When the calendar turns over to a new year, do you choose a word to characterize your coming goals or resolutions? After a devastating and tumultuous year, my word seems simple yet challenging: hope.

I’m hopeful for better days in 2021. Hopeful for abundant life. Hopeful that we can move in the direction of our desired outcomes. Hopeful for more unity in all things.

And yet, some days it seems things have moved from bad to worse. Many social media posts exhibit the frustration and division invading relationships and commitments. It makes me ask the question: what will we do to move toward the next right thing? How can we create peace and unity in our daily interactions?

On the podcast this week, I’ve shared practical ways to act as peacemakers and unifiers in our daily lives. Here are three ways to do our part:

1. Let’s walk forward with more curiosity about other people and less judgment about one another. Our stories are important and we can learn from each another and find wisdom. Let’s listen to someone else’s experience that may be different from ours.

2. Let’s be peacemakers. Move past the temptation to engage in social media attacks. Use our voices to bring positive encouragement to a conversation. Offer kindness, dignity, and respect. If we find ourselves moved to anger or frustration, take that as a sign to create a healthy boundary. Allow ourselves the grace and space to step away from the negative.

3. Live a life dedicated to unity. Embrace people whose lives look different than ours. Commit to live a life side by side, where we work for the good of each other instead of picking sides and creating further division.

The Bearing Life® Podcast tells real stories and shares authentic conversations so we might learn how to bear our burdens well and how we can help others bear their own burdens. Where can we bear fruit within difficult circumstances? The sweetest outcomes are often rooted in walks through difficult seasons of life.

Let’s take defining steps, walking forward in peace and unity with one another to share our hope with a world that needs to hear it.