Are you looking forward to turkey, fellowship and tantalizing deserts? Are you team sweet potato casserole or yams? Yet, some of us are not looking forward to conversations conceivably surfacing around the dinner table. Nana or Aunt Mary may begin talking about politics or how to raise the kids — leading to another question of “Why did I come here?”

How can we zip it when we want to fire back? We can represent Christ when the atmosphere becomes too offensive and fiery. Yes, we can! Missing out on the blessings and thanking God for provisions during Thanksgiving doesn’t need to be on the menu.

There’s a Scripture that’s helped me from dropping peace and negative statements. Regardless of the season, you’re personally in, the nine characteristics of the fruit of the Spirit is a means to enjoy the celebration of Thanksgiving. The Holy Spirit gives us the power to forge ahead of troubling conversations and division. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things, there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23)

Being cognizant of these attributes will help when things become, not so nice. Years ago, when we had dinner with family, the topic of “When are you getting married came up?” and “Do you need to have a career?” The member was from an older generation and believed women shouldn’t have careers, but a family instead. Flushed-faced, I wanted to throw the dinner rolls, but reshifted focus on being peaceful and using a lot of self-control.

I laughed and said, we can agree to disagree — I answered: “Can you help me pick something on the menu for the entree?” They quickly forgot and we all rolled our eyes and moved on. As a note, this is hard when you’re a fiery spirit or mouthy! I glanced at a written Scripture in my bag and moved on.

The same situations can transpire at any moment. When we are equipped for battle, we can come out glowing like Christ. Otherwise, what if I flipped out? Not pleasant and potentially damaging.

Ephesians 4:29 will can also center us. “Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.”

This Thanksgiving let’s agree to disagree and enjoy the countless blessings God bestowed upon us. Whether you’re team sweet potato casserole or yams — we all have different viewpoints. Unquestionably, being nonpartisan instills more gratifying memories than being combative. All of us will have fewer nightmares when Thanksgiving rolls around next year.

Until next time enjoy some pie and Happy Thanksgiving!

By the way, go sweet potato casserole!

About the Author

Corine Gatti-Santillo has spent two decades as an editor, investigative reporter and web content strategist; her work has appeared in The Christian Post, LifeZette and CBN, among other outlets. She is host of the program “Mom on the Right” on The Liberty Beacon TV. She and her husband, Rocky, live in Virginia with their infant daughter and yellow lab Maggie.