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7 Ways to Serve Others During Lent

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The other day I read an incredible post by Karen Ehmen of Proverbs 31 Ministries entitled, The Reverse Lent Challenge.  It really inspired me and made me stop and consider how I want to proceed with this Lenten season.  Do I want it to be another 40 days of giving something up in order to grow closer to God or do I want to consider using this time and focusing on 7 ways to serve others while taking something ON?

Not familiar with Lent?  Take a moment and check out my post from last week that provides a brief history and explanation as to how the tradition is usually followed in the Christian lifestyle during the 40 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday. Now that you’re caught up, let’s talk about the different approaches we could take on this 40-day journey.  Yes, I know we’re already part of the way through, but we can pick these practices up at any time!

Growing closer to God doesn’t need a specific time or place to be initiated. Just act.

Giving Something Up vs. Taking Something On

If you decide to give up something for Lent, such as your daily Starbucks fix, negativity, or even your daily check-ins on Facebook or Twitter, it’s an act of sacrifice.  Sure it’s not as life-altering as the sacrifice that Jesus made upon the cross, but it’s a sacrifice all the same.  One where you will feel desires and cravings to turn back to your old ways, and one where you can fill that time when those temptations occur to turn to God instead and ask for His strength and His presence.

As Karen talks about in her post, even if you are taking something on this Lent, you’re giving something up – a bit of your time each day. Maybe you’ve decided to spend Lent reconnecting with old friends that you’ve lost touch with, spending more time with family each day or finding another way to serve others in your community.

Whatever it is that you choose to take on, it’s an act of love and allows you to take on the heart of a servant.  Remember the scripture that tells of Jesus humbling himself to wash the feet of His disciples; what a beautiful display of servanthood.  John 13:1-17

7 Ways to Serve Others

  1. Love on a Neighbor
    Remember that whole, “love your neighbor as yourself” verse from Mark 12?  Let’s take that literally and select a neighbor in and around our home to love on.  Maybe you want to get to know them better and invite them to lunch or for coffee one day or decide that you want to help them get their home spruced up for spring arrival (if it ever decides to show up!).  Whatever you choose, let it be out of love for another.
  2. Surprise a Servant
    Think of those who serve you in your daily life, from the mailman to the waitress at your favorite restaurant.  Take a moment to write a thoughtful message and a word of encouragement in a notecard, expressing your gratitude for what they do to help make your life easier.  Depending on your ability, consider including a small token of appreciation by including a gift card that they can use to treat themselves or double their tip.  A little surprise might be exactly what they need to lift their spirits and remind them that there is hope in humanity and in Jesus Christ!
  3. Choose a Congregant
    Is there someone at church that you know could use a little help or encouragement?  Is there a recent widow who could use some company or a family who recently had a baby that could use a babysitter?  How about a single man or woman who could use a word of encouragement during what is sometimes a lonely time in their life?  Take a look around you and see how you can touch their life and allow your life to be touched as well!
  4. Give Generously
    Is there a cause that is close to your heart that you could give of your time or your money this Lenten season?  Could the local children’s hospital need volunteers to read to the children?  Is the local community center looking to expand its services or facility?  Read the local newspaper and see what ways your community is seeking help and determine how you can best give of yourself.
  5. Lift up a Co-Worker
    Often times you see these people more than you see your own family.  They are the people that you spend 40 hours a week with and collaborate/commiserate with on a variety of projects.  Though you may not be close enough to go out for a drink after the work is done, these individuals should not be overlooked in your life.  So find ways that you can support one another, be it grabbing breakfast for your team or office (donuts or muffins…or even just granola bars) or offering to pick something up for them as you run to the bank on your lunch hour.  Encouraging them will aid in your relationship as co-workers, but also as human beings.
  6. Family First
    Maybe this should have been number one on the list.  Put your family first and serve their needs before your own.  You’re probably shaking your head, thinking you already do this, which is incredible if you do!  So think about ways that you can step it up a notch.  Is there something on your husband’s to-do list that he’s been meaning to do, but just hasn’t found the time?  If you’re able, do the task for him, or if it’s something beyond your abilities, then ask him how you can help to complete the task.  See what your parents, siblings, or even children are in desire of.  Maybe it’s more attention or they could need assistance with other tasks around the house, such as chores or repairs.  Take note and then act on areas you notice could use a helping hand or where you could take care of a worry yourself.
  7. Random Act of Christian Kindness
    Around Christmas time I published a post about a variety of ways to perform random acts of kindness to others in your community.  This Lent you can perform those same random acts!  Use this free printable to hand out to those you are serving.
Random Act of Christian Kindness Cards | Intentional Filling

Download – Print – Distribute

There’s no right way or wrong way to celebrate Lent, so whether you choose to give up something in order to grow closer to God or to take on something to grow closer to His people, do it out of love for the one who has both served and sacrificed, Jesus.

Do you celebrate Lent? What are some ways that you could or have served?

Spend your Lent connecting with God:

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    1. Lyli – Thank you so much for stopping over! I hope that these ideas will inspire you to take the idea of Lent one step further! Be blessed!

    1. Hi Cindy! It’s funny you mention my Blog’s name because I’m doing some soul searching to determine if I want to switch the name of my blog to something a little more relevant to what I’m writing about. Guess I need to continue the search! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for stopping by and reading. Hope your week is blessed!

  1. Hi Bree, Iโ€™m just seeing your blog! It looks lovely ๐Ÿ˜Š
    Have a fruitful and blessed Lent

    With Love, Rebekkah โค๏ธ You sound very interesting!

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