Proverbs 15: What are you bringing to Thanksgiving?
"Better is a dinner of vegetables where love is than a fatted ox and hatred with it." (v. 17)
Sometimes Proverbs throws us a total curve-ball and says something we weren't expecting. "Better is a dinner of vegetables where love is than a fatted ox and hatred with it." (v. 17)
Now understand that especially in Solomon's time, a meal of meat was something to be extremely thankful for and to savor. Meat offered the most amount of calories, fat, and everything people in those days would need as they worked hard jobs in the fields. It was not usually a daily occurrence that one would eat meat. Just that alone should help you read the Bible with more open eyes!
That's why the line in verse 17 is so stunning! A dinner of only vegetables in that time was obviously nowhere near a feast with a fatted ox. Or, to put it into 21st century American culture - it would be like bringing a Kale salad for your Thanksgiving feast when you we're asked to bring the bird!!! Who would think this is a good thing?!?! Everyone would be disappointed. And yet...
There's something even worse.
Having a nice Thanksgiving meal with all the fix-ins but conversations of hatred as a side dish is worse than scarfing down a Kale salad as the main course!
I have a funny feeling this year we're going to be more tempted than ever to say hateful things to those in our family. (I recognize most of us may not be having in-person Thanksgiving dinners, but you'll forgive me)
Thanksgiving has the potential to be white hot with anger for some of us.
And yet, where can wisdom be found in the midst of our insane and heated political rhetoric?
Proverbs 15 continues to help us...
"The mind of the righteous ponders how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil." (v. 28)
Friends, you have a choice this year. I'm not saying don't have difficult conversations, but I would strongly encourage you to "ponder how to answer." Seek empathy in your responses. Ask yourself... "What must life be like for this person?" Try to imagine what is fueling the mindsets of those who differ with you, and always point each other back to things that are good, wholesome, worthwhile, encouraging, and loving. Easier said than done, but it is the way of wisdom.