As we settle into a new year and a new decade, we’re thinking of some simple things we can do to make a difference. (We’re particularly excited about number 20!)
1. Smile at people. When we smile, our brains actually feel happier. Smiling is a gift to us and the people around us :)
2. Listen on purpose. Not simply to answer. Or to know when it’s our turn to speak. Listen to hear and understand and find out new things about the people and world around us.
3. Pray for your friends. The Bible is full of stories of answered prayers. Look for answered prayers in your own life and in the lives of others. Let the testimonies build your faith. Then pray.
4. Pray for people who have been forced from their homes by conflict or disaster. Pray for provision, comfort and hope for them.
5. Pray for an end to poverty. Lift up those already responding. Pray for more people to do more to change more.
6. Breathe. Take a minute or three. Count to five on each in and out breath to help reduce stress and anxiety. Remember you are loved beyond measure.
7. Call someone or write them a note. Your small kindness might be the big thing that makes their day.
8. Put a daily reminder on your phone or calendar of a Bible verse or quote that has special meaning to you. Let it transform your mind as you are encouraged by the truth.
9. Drink enough water. With each glass, consider the joyful privilege of having safe, clean water. Appreciate how good it is. Remember those who don’t have easy access to it.
10. Laugh. Find something funny. Laughing has brilliant mental and physical benefits and is highly contagious – so it’s good for you and others.
11. Be gentle on the environment. Swap a car or bus journey for a walk, run or cycle. Notice things on the way that you can pray about or simply be grateful for.
12. Give what you can. Your time, money or skills. Try to give empathy before advice.
13. Pray for the government – leaders need prayer for guidance, wisdom and some good sleep.
14. Prioritise sleep. If you have somewhere safe and comfortable to rest, take a moment to focus on the simple pleasure of it. Pray for those who don’t.
15. Find one new kind-to-the-environment thing to do. Actually do it.
16. Speak up for justice in your own way. Whether in your home, school or office. Let the things that matter be heard where you are.
17. Learn one new scripture off by heart. Learn hundreds if you want, but start with just one.
18. Forgive. Treat yourself and others with the grace Christ already paid for.
19. Say thank you to people. Say thank you to God.
20. Meet new people. Learn new things. (Science has shown that our brains and our physical health are positively affected by both.) In fact, we have one very practical way that you can combine learning new things, giving, praying, ending poverty, speaking up for justice and make a World of Difference... Join us on an unforgettable, life-changing journey and be part of building hope in the world in 2020 and beyond.