Thanksgiving Day survival guide

Canadian thanksgiving second Monday in October

American Thanksgiving: forth Thursday in November


A practical guide to enduring annoying and hated relatives during the holidays.


Thanksgiving Day survival guide
Family conflict resolution manual


A.                 Thanksgiving has many hazards:

1.                   Sweets and candy

2.                   Turkey and dressing

3.                   Home-made apple crisp, cherry pies and “upside down Flint-Rubble double-bubble cake”.

4.                   That hated relative you just had a fight with or have never gotten along with.

B.                 The Bible is the blueprint for perfect human behavior.

1.                   People of the world do not have the benefit of the checklist that is so clear in the Bible.

2.                   When non-Christians are challenged on a point of conduct, they reject it for their own human wisdom and suffer the consequences.

3.                   Christians sometimes refuse to be obedient to the word and become the problem.

4.                   The Bible blueprint for perfect human behavior doesn’t check to see if the one who follows it actually believes in God:

a)                 Non-Christians who follow the pattern will experience the peace of God, in whom they do not believe.

b)                 Christians who reject the pattern suffer the anxiety usually  reserved for unbelievers.

c)                  All who are obedient to the pattern reap the corresponding benefits regardless of faith.

5.                   While we have no control over other’s behavior, we have complete control over our own.

6.                   This lesson is to identify your own contribution to family conflict.

C.                 Jesus words of advice before you eat your thanksgiving dinner:

1.                   “But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell. “Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.” (Matthew 5:22–24)

2.                   So make peace with everyone at the dinner table, before you sit down.

3.                   The following checklist will assist you in identifying your behaviours, attitudes and actions that are contributing to the problem.

4.                   We have no control over another’s behavior, but we have total control over our own.


Checklist of conflict management for long term peace:

A.                 I consider “that relative” (who is a loser) as more important than myself.

1.                   I am smarter, better, more successful, richer and more important than “that relative” and won’t do anything he wants me to do. I am even better looking! Why should I?

2.                   I consider all others as more important than myself, including “that relative”. I will serve him as though he were my king and Lord.

a)                 “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; ” (Philippians 2:3)

b)                 “For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. ” (Romans 12:3)

c)                  “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; ” (Romans 12:10)

d)                 “Haughty eyes and a proud heart, The lamp of the wicked, is sin. ” (Proverbs 21:4)

e)                  “be subject to one another. ” (Ephesians 5:21)

B.                 Loaded shot-gun stock notching “that hated relative”:

1.                   I keep a record or a mental checklist of ways others have hurt, harmed, insulted or sinned against me. I often recite the list of offences I have suffered to myself or other in order that I will not forget. I keep my shot gun loaded and when I get enough notches on my wooden stock I shoot with justification!

2.                   I forget past slights I have suffered at the hands of others at sundown.

a)                 “Brethren, … one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,” (Philippians 3:13)

b)                 “do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity.” (Ephesians 4:26–27)

(1)              This critical verse shows us that matters are discharged at sundown, not carried over to the next day.

c)                  “Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: outbursts of anger, of which I forewarn you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:19–23)

(1)              The Greek word for “outbursts of anger” is “thumos” and is best illustrated with an anger that is like what happens when you put a match to gasoline.
(2)              Someone with this kind of anger will always be sinning and causing trouble for everyone.
(3)              Thumos is the opposite of slow to anger and longsuffering.

d)                 “Do not be eager in your heart to be angry, For anger resides in the bosom of fools. ” (Ecclesiastes 7:9)

e)                  “He who is slow to anger has great understanding, But he who is quick-tempered exalts folly. ” (Proverbs 14:29)

f)                   “A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, But the slow to anger calms a dispute. ” (Proverbs 15:18)

g)                 “He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city. ” Proverbs 16:32)

h)                 “The beginning of strife is like letting out water, So abandon the quarrel before it breaks out. ” (Proverbs 17:14)

i)                   “A fool always loses his temper, But a wise man holds it back. ” (Proverbs 29:11)

C.                 Kindness towards “that rude relative”:

1.                   I communicate through verbal slights, body language and facial expressions that I am do not like “that relative” to him and others. I make sure everyone knows I am angry with him.

2.                   I work extra hard at showing genuine kindness to “that relative” regardless of how they treat me

a)                 “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:31–32)

b)                 love is kind does not take into account a wrong suffered and bsears up in all things and endures all things. Love never fails” (1 Corinthians 13:4–8)

c)                  “But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices,” (Colossians 3:8–9)

D.                 Love “that annoying relative” whom you would be seen in public with:

1.                   I always do that which is in “that relative’s” best interest. (love)

2.                   I don’t like “that relative”, I don’t care about him, I don’t want to be around him, I am not happy to see him, I am glad when he is gone, I won’t lift a finger to help him. (unloved)

a)                 “But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. “Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either. ” (Luke 6:27–29)

b)                    “‘You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the Lord. ” (Leviticus 19:18)

c)                    “Do not say, “Thus I shall do to him as he has done to me; I will render to the man according to his work.” (Proverbs 24:29)

d)                   “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. “For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? “If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? “Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. ” (Matthew 5:44–48)

e)                    “Treat others the same way you want them to treat you. ” (Luke 6:31)

f)                      “In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets. ” (Matthew 7:12)

g)                   “If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink; For you will heap burning coals on his head, And the Lord will reward you. ” (Proverbs 25:21–22)

h)                  “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. ” (Romans 12:14)

i)                     “Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. “But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. ” (Romans 12:19–21)

