The season of Lent is a time of reflection. What can I do to improve myself? To make myself a better servant? Last week, Pastor Helen gave our congregation a list to help us as we confess our sins.

  • Disobedience: Rejection of God’s Will, not doing what God wants us to do, breaking contracts with others.
  • Distrust: Refusal to recognize God’s love which leads to excessive worry and anxiety as well as perfectionism.
  • Irreverence: Neglecting worship or being content with only ho hum participation. Using Christianity for personal advantage.
  • Sloth: Refusal to respond to opportunities for growth, service or sacrifice. Neglect of family. Indifference to global injustice.
  • Impenitence: Refusal to search out or face up to our sins. Self-justification. Unwillingness to forgive ourselves.
  • Covetousness: Accumulation of the material to prove self-worth. Using others for own advantage or in quest for status and power.
  • Vanity: failure to credit God or others for their part in our lives.
  • Pride: Putting self at the center. Refusal to recognize ourselves as dependent on God.
  • Envy: Dissatisfaction with our place in God’s creation.
  • Rebellion: Cynicism. Hatred of God or human beings.

Me, being me, I’ve been wondering how I could use the above, not just to confess, but as a way to add something positive to my life. Of course, my initial reaction was to look closely at each one and figure out which step needed to be taken in each area.

Yep. Eleven different things to address during this one season of Lent. Again, me being me, I was most of the way through my eleven item list, before I figured out what this was telling me: Not only is one Lenten season too short to establish 11 new habits, but this drive to come up with 11 positive things actually highlighted what I need to work on.

Perfectionism. As defined above, this falls under distrust, although my knee jerk reaction is to file it under Pride. “Look at me. Look at what I did.” But, as I noodle it over, it may very well be a matter of trust. If I don’t trust God and other people, then I feel like I have to do it all myself. My husband refers to this as Martyr Syndrom. Do we really need to go into why I know he calls it that? No, I didn’t think so.

But there’s more to it than that. This need to do better, to do more, is also a form of insecurity. I have to do better, I have to be better to show that I am Good, to show that I am God’s. And if I can do and be better, then good things will happen. The reverse of this is that if I can do enough, bad things won’t happen.

And we are write back to Trust.

Yep. I think I know what I’m going to be working on the next several weeks.

Noodle over the list above and give it some thought this Holy Season.