Thanksgiving is traditionally the day when far-flung family members unite to get re-acquainted, catch up, reminisce, eat, and give thanks. Since few extended family members share the same viewpoint on every subject, this can lead to some tension as conflicting opinions are aired over the turkey and pie.
I’ve seen a couple of political web postings recently suggesting ways to persuade family members to your own point of view, as if everyone must agree in order to be accepted into the circle. However, in our family, we prefer to skirt around known areas of contention at such times and concentrate on our common bonds of love and history in order to preserve family harmony.
The family of God has these same issues to deal with, and not just at Thanksgiving. Whether between denominations or within them, you will find any number of theological disagreements, often leading to an attitude of competition or animosity between churches or even members of the same congregation.
We can choose to try to persuade those Christians who interpret the Bible differently than we do, or we can keep our relationships harmonious by remembering we are in the same family. Our political or social attitudes fade into insignificance when we remember Who is the head of our family and what He has done for each one of us. We have more than enough family stories to share and reminisce about and more than enough points of agreement to provide loving conversations with one another.
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.Ephesians 4:2
Our shared history and the love of Jesus must be at the center of all our dealings within the family. Everything else is just a distraction.