READ : Matthew 26:69-75
And he went out and wept bitterly. (v. 75)
In her book Scarred By Struggle, Transformed By Hope, Joan Chittister counsels Christians to cultivate the virtue of detachment – letting go of things. The struggle and pain we endure in giving something up, she says, is “an unsparing lesson, but a necessary gift.”
Christians commonly embrace the spiritual discipline of giving something up. During Lent, for example, people give up sweets, meats, alcohol. People fast on certain days of the week. I remember reading about a fellow who went on a “news fast” during Lent – no newspapers or magazines, no radio, no television. Such detachments are voluntary, and they involve sacrifice – the surrender of something we enjoy.
At a deeper level, we may need to give up things we don’t enjoy, things like bitter memories, past failures, anger at parents. Peter had to give up an almost unbearable self-hatred at denying Christ. Paul had to give up the guilt of knowing that he had once helped murder Christians. And there are detachments thrust upon us that are involuntary and painful, like the death of a child, the ruin of a relationship, or losing one’s job. So much of our emotional well-being and spiritual health depends on being able to cultivate the virtue of detachment. Let it go.
It is in giving up, letting go, and dying to some things that we position ourselves to live life all the more fully in God’s kingdom today.
Lord, whatever it is, help me to let it go. Amen.