E.                 Forgive “that unrepentant relative” who always finds a way to hurt or insult me:

1.                   I will not ever forgive “that relative” for the things they have done to me in hatred.

2.                    In spite of all the wrongs I have suffered, I will forgive anyone 490 times for the same thing.

a)                 “Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions. ” (Proverbs 10:12)

b)                      “He who conceals a transgression seeks love, But he who repeats a matter separates intimate friends. ” (Proverbs 17:9)

c)                       “Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. ” (1 Peter 4:8)

d)                     “For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. “But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions. ” (Matthew 6:14–15)

e)                       “‘You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the Lord. ” (Leviticus 19:18)

f)                       “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. ” (Ephesians 4:32)

g)                      “bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. ” (Colossians 3:13)

h)                  “Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. “For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. “When he had begun to settle them, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. “But since he did not have the means to repay, his lord commanded him to be sold, along with his wife and children and all that he had, and repayment to be made. “So the slave fell to the ground and prostrated himself before him, saying, ‘Have patience with me and I will repay you everything.’ “And the lord of that slave felt compassion and released him and forgave him the debt. “But that slave went out and found one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and he seized him and began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay back what you owe.’ “So his fellow slave fell to the ground and began to plead with him, saying, ‘Have patience with me and I will repay you.’ “But he was unwilling and went and threw him in prison until he should pay back what was owed. “So when his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were deeply grieved and came and reported to their lord all that had happened. “Then summoning him, his lord said to him, ‘You wicked slave, I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. ‘Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, in the same way that I had mercy on you?’ “And his lord, moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him. “My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart.” ” (Matthew 18:21–35)

F.                  Gossip kills:

1.                   I gossip to others, all kinds of stories about how stupid, unfair, unreasonable “that relative” is. Everybody knows the long list of reasons why I am justified at being angry with him.

2.                   When I talk to others about “that relative” I restrict what I say about him to:

a)                 “He who conceals a transgression seeks love, But he who repeats a matter separates intimate friends. ” (Proverbs 17:9)

b)                 “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things..” (Philippians 4:8–9)

c)                   “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.” (Ephesians 4:29)

d)                 “Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt.” (Colossians 4:6)

G.                 Be a thick-skinned happy Rhino:

1.                   I am thin skinned and launch into immediate attack mode when provoked: I am angry for good reason! I am DILLIGENT to always on guard to when I can attack “that relative”.

2.                   I am thick skinned like a rhino and do not even notice when someone deliberately spears me. I am DILLIGENT to preserve unity and peace with “that relative”.

a)                 “He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city.” (Proverbs 16:32)

b)                 “But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.” (James 1:19–20)

c)                  “Do not be eager in your heart to be angry, For anger resides in the bosom of fools.” (Ecclesiastes 7:9)

d)                 love does not take into account a wrong suffered and bears up in all things and endures all things. Love never fails” (1 Corinthians 13:4–8

e)                  “put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.” (Colossians 3:12–14)

f)                   “Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance (and putting up) with one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Ephesians 4:1–3)

g)                 “If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. ” (Romans 12:18)

h)                 “So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another. ” (Romans 14:19)

H.                Alcoholic beverages add fire to gasoline:

1.                   What’s wrong with a few drinks? What kind of party doesn’t have booze?

2.                   I will not drink any alcohol:

a)                  “Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, And whoever is intoxicated by it is not wise. ” (Proverbs 20:1)

b)                 “For the time already past is sufficient for you Christians to have carried out the desire of non-Christians, having pursued a course of drunkenness, carousing, drinking parties. In all this, your former non-Christian friends are surprised that you do not join them in their drinking parties, and they mock and slander you;” (1 Peter 4:3–4)

c)                    “Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has contentions? Who has complaining? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? Those who linger long over wine, Those who go to taste mixed wine. Do not look on the wine when it is red, When it sparkles in the cup, When it goes down smoothly; At the last it bites like a serpent And stings like a viper. Your eyes will see strange things And your mind will utter perverse things. And you will be like one who lies down in the middle of the sea, Or like one who lies down on the top of a mast. “They struck me, but I did not become ill; They beat me, but I did not know it. When shall I awake? I will seek another drink.” (Proverbs 23:29–35)

d)                  “It is not for kings, O Lemuel, It is not for kings to drink wine, Or for rulers to desire strong drink, For they will drink and forget what is decreed, And pervert the rights of all the afflicted. Give strong drink to him who is perishing, And wine to him whose life is bitter. Let him drink and forget his poverty And remember his trouble no more. ” (Proverbs 31:4–7)

e)                   “Harlotry, wine and new wine take away the understanding. ” (Hosea 4:11)

f)                    “And these also reel with wine and stagger from strong drink: The priest and the prophet reel with strong drink, They are confused by wine, they stagger from strong drink; They reel while having visions, They totter when rendering judgment. ” (Isaiah 28:7)

g)                  “Woe to those who are heroes in drinking wine And valiant men in mixing strong drink, ” (Isaiah 5:22)

h)                 “Come,” they say, “let us get wine, and let us drink heavily of strong drink; And tomorrow will be like today, only more so.” (Isaiah 56:12)



