Is Fasting still Relevant?

These days, I often hear Christians say things like "better to fast from bad habits" or "more important to be kind" whenever the topic of Fasting comes up. True, we should not neglect being kind and must always avoid sin but that does not mean fasting is no longer useful for our spiritual growth.

In the days of Jesus, fasting is an important practice and Jesus Himself encourages it (Matthew 6:16-17). In fact, He fasted for 40 days before beginning His ministry. So there must be something very beneficial (besides slimming down!) for our soul when we fast!

On Ash Wednesday this year, I fasted the Catholic way: couple slices of plain bread + plain water. It was not easy, so I ate a little rice with vegetables at dinner time; I was surprised how yummy the simple meal tasted!!

So for me, fasting helps to remind me not to take things for granted and to appreciate the countless blessings that I received daily! The hunger pains also enable me to better empathise with those who are suffering. And somehow, I was made more aware of God's presence during fasting too. 

In short, fasting is ever more relevant in our modern society where God's voice is drowned by materialism and self-centredness!

"Return to me with your whole heart, with fasting, weeping, and mourning." Joel 2:12

"Then, completing their fasting and prayer, they laid hands on them and sent them off." Acts 13:3


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