Most people give up something for Lent but what would happen if you choose to give out instead of giving up? To use Lent as a focus for giving to others, one small step at a time? 40acts is a Lent challenge that encourages you to do just that. 40 small acts of generosity – one for each day of Lent. Each day, a different challenge – a different way of showing kindness and being generous to those around us.
This will be the third year I’ve taken part in the 40acts challenge and already I’m looking forward to that daily email arriving, bringing with the reflection for the day and a challenge to complete. This year, once again, there is also a traffic light system for the acts – allowing several different options for completing the challenge depending on just how generous or challenged you would like to be!
Last year’s challenges included the following:
- Picking up litter somewhere in your local area.
- Taking time to thank someone for something they’ve done.
- Making the effort to arrive somewhere on time.
- Switching the phone off and going offline for a whole day.
- Spending quality time with someone.
- Trying to widen your social circle.
- Being the first to volunteer to meet a need.
- Putting someone else’s schedule first and doing what they wanted to do for a day.
- Sharing your story.
- A big anonymous act of generosity.
Some were fairly easy, some very hard and some took me outside of my comfort zone but the traffic light system helped take make the more challenging ones easier to complete. Somehow I managed to complete all of the challenges. It made me more mindful of the small things I could do every day to make a difference to those around me and helped me to become aware too of some bad habits that I needed to break.
You can find more about the 40acts challenge on their website where you can also sign up to receive their daily emails. This year is the 6th year that 40 acts has been running – last year over 74,000 people signed up and contributed to 2.9 million small acts of generosity. Hope you can join me and help change the world, one small act of generosity at a time!
This article was first published in the February 2016 issue of Look-In, our monthly church magazine. To download the full issue, please click here: Look-In Feb 2016