It is common practice for a person to give up something they enjoy during Lent. Some of the most common things to give up for Lent are chocolate and sweets. The popularity of these minor sacrifices, however, does not mean that they are the most meaningful things to give up for Lent.
Lent is the period of time between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday. Officially, Lent lasts 40 days, but it rarely lasts exactly 40 days. Lent usually lasts a little over 40 days, and some years it may run up to 46 days. This period of time represents the 40 days that Jesus Christ spent in the desert. Just like how the length of Lent varies from year to year, Jesus is unlikely to have spent exactly 40 days in the desert. In fact, the number 40 in biblical times was often used to mean “many” rather than the actual number. So “40 days” or “40 years” actually means “many days” or “many years.”
Regardless of how long Lent lasts, precisely, Catholics and members of various Christian denominations everywhere chose something they enjoy to give up during Lent. The purpose of this sacrifice is both to echo the time that Christ spent in the desert and to remove distractions that keep people from focusing on God. Lent is a time for a person to acknowledge the shortcomings in their faith and to draw closer to Jesus. When you think about Lent that way, chocolate seems like a strange thing to give up for Lent. A bite of chocolate doesn’t seem like it would distract a person from God. With that in mind, here are four things to abstain from during Lent.