YOUR PERSONAL LENTEN DISCIPLINE
If you are a pastor or a very active layperson, Lent comes as a mixed blessing. While it is preparation for the most blessed event in faith, it is also very demanding and exhausting. What I would suggest is a personal discipline that you might do privately, and without too much extra time commitment, that might contribute to your own personal spiritual growth in the midst of all the effort you are exercising on behalf of the whole church.
Make a little list of the fruits of the spirit, either on your phone or a 3 x 5 card. I’m choosing the list from Galatians 5:22 ff but you can other citations as well.
Each day, choose one fruit that you will focus on as you move througho0ut the day and encounter different situations, interactions, and people. At the end of the day, give yourself a grade on how you were able to exercise that gift. Make it simple. Was it an A, B, C, D, or F. The next day choose a new fruit. At the end of the six days, you can choose either to give a one day sabbath break and then begin again or just continue the next day with the first gift. Each week during lent you will have an opportunity to see if you can improve on the gift.
AWARENESS BUILDS ON ITSELF
As you move through Lent, don’t beat on yourself for some low grade–that’s why we believe in grace. Simply learn from it and move on. Maybe at the end of the day, or perhaps at a weekly time of prayer, review your list, offer it up to God and prepare to receive forgiveness even as you continue your journey.
Let it be a time of spiritual growth as you strive to “Let the same mind be in you that was n Christ Jesus.” (Phil 2:5).
GIVE THANKS, AND GROW
When you are able to exercise one of the fruits of the spirit, give thanks and note how it made you feel. Affirm God’s grace that gave you the opportunity. When you honestly give yourself a low grace–EG self-control or impatience–own it but consider how you might do better next time. As you are communicating to your people, confession is a liberation, not a bucket for guilt.