We are all celebrating Thanksgiving this week. The holiday comes with incredible food, a break from work, some wonderful football games and of course the onslaught of relatives!
But just the thought of Aunt Suzie and Uncle Fred verbally “mixing it up” over an issue that occurred 10 years ago could cause us to dread the festive day.
I read a passage this week from II Corinthians that may help. Paul was expressing the fact that the believers in Corinth were precious to him. He saw them as a kind of letter, a letter he had written to the community. Their lives were to be an example to others. It was a letter “written on our hearts, known and read by everyone.”
So the question is, what are your relatives going to “read” this Thursday? How can we make certain and follow the Kindergarten advice of “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all?”
It may be tough, an exercise of self- control, but the challenge this week is for each of us to be a sweet “letter,” expressing kindness to our entire family. We need to figure out a way to only say “nice things.”
A story is told about the Taylor family. They were very proud of their family history. Their ancestors had traveled with the pilgrims on the Mayflower. Their family tree contained Congressmen, famous sports people, successful businessmen and some TV stars.
They had a genealogist help them write a formal family record and they wanted to make sure they said something nice about everyone. Their problem was great uncle Jefferson Taylor. It seems that he was executed in the electric chair.
It took some real work and grace, but in the end they wrote: “Great Uncle Jefferson Taylor occupied a chair of applied electronics at an important government institution. He was attached to his position by the strongest ties and his death came as a great shock.”
It probably won’t be that tough for you and I to make sure we say something nice about and to everyone who gathers around our table this week. Just remember, we are God’s love letter to those folks. Let’s make sure that what they “read” is encouraging!