It also offers numerous opportunities to respond in a negative way.
If someone kept a record (and I fear very much that Someone really is), on a good day my score would be about 50% Godly responses and 50% negative responses. These percentages take into account the phenomenon of ignoring Mom's irritating or hurtful remarks, tallying those on the negative end of the spectrum. A few years ago the Lord led me to the understanding that ignoring a wrongdoing is not the same as responding in love. A love response requires action; a loving action.
So when Mom makes a rude remark about the intelligence of someone who wears a shirt with hearts all over it even though Valentine's Day was WAY back in February ("that's kind of dumb of you, isn't it?") it is not loving for me to feign deafness and ignore her (ok, I admit it, that's what I did). This response might be better than snapping some rude comment back at her, but it does not acknowledge her attempt at conversation (Alzheimer patients know they are losing ground cognitively and look for opportunities to display knowledge--Mom was showing me she knew my shirt was not seasonal). It would have been kinder for me to have laughed and said, "You are absolutely right. Tomorrow I'll try to find something more appropriate!"
But I didn't. Sigh.
Here are the Scriptures I've looked up today from The Voice version of the Bible, newly available at Biblegateway. I hope they bless and challenge you as they did me:
Put up with one another. Forgive. Pardon any offenses against one another, as the Lord has pardoned you, because you should act in kind.
Jesus says to declare forgiveness of those who have wronged us. This is because forgiveness of other people emulates God’s forgiveness of us. If you forgive people when they sin against you, then your Father will forgive you when you sin against Him and when you sin against your neighbor.