Are you looking forward to Thanksgiving or secretly dreading spending time with a certain person who’ll be there?
The Holidays mean family gatherings and that can create its own special brand of stress.
Let’s face it, there’s one, at least one relative,
in almost every family that tracks in drama when they cross the threshold.
Old grievances, personality conflicts, real and imagined hurts, even unpaid loans can trigger ill will when the whole family gets together.
You’ve tried, but being with them sets your teeth on edge and makes you volunteer to wash dishes rather than sit around talking to them.
And so you feel guilty and full of dread at the same time.
You just know this means you are a bad person and your own mother is secretly ashamed of you.
Well, there’s hope.
This year things can be different.
You can be different.
Barring a miracle they won’t be different. They’ll be the same or worse.
But you, you are going to plan to be full of sweetness and light.
How you ask?
First you have to suit up.
You can’t just show up with your candied yams and Jello salad and think a few happy thoughts.
No, you have to lay the groundwork for peace and goodwill.
Start by forgiving them for any offense.
Forgiving means you’re surrendering your right to feel wounded, insulted, or angered.
It also means you quit remembering the incident, the words, or the cash they haven’t paid back.
Let it all go.
You don’t have to be vindicated, placated, or reimbursed.
You do have to get free and that means you have to forgive and forget.
In Amy Carmichael’s little spiritual jewel called If she writes this:
If I say, “Yes, I forgive, but I cannot forget,”
as though the God,
who twice a day washes all the
sands on all the shores of all the
could not wash such memories
from my mmd,
then I know nothing of Calvary love.
Love lets go of hurt.
It doesn’t feed it, rehearse it, and share it.
Love covers a multitude of sin.
Here’s how to forget.
Begin to let your heart be washed of the old hurt.
God loves to do this for us. His love is a cleansing stream with healing powers.
Then think about that person ~ without allowing any negative thought to surface and make it back on to that pristine shore.
Now pray for them by name.
Lift them up to God.
Call down blessings from Him on their life.
And find something praiseworthy in them to dwell on. (Philippians 4:8)
Begin today, won’t you?
Tomorrow we’ll talk more about ‘suiting up’ for the big event.