If you have a 'Currier and Ives' holiday planned, just skip this post, it won't make any sense to you.
But for many, holiday celebrations are laced with these types of conversation:
"So (awkward pause) you're still single..."
"Wow, somebody's been eating good this year...."
"Do you like your hair like that?"
"Your sister's kids are all getting full rides to Harvard!"
"What do you mean you won't be here for Thanksgiving AND Christmas Day?"
Just in case you ever stress over family get togethers, I want to remind you of a few things...
1. Your number one priority is your spouse. Don't let family members get your focus off what God ordains for the most important relationship on earth.
This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.
2. Let peace rule in your heart, not bitterness. Offer grace to your family, even if it's not offered back. In other words, make the choice before you leave that you won't judge their decisions. We all reap what we sow, you don't have to convince anyone of that...it will happen. But we are called to display God's love even to those making really bad decisions. Only offer opinions when asked. Unsolicited advice is seldom heard.
And on the other hand, don't let "assumed" or spoken criticism set you back...choose to forgive...bitterness makes your butt look big and none of us want that.
Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.
3. Shine! And remember, you don't need to be preachy to shine, in fact...there's nothing shiny about preachy.
Don't hide your light under a basket! Instead, put it on a stand and let it shine for all. 16 In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.
4. As cliche' as it sounds...don't forget the reason we gather this week. To be thankful.
1 Thess 5:17-18
No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
Decide today not to let "holiday family fun" be an oxymoron this Thanksgiving. Be good for goodness sake and whatever you do, don't get bitter!