This Lent, as we look towards the cross and prepare our hearts for Easter, commit to some of the suggested 40 suggested positive actions as a way to be more closely connected to Jesus.
1. Begin each day on your knees (if possible) with prayers of thanksgiving and praise.
2. Invite someone you don’t know well to join you for a meal at your home.
3. Ask someone today, “What can I do to help you?” And then do what is needed.
4. Make it top of mind that one positive thought about today can change your whole day.
5. Think of Psalm 25:4 as a motto for every day and everything. Follow up on what you have learned each day with a specific action: “Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths.”
6. Commit to listen without comment or rebuttal; think longer before talking.
7. Arrange a family day of volunteering.
8. Attempt something for God so big that it is doomed to failure unless God is in it!
9. Vow not to use hurtful words; apologize when you do.
10. Each day of Lent, think of one person who has influenced you positively. Offer a prayer of thanks, and, if possible, contact that person.
11. Invite an elderly person to tell you about their favorite memories.
12. Each day, wear a cross bracelet or necklace or carry a cross in your pocket or purse, as both an outward sign of your beliefs and a reminder to “take up your cross and follow Jesus.”
13. Take seriously Thomas Brooks’ advice: “The best way to do ourselves good is to be good to others.”
14. Attend a worship service of another faith tradition.
15. Pay the bill for someone shopping for obviously needed goods at the pound shop.
16. Send someone a check-in text each day just to say, “I’m thinking of you/ praying for you.” “Heart,” “praise hands” and/or “prayer hands” emojis are encouraged, but optional.
17. Share with a friend a book that has been particularly meaningful to you.
18. Give up “indifference.”
19. Surprise someone today with a sincere, unexpected compliment.
20. Arrange your schedule so that you commit to participate in regular meal preparation for homeless persons.
21. Ask a new colleague to lunch.
22. Ask God to change hardened hearts—including your own.
23. Write a letter — an actual letter on paper — to a friend.
24. Read one chapter of the book of James to start each weekday. Repeat for the six weeks of Lent.
25. Put away devices and diversions for a set amount of time each day for praying and listening to God.
26. Commit to accepting things you cannot change.
27. Offer a prayer before each new task you begin today.
28. Read (or re-read) Richard Foster’s Celebration of Discipline.
29. Write a note to your pastor (spiritual director, rabbi, imam or faith friend) thanking him or her for walking the journey with you.
30. Spend time with a child doing something good for the community.
31. Listen to some music that reminds you that Jesus loves you.
32. Take time to be silent.
33. At least seven times each day, offer a big smile. Maintain eye contact and be genuine.
34. Volunteer in a school, daycare, library or hospital to read to young children.
35. Do something that pushes you outside your comfort zone — perhaps make a prison visit or sit with someone who is very ill. Try to expand your perspective and world view.
36. Pray for someone you don’t like. Pray for that person every day.
37. Spend time in God’s creation and take a walk each day.
38. Read The Practice and Presence of God by Brother Lawrence and focus an entire day integrating a conversation with God into every activity.
39. Do something (pray, donate money, volunteer, relate personally) for migrants, immigrants or refugees.
40. Plant a seed and ponder new life (a new beginning) and the process of growth.