love linking each of these with what you said last week. So I skip those close parking spaces, and use the extra time as I move through the parking lot to listen to God. That’s perfect for me to let go of a little sense of entitlement that I feel around those special spaces. I think you just helped me determine the perfect personal commitment for Lent!

    Does it count if I skip the quarter-pounder and thank Him for a Big Mac? Probably not.


  3. Joseph Ruiz

    When i think about the sacrifice most of these things are to me, I am convicted by the thought of someone who has no food or water looking at be with utter bewilderment. Sigh i have a lot of growing to do.
    Thanks for the prompt.


  4. Lannie

    Compelling list. I’m most convicted by the going to bed earlier. I believe the benefits, but that one’s hard for me. Thanks for sharing, and I’ll retweet.


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  6. Jon Swanson

    Thank you all for your responses. I’m busy the last two days trying to figure out how to practice what I mention (not preaching, not by a long shot here).


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