1.          Esau was typified as an evil man in the New Testament:

a.       "And not only this, but there was Rebekah also, when she had conceived twins by one man, our father Isaac; for though the twins were not yet born and had not done anything good or bad, so that God’s purpose according to His choice would stand, not because of works but because of Him who calls, it was said to her, “The older will serve the younger.” Just as it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be! For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy." (Romans 9:10–16)

b.      "By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau, even regarding things to come." (Hebrews 11:20)

c.       "See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled; that there be no immoral or godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal. For you know that even afterwards, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought for it with tears." (Hebrews 12:15–17)

2.          Esau, being wicked violated these basic rules that are important for every man to follow:

a.       Do not "cherish an ancient enmity" (Ezekiel 35:5)

b.      Do not "act revengefully" (Ezekiel 25:12–14)

c.       Do no act "violently towards your brother" (Obadiah 10–14)

d.      Do not say of your brother's life “Tear it down! Tear it down! Down to its foundations!”" (Psalm 137:7)

e.      Do not betray and "give him over to the power of the sword at the time of his calamity, at the time of his final punishment;" (Ezekiel 35:5)

f.        Do not covet your brother's wealth: and say, "his two nations [ie. Israel and Judah] will be mine, and we will possess them" (Ezekiel 35:10)

g.       Do not rejoice over your brother becoming financially desolate" (Ezekiel 35:15)

h.      Do not “stood aloof, On the day that strangers carried off your brother's wealth"  (Obadiah 10–14)

i.         Do not "gloat over your brother’s day of misfortune and destruction; Yes, do not boast In the day of their distress. (Obadiah 10–14)

j.        Do not “enter the house of your brother and steal his property in the day of his disaster. (Obadiah 10–14)

k.       Do not "loot your brother's wealth In the day of his disaster. (Obadiah 10–14)

l.         Do not "stand at the fork of the road To cut down their fugitives; And do not imprison their survivors In the day of their distress." (Obadiah 10–14)

m.    Do not "set your brother's spiritual temple on fire when he is devastated by the devil." (1 Esdras 4:45)

n.      Do not be "arrogant in your heart thinking you are morally superior to your brother and that his disaster can never fall upon you." (Jeremiah 49:16–18)

3.          Edom is an example for Christians today of what happens when you have unbridled hatred for another person: God destroys you and you go into extinction!

a.       Where is Edom today? Gone forever, like every wicked man.

b.      "But the wicked will perish; And the enemies of the Lord will be like the glory of the pastures, They vanish—like smoke they vanish away." (Psalm 37:20)

c.       "Let God arise, let His enemies be scattered, And let those who hate Him flee before Him. As smoke is driven away, so drive them away; As wax melts before the fire, So let the wicked perish before God." (Psalm 68:1–2)

d.      "Therefore they will be like the morning cloud And like dew which soon disappears, Like chaff which is blown away from the threshing floor And like smoke from a chimney." (Hosea 13:3)

e.      "let the rich man glory in his humiliation, because like flowering grass he will pass away. For the sun rises with a scorching wind and withers the grass; and its flower falls off and the beauty of its appearance is destroyed; so too the rich man in the midst of his pursuits will fade away." (James 1:10–11)

4.          Love your enemies or else you might find yourself destroyed by God!



1.          God created us and the Bible our manufacturers operation and repair manual

2.          Conflict between humans is common, it is to be expected.

3.          What is uncommon is someone who has the faith and wisdom to trust our creator for the solution and the humility to submit and obey God’s directives for perfect human interaction.

4.          The way you survive that hated relative is when you look to yourself and repent of your own sins in the way you are treating others in an unChrist-like way.


“But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, That shines brighter and brighter until the full day. The way of the wicked is like darkness; They do not know over what they stumble. ” (Proverbs 4:18-19)


By Steve Rudd: Contact the author for comments, input or corrections.


God's Pattern for Marriage in the Bible:

1.      Home Page: God's Pattern for Marriage in the Bible

2.      Ancient Jewish three stage Wedding customs

3.      Dating and Courtship

4.      Marriage myths

5.      Role, duty and responsibility of the husband

6.      Role, duty and responsibility of the wife

7.      Headship of the Husband over his wife

8.      Submission of the wife to her husband

9.      Husband's complaints about his wife

10.  Wife's complaints about her husband

11.  The pattern of sex on demand in marriage

12.  Marriage and Relationship counseling

13.  Parenting skills and the discipline of children


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