Tell Us if You’d Give These Things Up for Lent and We’ll Guess if You’re Going to Heaven or Hell

By: Elisabeth Henderson

Tell Us if You’d Give These Things Up for Lent and We’ll Guess if You’re Going to Heaven or Hell
Image: TJC/Moment Open/Getty Images

About This Quiz

The word “Lent” comes from an Old English word for “lengthen” and refers to the forty days that the church observes between Fat Tuesday, or Mardi Gras, and Easter. The first festival of wild decadence is preparation for those who are about to enter into a season of fasting and discipline, letting go of the habits they use to get through life rather than living in the spiritual tension. However, many people celebrate Mardi Gras with beads abounding and move right past Lent into the celebration of Easter. 

Why give up something for Lent? Why do people give up a wide variety of pleasures, from chocolate to social media to gossip? Some do so because it’s a tradition, something that you just do at this time of year. Some relinquish certain pleasures as a way to stay disciplined, to remain master of the body. Still others fast because in giving up something that they enjoy, they find their stronger spiritual hunger and desire. 

What does it matter what you’d give up? Does it make you a more spiritual person to be able to relinquish more of what you enjoy? That’s between you and God. But, as a spiritual exercise, consider scrolling through this valley of the shadow of temptations. Be honest with yourself about what pleasures you are in control of and what’s in control of you. 

Shoes Collection If you realized that you have a shoe shopping addiction that you need to get over, how would you incorporate that into Lent?
No shoes over Lent
I’d only buy shoes when I really need them.
I’d only buy shoes when there’s a big sale.
I’ll buy whatever I feel like because I don’t believe in magical thinking.

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Dairy products In the Orthodox tradition, parishioners have a whole list of culinary items that they give up over the course of Lent, including dairy products. How much dairy could you let go of?
Take it all.
I’d use less at breakfast and lunch.
I could withhold at breakfast.
Is this a joke?

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Woman eating chocolates You have a serious chocolate habit to get you through the afternoon. Can you let go of this dark pleasure?
I already did.
I’m praying for strength.
I’m thinking about it.
I don’t see chocolate as a problem.

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Morning coffee You need coffee just to get out of bed every day. Could you go without a cup of joe?
I’ll have to figure it out.
I’ll try, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to do it.
I doubt it.
I’m not even interested to find out.

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Drinking coffee and reading news on tablet pc With current events swiftly changing, you’ve become addicted to keeping up with the news. How might you cut back on this over Lent?
I’ll totally detox from the news cycle.
I’ll just listen to the morning brief.
I’ll only get news from social media.
Sorry, but I don’t believe there’s anything wrong with keeping up with the news.

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Woman with thumb down You don’t often struggle with eating and drinking too much, but you do tend to say negative things whenever you get the chance. Is this something you could let go of?
Clearly I need to.
I’ll try to quit gossiping at work.
I won’t say anything negative unless someone really deserves it.
I only say negative things when it’s appropriate.

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Woman looking at mirror You’ve noticed lately that you’re quite concerned about your appearance. What would you be wiling to do over Lent to get that in control?
Stop looking in the mirror
Try to stop thinking about how I look
Stop asking for compliments
I think how I look is important.

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Man watching television There is a show that you can’t go a day without seeing. What do you think you should do about it for Lent?
I should cut myself off altogether.
I should only watch one episode a week.
I should have one day a week when I don’t watch it.
I really don’t think it matters if I’m into a show.

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Teenage woman having bite of chocolate cupcake At nighttime you always have something sweet to get you through the evening. Is this something you should give up?
Certainly
Possibly
Probably not
Nope

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Arguing couple Whenever you get in a tiff with your partner, you just can’t let a comment go unanswered. Could you be silent when you know you’re right?
I will work toward holding silence.
I’ll keep my mouth shut unless it’s morally obligatory for me to say something.
I’ll only say something if it’s really important.
I will say what I need to say, as always.

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Friends having coffee in cafe Every Friday, you go with friends to the coffee shop after work to usher in the weekend. Is this something that has to go for Lent?
Yeah, I probably don’t need to spend that money.
Maybe I’ll just go once a month.
Well, once a week can’t hurt.
No, it’s important for my sanity.

