Be merciful as you endeavor to understand others, and be compassionate, showing kindness toward all. Be gentle and humble unoffendable in your patience with others. Tolerate the weaknesses of those in the family of faith, forgiving one another in the same way you have been graciously forgiven by Jesus Christ. If you find fault with someone, release this same gift of forgiveness to them. For love is supreme and must flow through each of these virtues. Colossians 3:12-14TPT

According to new research, the average American can spend about 3 hours and 54 minutes with extended family during the holidays before they need a break! While 95% of those surveyed believe it’s important to spend this time with family, 40% say it can be stressful.

Past pain and toxic family relationships can set the stage for miserable holidays. Nursing and sometimes even cherishing old injury throws the door wide open for the enemy to walk in and take a seat at the head of your family Thanksgiving dinner table.

Breaking old pain cycles and sin patterns embedded in your family line is no easy task. But repentance and forgiveness are your most effective tools for disrupting generational sin cycles and unhealthy relationships. Though forgiveness can be your greatest challenge, it can also be your greatest reward! 

Consider Joseph who had good reason to hold his brothers in unforgiveness after they sold him into slavery. Instead he chose to let go of offense and injury, thereby enacting one of the most pivotal forgiveness events in the Old Testament. His choice to take his brothers off his hook and release them into God’s hand placed him in cooperation and compliance with God’s plan to establish, prosper and redeem the nation of Israel.

Forgiveness begins at home! Building unity through love and right alignment with God and one another can change the destiny of your family line. By the same token, withholding forgiveness and perpetuating sin patterns may have unforeseen and far-reaching consequences for generations to come.

Maybe this is the year to start a new Thanksgiving tradition. Consider expressing your gratitude to God for the family He has given you. This may be your family of origin, adoptive family, faith family or family of friends. Find something to be thankful for in each one, especially the one who gets under your skin.

Imagine what it would be like to experience genuine freedom and joy with your family this holiday season. Let this be a year to take them off your hook and turn them over to God instead.

What areas of unforgiveness might be hindering the health of your family line?

What is one important area of forgiveness you might undertake this Thanksgiving?


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