Nov 20

Thanksgiving Prep: For People

2006 at 3:57 pm   |   by Carolyn Mahaney

As we round the weekend corner and face Thanksgiving week, no doubt many preparations are underway for the big holiday meal. Here at girltalk, we want to draw from previous posts and suggest three important ways to prepare to glorify God this Thanksgiving Holiday: Prepare for People, Prepare for Memories, and Prepare for Gratefulness.

Since the holidays typically provide opportunities to spend time with extended family, it is important that we prepare to honor God on these occasions. This year (and every year that follows, of course!) let’s choose the way of the prudent, described in Proverbs 22:3: “The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it.”

In other words, we need to think about the unique temptations that we face each holiday when we are with our families (this is seeing danger), and then we need to devise a plan to not sin and please God instead (this is hiding ourselves). Below is a simple 2-part plan that is guaranteed to help us honor God if we but implement it:

1. Pray to get ready.
Prayer is an act of humility. It is an honest acknowledgment that we can do nothing apart from God’s help. We can’t even spend God-honoring time with relatives without His aid. Therefore let’s pray. And do you know what will happen when we do? James 4:6 informs us that God will give us grace. Grace to not sin. Grace to love others. Grace to please God this holiday season.

2. Get ready to love.?
First Corinthians 13:4-8 shows us “the way of love.” In order to get our hearts ready to love that family member whom we may have trouble loving, it can be helpful to insert their name into this passage. How can I be patient and kind with “Uncle Harry?” How can I make sure I am not envying or boasting when I interact with “Suzy?” What is my plan to not be irritable with my mom or resentful toward my dad? And then let’s ask the Holy Spirit to equip us to love in this way.

We do not want to be like “the simple” in our proverb who “go on and suffer,” or more specifically in this case, who go on to reap the same consequences of sin year after year at our family celebrations. Instead, we must be prudent. So, let’s pray. Let’s love. And let’s be thankful for the family and friends God has placed in our lives—even the difficult ones!

P.S. Holiday celebrations with family are also a wonderful opportunity for the gospel. Listen to this outstanding message by Eric Simmons to prepare for evangelism.