Top 100 Things People (Say They) Are Giving Up for Lent

It is widely understood that Lent is a period of fasting and sacrifice, but what are people actually giving up for the 40-day fast?

OpenBible’s 2014 Twitter Lent Tracker may just have the answer. By analyzing 100,000 tweets and counting using the Twitter Streaming API between March 2-7,

So far the top five fasts on the list are: chocolate, alcohol, Twitter, social networking and school. School is currently ahead of swearing by a small margin. Many of the others on the list are to be expected — for example soda, junk food and smoking. Some clever and subversive ones have popped up as well, however, including Lent, “you” and “giving up things.”

1. school 7,456 (number of tweets)
2. chocolate 7,106
3. twitter 6,457
4. swearing 4,675
5. alcohol 4,484
6. soda 3,612
7. social networking 3,403
8. sweets 2,846
9. fast food 2,732
10. lent 2,001
11. junk food 1,912
12. homework 1,875
13. coffee 1,842
14. meat 1,829
15. chips 1,628
16. sex 1,582
17. bread 1,437
18. facebook 1,331
19. you 1,275
20. pizza 1,122
21. starbucks 1,033
22. giving up things 925
23. candy 913
24. religion 808
25. work 790
26. instagram 763
27. cookies 755
28. food 720
29. smoking 719
30. boys 713
31. marijuana 706
32. ice cream 691
33. college 686
34. virginity 680
35. mcdonalds 657
36. life 643
37. netflix 598
38. beer 596
39. stuff 556
40. chipotle 509
41. cheese 504
42. carbs 491
43. selfies 473
44. winter 471
45. sugar 469
46. my phone 468
47. wine 454
48. shopping 436
49. masturbation 412
50. catholicism 407
51. me 392
52. snow 392
53. caffeine 390
54. takeout 388
55. fried food 387
56. fizzy drinks 383
57. sobriety 377
58. people 370
59. coke 354
60. procrastination 351
61. snapchat 339
62. rice 332
63. nothing 326
64. french fries 323
65. pancakes 319
66. diet coke 306
67. taco bell 302
68. desserts 300
69. makeup 299
70. feelings 292
71. sarcasm 282
72. obama 280
73. negativity 275
74. tea 261
75. swag 253
76. peanut butter 250
77. porn 250
78. breathing 249
79. red meat 249
80. complaining 245
81. cake 237
82. caring 233
83. sweet tea 231
84. hope 230
85. booze 224
86. pasta 219
87. texting 202
88. tv 202
89. eating out 192
90. exercise 192
91. sleep 185
92. gluten 172
93. nutella 171
94. church 167
95. math 165
96. the gym 163
97. christianity 157
98. laziness 157
99. vegetables 155
100. studying 151

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13 thoughts on “Top 100 Things People (Say They) Are Giving Up for Lent

    • No. The Old and New Testament makes it clear that fasting was something the church and synagogue were assumed to be doing when seeking to know the will of God for a critical decision or divine action. By fasting, people were required to put away anything that would hinder their connection with God whilst seeking Divine guidance. Thus it could be giving up sins that shut out God’s presence from His people. Food and drinking are often taken to such an excess that people simply feel too brain dead to appreciate or engage in holy duties and thus these are primary items given up during a fast. I have heard many people say they are too sleepy to pray, too sleepy to listen or study their Bibles, but not too sleepy to over indulge in eating and drinking.

      But the practice of lent is something else again. It is a ridiculous parody of fasting. Whilst the Bible couples fasting with prayer, this is missing from the practice of Lent (how the heck do you give up Christianity for lent; see above list).

      The people who gave Bryan the above list only focussed on the temporary giving up of something and call this fasting. They don’t have a clue that it is not just a time for giving up something, but rather it was giving up something in order to concentrate and focus on prayer to God. Particularly things that might hinder the communication with God. But how the heck do you give up Christianity, studying, church?

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      • But the list is hilarious. I had a good laugh. It’s a joke (the list)—surely it is?

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      • I sincerely hope so. But the problem I see with such a list is that it engenders irreverence towards God. One should never jest about holy things, especially those related to the plan of salvation.

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  1. Really? Didn’t Jesus say that we will one day give an account of every idle word we speak today? And isn’t it taking the name of the Lord in vain if one is going to give up… ;what did the list say?… virginity… christianity… Can you tell me what would happen to a person who gave up Christianity during lent and then died whilst giving up Christianity? And how on earth do you give up virginity temporarily? How do you get it back again after lent? Can you see how stupid this list really is?

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  2. Well Bryan, since you believe that I don’t have a sense of humour I leave you with this:
    Mary had a little lamb
    Her father shot it dead
    And now it follows her to school
    Between two chunks of bread.

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