Helping & Loving Others

Three Ways to Bring Peace to Your Community

Jonathon M. Seidl

December 07, 2023 | 4 minute read

This month, we’re focusing on the idea of peace. Peace on earth, peace in our homes and peace within our communities. I asked to write about peace in our communities. But when I picked this topic, I didn’t think I was going to say what I’m about to say. 

My take on the subject is going to be a little different. It’s going to be more personal. And I think it’s going to be a practical and helpful guide for something bigger. When it comes to peace in our community, I want to show you how that’s been modeled to my family recently, and why I believe it can be transformative. 

I won’t say that I never understood the value of community. But I will say that this Christmas season I’ve come to appreciate it in a new way as our family has navigated some tough trials. 

I referenced last month that my wife has been facing major health issues. Those issues have been getting worse and it’s been extremely hard to watch her struggle, especially when she is such an independent, vibrant and brilliant business owner. We’ve put a lot of our plans (both business and personal) on hold as we search for definitive answers.

That waiting – that wondering and that searching – has had a lot of effects, including a big one: It has made us more dependent on others. It has made us reliant on our community, the people that God has placed in our lives to help carry the burden. 

And there are three things our community has done that have been especially helpful that I want to share with you. Why? Because as I thought about these, it struck me that if we each do these things regularly, we have an opportunity to join God in ushering in his peace amongst our own communities. If we practice these things, those around us can’t help but be transformed. 

Help When It’s Inconvenient

One thing that has meant the most to us in this season is that our community has gone out of their way to help us when we know it’s inconvenient for them. Not that they’ve told us but we see the signs. 

They’ve dropped everything and been there when we’ve needed it. They’ve had plans and changed them to pick up our kids. They’ve made us dinner at the expense of their normal routine. 

It’s humbling. Anyone can do something for someone else when it’s easy. But true friends, true community, do it when it’s hard. It reminds me of a story in the Bible. The king at the time, the famous King David, was making amends for something he did wrong. He was building an altar to God and needed a sacrifice. One of his subjects saw what was happening and offered to give David the land for the altar and the sacrificial animals for free. David’s response? 

“I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.”

In other words, it’s not a sacrifice if it doesn’t cost you something. Our communities and friends have sacrificed for us during this season. That’s kinda the point of a sacrifice. It hurts a little. It stings. It costs you something. And that makes it mean more. 

Think about how that kind of love could transform your own community. If you help those around you when it’s inconvenient – when it costs something – that kind of love is infectious and it brings peace.

Small Things Matter

So many times we think that help has to come in the form of big, grandiose gestures. But what we’ve learned during this season is that it’s the small things that really make us feel loved. It’s the times someone has sent a bouquet of flowers, offered to pick up some basic items at the store while they were grocery shopping or brought a cup of coffee while we were stuck in a hospital waiting room. 

Those little gestures add up. You know what else they do? They make you feel cared about because they show you that the person is truly thinking about you. That they care. That they aren’t just checking something off a list but are looking for ways to truly make a difference. 

So what would that look like in your community? I can give you an example: A few years ago, our neighborhood was hit by a massive ice storm that knocked out power for days. One man went around with a portable heater and offered to unfreeze anyone’s pipes who needed it. I didn’t know it at the time but that man was a Christian. To this day, people still talk about his act of love and service. 

The gesture was simple. He went around and unfroze people’s pipes with a portable heater. The effect? Massive. It brought the neighborhood and the community together. 

Be Persistent

I can’t tell you how many times people have offered to do those small things I just talked about and we’ve turned them down. It’s a lot. Almost inevitably when someone offers to do something for us we say, “We’re good for now.” But many in our community have been persistent. They literally refuse to take “no” for an answer. They continue to offer, or they ignore our protestations altogether. And it means the world to us. 

I think many of us have something inside that tells us that we’re better alone, that we’re bothering others with our problems or that our troubles don’t really matter. I think that’s something our ultimate enemy, the devil, uses to keep us down. 

Why do I think that? Because the Bible specifically tells us to do the opposite, to “carry one another’s burdens.” It’s right there in the book of Galatians, chapter six verse two

You’re going to have a burden that needs to be carried. And the “pull ourselves up from our bootstraps” mentality that’s prevalent in society today will try and convince you you can carry that burden on your own. You can’t. You need to admit your weaknesses. Your insecurities. Your shortcomings. You need help. 

Consider how being persistent in helping others might usher in peace among your community. If you’re constantly offering to be light in a dark place, don’t you think that will transform those around you? I do. I’ve seen it happen.

In the end, I’ve seen how these three things – when modeled by others – have transformed my life. I’ve seen the peace they’ve ushered in. And I think if you practice them among your friends, your family, and even your “enemies,” you’re going to find a transformative peace in your own community. 

And it will be one of the best gifts you can give this Christmas.


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Jonathon M. Seidl

Jonathon M. Seidl

Jonathon M. (Jon) Seidl is a writer, speaker, and digital media strategist. He’s the author of the #1 bestseller, Finding Rest: A Survivor’s Guide to Navigating the Valleys of Anxiety, Faith, and Life.

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