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Woman watching a scary movie You have an affinity for horror movies, even though it doesn’t sit well with you morally. Should the slashers get slashed for Lent?
Obviously, they shouldn’t even be in my life.
I guess I can give them up.
I’ll cut back.
Oh come on, what’s the big deal?

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Morning run You run obsessively every morning before work. Is this an addiction you need to keep in check?
Even a healthy thing can become unhealthy if you depend on it.
I’ll spend some time reflecting on what my motivations are.
I don’t think it’s an issue, but I’ll pay attention.
Why would running ever be wrong?

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Woman writing journal How likely would you be to give up writing in your journal every night?
I’d probably give it up if I thought it was keeping me from praying.
I may consider letting it go if it took me to dark places.
I’d be hard pressed to find a good reason to give that up.
Why would that ever be a problem?

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Woman eating variety of bread, cheese and parma ham at table You’ve been conflicted lately about the environmental problems associated with eating meat. Is this something you’ll incorporate into Lent?
Yes, I’ll give up meat for Lent and see where that goes afterward.
I will only eat meat once a week.
I won’t eat meat once a week.
I’ll try not to think about it.

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Young man clasping his hands in prayer over an open Bible Your father suggested that you should give up being so introspective for Lent. Is he right?
I probably should.
Yes, I’ll make an effort not to take myself so seriously.
I’ll think about it.
What does that even mean?

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Social media What would happen if you quit Facebook for forty days?
I’d probably feel a lot more free of social pressure.
I may lose some friends, but they probably aren’t real friends.
I would lose touch with the world.
I would never do that.

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Woman working from her laptop at home late at night You always take work home from the office because there’s always more to do. Is this something you should consider dropping for Lent?
Yes, I need to let go of my compulsive work habits.
I should probably bring less work home.
I need to think about how much work I bring home.
I mean, it’s work.

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Woman relaxing and  listening to music You listen to music compulsively as a way to distract yourself from various anxieties. Is there a better way to address what’s going on with you?
Yes, I should sit in the silence and listen to my heart.
Yes, I need to make time for quiet too.
I guess I could turn off the music from time to time.
Music is a way to experience beauty; I’m not quitting that.

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Art and Pottery Studio As an artist, would you quit making art every day because it’s something that makes you feel whole?
Yes, the only thing that should make me feel whole is God.
I would take a deep look at why I’m so focused on my art.
I would take time to think about what my art is saying to me.
If something makes me whole, then it is good.

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Woman resting on couch at home Under what circumstances would you give up your afternoon nap for Lent?
If I felt a call
If I felt like it was interfering with another responsibility
If I didn’t have time anymore
If I just couldn’t sleep

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Game day Some call Sunday "the Lord’s Day,” but you call it “Game Day.” Should you give it up for a holier occupation?
Yes, I already called my buddies to break the news.
Maybe I’ll play sports instead of watching.
I think the Lord approves of sports.
Now that’s just cruel.

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Crusty bread, butter, crispy pork, ham, cheese and salad Which of these condiments could you give up so that food wasn’t such a pleasure?
Oil
Butter
Mayonnaise
Cheesecake

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Praying Which of the following would you consider a reasonable sacrifice of sleep for your spiritual development?
Waking at 3 a.m. to pray
Waking up at 6 a.m. to pray
Praying right before sleep
I need all the sleep I can get.

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Woman Messaging Friends Using Smartphone You know that you're addicted to having your phone with you at all times. How will you address that for Lent?
I’ll use it only for calls.
I’ll only check my email and texts.
I’ll only check it when I get a notification.
That’s my tether to the world, and I’m not giving it up.

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Businesswomen gossiping in office A group of coworkers always gossips with you about other people at work. How should you handle them over Lent?
Steer clear of them
Just try to be polite and not engage too much
Only gossip just a little bit
Gossip is harmless.

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Woman covers eyes with hair Which of these things should you shield your eyes from this Lent?
Instagram
New cars
The job I’d rather have
I need to see everything.

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