The holiday season is one of joy, travel, expectation...and family. This is a wonderful thing for most, but it can also be a very challenging thing if your worldviews, food choices, and/or opinions vary greatly from your loved ones.

A couple weeks ago, I heard a sermon about being a peacemaker.

Now, I don't really consider myself a natural peacemaker. I am opinionated and spirited, and I really love to share what I've learned with others. Add a bunch of family members with those same traits and sit back to watch the fireworks ;-)

So when the pastor started talking about HOW to become a peacemaker, my ears perked up. And I knew I just had to share it with you.

Peacemakers value relationship over issues. What argument could be so important to win that you hurt a relationship over it? Even if it is an extremely important issue in your mind, if the discussion is heated enough for feelings to be hurt, it's time to take a step back. Peacemakers find common ground. There are SO many other things you can discuss, especially during the holiday season. Find those things and focus on building your relationship around the beautiful things you DO agree on.

Peacemakers are slow to speak. Proverbs 29:11 is one of my favorites...such brilliant wisdom that I need to hear daily:

A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.

And another one:

Proverbs 20:3 It's a mark of good character to avert quarrels, but fools love to pick fights.

Basically, don't be a fool. :) Even if you KNOW you are right. And even if you know you are right, you can still consider someone else's views! It might turn out that you aren't always right. *gasp* Have a humble, gentle spirit!

Love makes you do stuff you wouldn't normally do. So...focus on LOVE! Even when you don't feel it. You can still show love even when you don't feel the emotion of love. Love is a powerful thing!
This holiday season, let's look for the good in all people...especially our family members :) And when you are tempted to argue about something you are passionate about, prove you are "right", or make your opinion known...take a step back. Take a breath.
Don't be a fool. Be a peacemaker.
Photo used with permission: harold.lloyd (Flickr Creative Commons)