Q: Every year some people we used to work with invite us for Thanksgiving. We always go, but to be honest we dread it. We hardly know anyone, and they usually end up arguing about politics or something. Would it be wrong to call at the last minute and say we’re sick, so we could have Thanksgiving on our own? — L.S.
A: Yes, it would be wrong to do this, because you’d be lying — and lying is never right. Not only would you inconvenience your hosts, but in the long run you’d solve nothing; they still would probably invite you next year. One of the things the Lord hates, the Bible says, is “a lying tongue” (Proverbs 6:17).
You have two choices, it seems to me (other than to go and be miserable). The first choice is to accept — and then to go with a positive attitude. In other words, ask God to help you reach out and be a friend to those you’ll meet. Offer to bring food or help your hosts; express sincere interest in others; encourage them to tell what Thanksgiving means to them. Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” (Matthew 5:9).
Your other choice (if it’s not too late) is to politely decline the invitation, honestly saying that you have decided instead to celebrate this Thanksgiving as a family. Are there others (perhaps in your church) you could invite to be with you also on Thanksgiving — people who might otherwise be alone? The Bible says, “Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality” (Romans 12:13).
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Above all, no matter where you are this Thanksgiving, take time to reflect on God’s goodness to you, and to thank him for all his blessings. This is the true meaning of Thanksgiving.
Write “My Answer,” Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; or go to BillyGraham.org.