July 26, 2020

5 Ways to Bring Peace to Others on the Sabbath

Have you ever been captivated by someone’s worst moment?

My kids like to watch “fail” videos on YouTube. These videos also on the numerous TVs while we’re at sports restaurants, and the boys are captivated by them. Leave my kids to their own devices on YouTube, and they’ll likely find a video. They laugh at someone’s bad moment — falling off a trampoline, driving their bicycle into a fence, dropping a stone on their toes. For some reason they find this stuff hilarious.

These types of “fails” don’t just catch our attention as children. As adults, the failings of people around us will hold our attention for far too long. Celebrity affairs, drug overdoses, political scandals. So-and-so is separating from her husband. She lost custody of her children. Their daughter got pregnant. And so forth.

When someone else is having a bad day, we have a heyday. When there’s an argument, we grab a seat and the popcorn.

What if we could use our Sabbath to bring peace to someone else? We yearn for a peaceful Sabbath ourselves, so why not bring peace to someone else this Sabbath? Do you dare?

5 Ways to Be a Blessing to Someone Else This Sabbath

1. Offer someone forgiveness.If you are struggling to forgive someone in your life, this is a great way to bless someone else and give yourself the gift of freedom. Spend the week praying for the person you’re struggling to forgive. Ask God to soften your heart toward him or her. As Sabbath begins, ask God to help you forgive him or her. You don’t even have to tell them they are forgiven, but telling them will also be a blessing!

2. Thank someone out loud.Maybe it’s your spouse for making your drink or your kids for setting the table. Perhaps it’s your praise leader or your pastor who needs a “Thank you.” Take a moment to tell someone how you appreciate them, something they do, or their contribution to your Sabbath. Have you thanked your kids’ Sabbath School teacher lately?

3. Visit someone in person or via video.We are still amidst a pandemic, but you can visit people online or in person (if you wear a mask). Who needs a visit? Everyone! Call your mama on video. Invite the church youth on a video call and have a quick scavenger hunt or pet show-and-tell. Make a video for social media and post it.

4. Pray for someone.Before you leave the church, tap someone on the shoulder and ask if they need prayers. Tell them you’re staying behind for 10 minutes to pray. Invite them to join you. Ask your pastor if you can pray for him or her. Pray for the children in your church. Ask someone to pray for you too.

5. Give something away.Give something away that means something. Give money to a family that you know is struggling to make ends meet. Make a meal for someone you know is hungry. Bring some new footwear for the little boy whose sole has detached from his shoe. The sky is the limit.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they should be called sons of God” (Matthew 5:9, NKJV).

The original version of this commentary was posted on the Mid-America Union Conference Outlook.