For members of the Roman Catholic Church and a few other denominations, Ash Wednesday and Lent represent a period of time in the yearly calendar set aside to consider man's sinful condition, and the need of repentance. Although many people do not participate in Ash Wednesday activities, the need of repentance from sin is a valid consideration for all people who desire a relationship with the Lord, and with other people.
The Bible is quite clear about the subject of sin, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." (Rom. 3:23) Repentance from sin is the first step in salvation, and an essential element in a continuing walk with the Lord. The evidence of the consequences of sin can be clearly seen when a high profile public figure makes an error in judgment, and pays a high price in public and private humiliation.
On Ash Wednesday people repent of transgressions that have been committed over a long period of time, when in reality people should ask for forgiveness from God, and the people we offend, on a daily basis. There is great comfort in keeping a right relationship with the Lord, and with the people who are important to us. A spirit of humility will take a person much futher in life than a spirit of false pride and arogance.