Talking Turkey?

1 Corinthians 13:1

Speak your words in love.

You’ve probably heard the stories about the Pilgrims and their encounters with Massasoit and company, about the first Thanksgiving and planting corn with fish carcasses in the soil. You know the stories.

And you’ve probably heard that some of those stories aren’t quite right the way they’ve been passed down, that the Pilgrims didn’t sit around wearing buckles on their shoes and eating a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.

I’ve recently read a good bit about those early European imports to what would become Massachusetts, so I’ve heard the stories and the counter stories as well. There’s enough complexity and confusion in this matter to keep historians arguing for generations, but I have gleaned one intriguing truth.

When those English Pilgrims first showed up at Plymouth and first encountered the Native Americans–okay, except for the very first time when they all shot at each other–the Pilgrims treated the Natives with something like love. The leaders of the group were devout Christians, and they understood Christ’s emphasis on loving others–friends and enemies alike.

The words spoken by those first arrivals, despite mistakes and exceptions, were generally spoken against a backdrop of love, and that helps to account for the peace that persisted for years between the English and Massasoit’s people.

Unfortunately, those love-backed words did not persist. Eventually words began to flow against a backdrop of greed and mistrust and racism. We can’t fix that today, but we can do our best to speak our words in love.

  • When was the last time that you spoke words that were not rooted in love? What were they rooted in?
  • What results do you obtain when your words are not spoken in love? Consider a specific example?
  • Pray this week that God will help you to make love–even for those difficult to love–the basis of all your talk.