If you have ever watched any of the Lord of the Rings movies, you are familiar with Gollum. He was a hobbit who was corrupted by the Ring. It changed him. Because of this corruption, it changed his name and who he was. He became a split personality. He was hunched over. All for the power of the Ring – his precious.

What is your precious?

What is the thing that has corrupted you? What is the thing that has changed you? What has had an impact on you and changed you? What hunches you over?

Maybe it’s an actual thing. Maybe it’s a belief you have. Maybe it’s some kind of loyalty or identity you have. Maybe it’s a label you are attached to. Maybe it’s a person you are in relationship with or follow. Maybe it’s a habit or addiction.

Do you dare name you’re precious?

Is it money? a food? sex? a drug? the internet? social media? work? a political party? a politician? an ideology? a privilege? a sport? TV? what?

Lent is an opportunity for self-reflection. An opportunity to see the Gollum ourselves. To see an ugly part of ourselves that is disfigured and corrupt. To see that which we try to push away – out of sight and out of mind. Except our Gollum doesn’t go away quietly. The Precious is too powerful for Gollum to just slink away.

Instead, we have to deal with our own Gollums. To confront them. To acknowledge they exist. To know that we can’t deal with them on our own. We need help. And the only redemption there is, is God. God is the only one who can transform our Gollums back into the image of God. To free us from whatever our Precious is.

What’s your precious? More importantly, how is Jesus freeing you from your precious?