The Upper Room Devotional

The Upper Room 14 February 2024 Devotional: Ash Wednesday


The Upper Room 14 February 2024 Devotional: Ash Wednesday

Read and Study Today’s The Upper Room Daily Devotional for February 14th, 2024 Message written by Cindy Bear (Iowa, USA). God bless you as you study today! Please share with your friends and loved ones.

Matthew 6:9-15

Forgiveness can set me free from emotional burdens.

If you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. – Matthew 6:14 (NIV)

I had never given up anything for Lent because the practice did not seem meaningful to me.

Then one year on Ash Wednesday, my pastor challenged us to think differently about giving up something for Lent. He asked us to think of a person we were holding a grudge or anger or resentment against and invited us to forgive them.

Years earlier I had gone through a divorce. My spouse had cheated on me again and again. I had been deeply hurt. How could I ever forgive him?

I struggled with my feelings. Was I ready to release all the pain he had caused me? Finally I decided that, yes, I was going to forgive.

The pastor asked us to write on a piece of paper what we were giving up. I wrote it down, then folded the piece of paper. The congregation was then invited to burn our slips of paper in a bowl. It was one of the most meaningful Ash Wednesday services I had ever attended.

It wasn’t easy to forgive. And by forgiving him, I’m not saying that what he did was okay because it wasn’t. But deciding to give up my feelings of hatred and resentment was a freeing experience, and it still is. I could move on with my life without the weight of anger and resentment that I had been carrying around for years. So I would like to challenge you to give up something meaningful for Lent and surrender it to God. You won’t believe how liberating it is!

Thank you, God, for forgiving us. Help us to be as forgiving of others. Amen.

Someone I want to forgive


The Upper Room 14 February 2024 Devotional: Ash Wednesday

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