by: Grace Ogbomo
If fasting makes your medical condition worse, don't fast. If you are dealing with any form of eating disorder or other medical conditions, please seek medical advice before beginning a fast.
While there are many health benefits to fasting, if you have any medical problem, consult a physician before starting any fast.
But just because you cannot give up food does not mean you can't participate in the fasting experience. It is not necessarily what item you give up, but more about what that item means to you and how it reminds you to stay focused on the Lord. For example, it might be a bigger sacrifice for you to give up a favorite video game or television show, rather than food.
8 Things You Can Give up Instead of Food
Here are some alternative items you can fast besides what you eat:
- Fasting from Television and Movies: Giving up watching television and video games for a certain period can be a meaningful shift and you can instead focus that time on studying God’s word.
- Abstaining from Cell Phone Use: Texting and talking on the phone are big deals to many teens. Fasting your time off cell phone may be a challenge, but every time you think about texting someone, you'll remind yourself to focus on God.
- Social Media Fast: By banning sites like Facebook and Instagram for a limited time, you can get back time to devote to growing your faith and your connection to God.
- Fasting from Secular Music: If you love mainstream music, then try turning the radio station to strictly Christian music or turning it off completely and spend the time talking to God.
- Fasting from Unhealthy beverages: While you may not be able to fast for food due to medical reasons, you can decide to fast from unhealthy beverages for a limited time. Beverages such as caffeinated drinks and sodas can be discontinued as a sacrificial offering to God.
- Refraining from Shopping for Unnecessary Things: For those who have a habit of shopping, especially retail therapy, fasting from shopping can be beneficial. Rather than shopping as a coping mechanism, Christians can go to the Lord to supply their every need.
- Fasting from Extracurricular Activities: Christians with a busy schedule may fast extracurricular activities during the week or even during a season of life to free up time to spend with God and Christian community.
- Fasting from Personal Strongholds: Any object, habit, or thing that is exalted above God in a Christian’s life can be fasted.