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With Pew Research reporting 65% of adults in Washington, D.C. are Christian, it is likely that many people are marking the season of Lent — the 40 days and 40 nights before Easter.

Lent is important to many in the Christian faith as it acknowledges the various occurrences leading up to Jesus’ resurrection, an event and belief that is the foundation of Christianity in itself. Sacred practices happen during the Lenten season and Holy Week, such as Ash Wednesday, Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday and Good Friday — marking the death of Jesus Christ, the ultimate sacrifice for Christians’ sins.

In the same way Jesus sacrificed, Christians often give up materialistic and worldly items or life distractions. Folks have been known to give up food items, alcohol, caffeine, going to a specific place or social media apps.

“Lent is a good time for sacrificing. Let us deny ourselves something every day to help others,” Pope Francis tweeted in 2014.

Denying oneself to help others can also mean giving up a seat for a stranger on the Metro, taking a shorter shower in order to help your partner or roommate get to where they need to go in time, or even biting your tongue at a time when you know a comment won’t help a situation.

Being intentional about showing acts of God’s love is key during Lent.

She might not be a religious leader, but Ms. Lauryn Hill definitely has thoughts on theology: “Everything we do should be a result of our gratitude for what God has done for us,” she said.

On Fat Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday, the day before Lent begins the Pope took to Twitter to talk about the importance of spreading love.

“In God, no act of love, no matter how small, and no generous effort will ever be lost,” Pope Francis tweeted on Feb. 21.

So this Lent, consider adopting a better habit that can help others, as opposed to just giving something up. Spreading love is important year-round and Lent can be a wonderful way to begin a lifelong intentional practice.

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