Rather than emphasizing what you will “give up” for Lent, focus on positive actions you can take to demonstrate the extraordinary love of Jesus. Consider carrying out some of these ideas.
Forty Positive Actions for Lent
1. Commit to writing down three things you are joyful for each day. Record what you observe.
2. Memorize a passage of Scripture that is meaningful to you — one you don’t know by heart. Say it aloud each day during Lent.
3. Lead the way in organizing at least one Habitat group to begin meetings with Lenten devotions.
4. One of our core values at Habitat for Humanity International is humility. Humble yourself before God in a specific prayer today. Identify an act of humility that you will carry out as well.
5. Courage is another core value. Think of one person about whom you have had negative thoughts or whom you have treated poorly in the last day or so. Have the courage to ask that person and God for forgiveness.
6. During Lent, commit to saying only positive things about a person or situation you often criticize.
7. Recruit at least one person to be a Habitat Global Prayer Partner (habitat.org/pray).
8. In true alone time, write at least one paragraph expressing the role God plays in your life of service. Offer this as a silent prayer of thanks and ongoing commitment to God. Consider sharing your thoughts with someone.
9. Be in prayer about how God is calling you to be in community. If you are feeling isolated, what can you do to connect with others? How can you help individuals who may see themselves on the outside feel accepted, included and loved?
10. Give away 20 items that within the last year you have not needed, worn, read or even realized you have.
11. Pray about ways you can influence your Habitat organization to be truly serious about living out Jesus’ love.
12. Pay for the meal or purchases of a stranger. Try to do it in total secrecy.
13. Make a list of needs and concerns you hear about in the news. Go to a quiet place and let the list be your focus for prayer.
14. Take the first step to heal a broken relationship.
15. It’s OK to be empowered by empowering others to pursue their dreams. To whom will you offer a hand up or an encouraging word? What will you do?
16. Identify three non-financial ways you can be generous during Lent.
17. How can you also be generous with your financial resources? What is a specific situation that God is calling you to support financially?
18. At least during the season of Lent, adopt the discipline of writing down ways you have felt God’s presence and have been aware of God’s direction each day.
19. Accountability is the third core value adopted recently at Habitat for Humanity International. What is a specific action you need to take today to be accountable? What do you anticipate the benefit of that action to be?
20. Contact three colleagues whose actions and attitudes you appreciate. Thank them and offer a word of encouragement.
21. Read the Book of John during the Lenten season with a focus on who Jesus is. Record new insights.
22. Read aloud in person or make recordings for people whose eyesight is poor or who cannot read. You might regularly record encouraging messages or read articles or chapters from a book.
23. Think of people for whom this is the first Lenten season after having lost a loved one. Include them by name in prayer. Contact them to show your support.
24. Have weekly conversations with two or three people in which you identify battles you are fighting and blessings you are experiencing. Pray for one another.
25. Many divisions in our world happen because we fail to be respectful. Ask that God will help you to identify times when you are not showing respect. Then commit to making amends.
26. Be a gracious listener. Let a lonely person talk as long as he or she wants. Keep your stories to yourself.
27. Think about a person you love to be around because they are joyful. Send a note of appreciation.
28. Commit to learning something new at work that will require humility to ask for help.
29. Send an encouraging text message to someone today. Consider making this a daily habit.
30. Identify a God-sized task in your community or in another part of the world. Pray that God would raise up leaders to respond. Ask God what you should do about the issue.
31. Put away your computer, tablet and cell phone for a certain period each day. Spend the time you would ordinarily be in front of a screen in earnest prayer to connect with God.
32. Write a letter of appreciation to a friend — or better yet — to someone who causes you angst.
33. Plant some wild flowers beside the road, knowing they will bring joy to people you do not know.
34. Change a password to include “bekind.” Let that help you focus on being kind in every interaction every day.
35. Decide on acts of kindness that you and friends or family members will do individually or together. Hold each other accountable.
36. Contact an elderly person who has a hard time working with electronic devices such as TV, phone, computer, etc. Offer your technical help. If you don’t have the skills, find and recruit someone who does.
37. With a smile, say an honest “good morning” to the first 10 people you meet today.
38. Offer a prayer before each new task you begin.
39. Ask God each day who He is calling you to love and then follow up.
40. Spend some time with a child. Share some of your fun early memories and listen to what the young boy or girl has to say.