November 19, 2018

Don't Kill Your Family This Thanksgiving

Romans 15:4–7

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For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.

In Context:

1 We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. 2 Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. 3 For Christ did not please himself, but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me.” 4 For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. 5 May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, 6 that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 7 Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. 8 For I tell you that Christ became a servant to the circumcised to show God's truthfulness, in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, 9 and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written, “Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles, and sing to your name.” 10 And again it is said, “Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people.” 11 And again, “Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles, and let all the peoples extol him.” 12 And again Isaiah says, “The root of Jesse will come, even he who arises to rule the Gentiles; in him will the Gentiles hope.”

Don't Kill Your Family This Thanksgiving



Bio | Erin McLaughlin

Howdy! I'm Erin, and Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love hosting, but I'm not always prepared for the influx of people in my kitchen.

You could consider me a "Watermark Lifer." I'm one of those young adults who has had the opportunity to grow up at Watermark and see my family transformed by Christ and community. After graduating from Texas A&M, I came back to Dallas and made Watermark my home. I serve on staff with the Single Adults Ministry. When I'm not with my community group, I'm probably working through the large stack of books on my nightstand.

Central Truth

Reminding yourself and others of the instruction, encouragement, and truth the Scriptures hold should be the easiest thing you do this Thursday. 

Devotional | Romans 15:4–7

These verses remind me a lot of trying to host Thanksgiving dinner. Whether you split up the cooking and tasks between family members or you do it all yourself, there's always tension simmering, waiting to rise as...

These verses remind me a lot of trying to host Thanksgiving dinner. Whether you split up the cooking and tasks between family members or you do it all yourself, there's always tension simmering, waiting to rise as soon as you catch a whiff of something going wrong. Maybe you forgot to turn on the oven for the turkey at 8 a.m. like you'd planned; your kids start fighting two minutes before guests arrive; or conversation turns to that "one topic" that must not be mentioned.

The very purpose of this passage is to inform the reader that we can be encouraged and reminded not only of God's goodness and endurance, but that the Scriptures are full of truths and instruction on how to be unified. At the end of Romans 14, we are told to "pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding" (Romans 14:19). In Romans 15, we see this theme continue in verses 4-7. Paul reminds us that that we have hope through endurance and encouragement of the Scriptures. We can have harmony and unity with each other because we serve a God who gives us endurance and encouragement through His Word. 

Here are four ways to help you combat frustration and seek truth this Thanksgiving:

  1. Pray for each person you will be engaging with and for each conversation that will happen around the table (Ephesians 4:29).
  2. Don't be so proud that you can't ask for help (James 4:6)!
  3. Find a way to bring uncomfortable conversations to a gentle close and speak the truth in love to those around you (James 3:17; Ephesians 4:15).
  4. Leave room for error (Colossians 3:13-16).

When I am in a situation that throws me off, I forget that my number-one priority should be welcoming people into my home and speaking truth into their lives. These ideas and Scriptures can help bring unity and endurance during this holiday season. Don't let the business or busyness of the holidays distract you from the gift of encouraging one another.

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Discussion Questions

1. What Scriptures do you go to when you need endurance or encouragement? (We would love to see your answers in the comments!)

2. Will you be hosting someone in your home who may need to be encouraged by God's truth? Someone that you should have a hard conversation with so that your relationship can grow and become healthier? (Practice Matthew 7:5 and Matthew 18:15-17.)

3. What causes you to forget your role as a peacemaker during a busy holiday season? Share this answer with someone who can keep you accountable to grow or improve in this area over the next few weeks.

4. Which of the ideas above will you use this week to prepare for Thanksgiving? Do you have any other ideas that our Journeyers would benefit from?

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