Some of you may have read the title of this post and immediately started cringing inwardly as you thought, “Oh no! She’s going to talk about fasting during the month of turkey, homemade rolls, and pumpkin pie!” Please let me assuage your fears. While I must confess that food is on the list, I’m actually going to give some suggestions about fasting from lots of other things besides food.
When we think of fasting, we usually assume it means to refrain from eating for a certain period of time. While it is true that fasting from food is the primary example we see in the Bible, there are other ways to fast as well. Fasting can simply mean to refrain from something for a specified period of time. For example, one of my friends has done a TV fast – twice. She simply felt that television was consuming too much of her time and was too big a temptation for her so she put it away for a month. No TV for a month! What did she do with her time instead? She spent more time reading, working on projects like sewing, and best of all, she spent more time in Bible study. That’s where the feasting comes in…we won’t feel the deprivation of something we’re giving up if we’re filling the void with the most important things in life such as the satisfying word of God and service to Him. The purpose of this fast is to take our focus off of things of this world that so often pull our attention away from God so that we can place our focus more squarely on where it belongs – on Him.
As a family, couple, or single person, read the following suggestions of things to fast from and things to feast on. Brainstorm together and add to the list if you’d like. Choose one from the list then set a time frame to put your fast into action.
- Social media
- Smart phone
- Video games
- Sports or sporting activities
- Food (or a specific category of food such as chocolate, fast food, etc.)
- The word of God
- Meditation (of scriptures)
- Memorizing scripture
- Christian service
- Christian fellowship
- Charitable giving
- Family service projects
Your fast could be as short as 24 hours or as long as a month or more. You decide. When your fast is over, take time to discuss the effects of the fast on each person. Some questions to ask and answer may be: Was it hard? Did you adjust after awhile? How did the fast benefit you? How did it affect your relationship with God? With others? Would you do the same fast again? Would you choose something else to fast from next time?
Happy fasting and feasting! We would love for you to share your experiences and results with us! You can reach us at our Contact Page.