by Chaplain Adele M. Gill
Whenever we get together with people, especially with family at Thanksgiving, we all bring something to the table. Yes, you may make and bring your favorite pie or stuffing to share, But we all bring so much more than just food for this annual feast. We may bring memories of all that has gone on since last Thanksgiving; and a deep abiding affection for our loved ones. High hopes for a perfect holiday, and/or anticipation that our favorite foods will be there just as we remember from years past. Sometimes we bring other things to the table that, if left unchecked, can derail even the finest holiday gathering. Things that can cause lasting resentments and strained relationships. Truth is, things are never really perfect because we are all human, and relationships can be challenging at times.
Barriers to Thanksgiving Bliss
Difficult childhood memories. Grudges. Political views. Unrealistic expectations. Negativity. Any one of these can easily be detrimental to the pursuit of an enjoyable, peaceful Thanksgiving family celebration. Unfortunately, despite all the preparation and festivities, sometimes people may still choose to disagree on a variety of topics, They may use that day to ‘share’ or defend their disparate views, or try to get the final word. We’ve all heard of families that have experienced arguments and conflict at Thanksgiving dinner, as those in attendance engage in heated conversation about various and sundry things. But there is a better way…
Clearly, as Christians, we all must do our part to make our holiday family gatherings peaceful and enjoyable for all that are there. However, each of us is responsible for our own behavior and happiness. Some find themselves in the role of peacekeepers—a valuable role in any family– striving to focus on commonality and unity rather than strife.
Here are some scriptures to pave the way for a smoother holiday celebration:
Peace Be Within You: 5 Scriptures for Thanksgiving Bliss
- “…Rejoice. Mend your ways, encourage oneanother, agree with one another, live in peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you.” 2 Corinthians 13:11 / NIV
- “For the sake of my family and friends…“Peace bewithin you.” Psalm 122:8//NIV
- “Loveone another with mutual affection; anticipate one another in showing honor.’ Romans 12:10 // NIV
- “This is my commandment: love one another as I love you ” John 15:12 //NIV
- 8 “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think [and speak] about such things.9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” // Philippians 4:8-10
For many people, preparing before you go to Thanksgiving dinner is important to set the tone for promoting and maintaining good relationships and living in unity and peace that day and beyond. If you know Thanksgiving dinner has the potential to be socially challenging with your family, try to embrace these Bible passages and let them be your guide. Pray and ask God for help before you go. You may be surprised at what transpires!
“Peace be within you.” Psalm 122:8//NIV
© Copyright 2018 | Adele M. Gill