The Holidays! Food, Family, Friends and Forgiveness?

It is hard to believe that Thanksgiving is just nine days away.  It seems like we just celebrated this New Year and now the year is almost over.  The holidays bring so much excitement and joy.  They can also be stressful.  So much to do; shopping, decorating, preparing food, some of us have to travel to see family, and some of us don’t have family or are estranged from our families.  This is something I am finding stressful this holiday season.

A couple of my family members aren’t speaking to one another; so now we are having to consider what to do for Thanksgiving and how to celebrate.  I love all of them and want to help them see that life is too short to be at each others throats, bickering and arguing.  Of course each one of them feels they are right and the other is wrong and this made me stop and think.  How many of us only worry about right and wrong? In our marriages, with our children, co workers, family members, friends, neighbors etc.  I have been pondering this and trying to develop some clarity with the situation and what I’ve come to understand is that we each have many life experiences that lead us to “see” situations from our own perspective.  Sometimes this makes it difficult for us to empathize with another.  We are so caught up in what has been done to us that we cannot see how the other person may view the same situation and how their feelings may have been hurt because of our actions.

What if for a minute we weren’t trying to defend our own viewpoint and we instead came together with the attitude of how can we work this out so that each of us feels valued and heard? When our goal is to be right that makes the other person wrong and insures that the situation isn’t going to get better because no one wants to be wrong.  When we perpetrate the injustice it goes on and on and there is no solution.

In my case it is a case of individuals that do not have much life experience and are young and inexperienced in certain situations so they feel insecure and lash out.  Then they refuse to see the other side objectively and hold on for dear life to their viewpoint.  It doesn’t really matter who’s right and wrong if it tears an entire family apart.  There was no murder committed, no alcohol or drugs involved, no physical violence, nothing but a couple of sentences over a piece of cake. Yes, that’s correct a piece of cake and it’s caused almost a year long rift.

It’s very difficult on the entire family when people are unwilling to forgive.  It causes more hurt feelings, anger, resentment, and things build and escalate making the entire situation more difficult for everyone.  Forgiveness isn’t for the other person it is for ourselves so that we can release it and let it go so it doesn’t become a cancer inside of us.

Even if that person wrongs you seven times a day and each time turns again and asks forgiveness, you must forgive.
Luke 17:3-5 (NLT)

For others out there that are having issues with family, friends, co workers, etc. during the holidays I pray you will find piece in knowing that you have a Heavenly father who loves you and sent His only son to Earth to live and die for your sins.  You are forgiven and loved by an almighty father.  I pray we can all find forgiveness in our hearts this Thanksgiving and be truly grateful and thankful for what we are so blessed to have in our lives.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!



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