Proverbs 17:1 (NLT)
1 Better a dry crust eaten in peace than a house filled with feasting—and conflict.

This is a wise verse from King Solomon. Solomon states that it would be better for a person to eat alone with a dry piece of bread crust than to eat in a household filled with feasting and with conflict. This is a simple lesson for many to understand.

If you have ever seen Christmas Vacation you probably remember the family gathering for a Christmas meal. One member has gotten senile and brings a cat wrapped up in a box. Cousin Eddie has arrived with his RV and is causing the Griswold’s all kinds of grief and concern. There are many negative comments thrown back and forth at each of the family members. Because of the way Clark handled getting a tree, a squirrel gets loose in the house and caused chaos. The whole family gets into an uproar. And Cousin Eddie who is unpredictable, kidnaps Clark’s boss because he didn’t pay out a bonus this year. It is a feast filled with conflict. No one is getting to enjoy Christmas because of all the events that are taking place. It is putting a strain on everyone’s relationships. And this is not the first year for their problems; it seems it has become a tradition where problems are repeated each year. Family gathering are meant to be joyful! They are a time to renew fellowship with each other. And Christmas in particular is a time when joy and peace should abound. Yet there are families who will continue to have Christmas family gatherings knowing the day will end in conflict and bitterness. The problems have gone on so long it is just expected someone is going to get angry, someone is going to fuss, someone is going to get their feelings hurt, and someone will walk way with broken fellowship. Instead families should seek to resolve conflict. They should do their best to put away differences, put away their dislikes, put away their hatred and come to terms with it in a way they can participate in a family dinner without problems. Christmas should be a time of joy and peace. Are there family conflicts you need to resolve? Pray that God would lead you with the words to say to family members. Put away your pride and be humble and accepting of other family members. Ask that God would make this year a new year filled with joy and peace.