This Lent I am reading Maggi Dawn’s book Giving It Up. I’m only three days in but really enjoying her style. Today she says:
Fasting in the Christian tradition is essentially about recognising that there’s nothing we can do to improve ourselves. We are fallen creatures and need redemption, not cosmetic surgery. No amount of self-improvement will change God’s view of us – God, who knows us better than we know ourselves, who is not fooled by the way we present ourselves in prayer or religious observance, and who loves us anyway. We do not need to put on a show for him and we cannot save ourselves apart from him. We are not trying to impress God or the person next to us; neither should we be trying to impress ourselves, satisfying our egos with the idea that we are very cool, very smart and very in control. The point of the fast is, in fact, to humble ourselves – an old-fashioned word that really means accepting with absolute honesty our true self, in terms of both good points and bad.