The Christmas season is filled with food, fun — and family. Spending quality time with friends and loved ones is many times the most amazing part of the season.
Unfortunately, though, many of us have complicated family dynamics. While the holiday season is a time for peace and joy, difficult dynamics can sometimes cloud our festivities.
So, the question is: how should we react to difficult and challenging family members? Here’s the answer:
The Bible makes it clear throughout — and most notably in James 3 — that Christians must tame our tongues (i.e. watch what we say and remain aware that what comes out of our mouths can be truly destructive).
But James is hardly the only place in the Bible where we can glean advice when it comes to watching our mouths — and surviving the holidays. Proverbs 29 is also filled with some essential verses. First, verse 11 (NIV) tells us: “Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end.”
No matter how angry or frustrated we become this holiday season, we are faced with a choice: be foolish or wise. Which side will you fall on? And I get it: it’s easier said than done, but we’re instructed in Proverbs 29:20 to be wary of “speaking in haste.” The verse reads:
“Do you see someone who speaks in haste? There is more hope for a fool than for them.”
And it doesn’t end there. Verse 22 (NIV) reads, “An angry person stirs up conflict, and a hot-tempered person commits many sins.” In the end, we have a choice: let family conflict get the best of us — or live as Christ would want. It’s worth praying for guidance in this arena, so let’s all do that (if not for yourself and your family, for someone else’s).
I’ll leave you with verses 7 and 13 (NIV), which focus on helping the poor — something we should all do this holiday season:
“The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern.”
“The poor and the oppressor have this in common: The Lord gives sight to the eyes of both.”