Monday, April 8, 2013

Responding to a Wrong

Taking care of a dementia patient offers regular opportunities to respond in a Godly way to being offended.

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:

Colossians 3:13
Put up with one another. Forgive. Pardon any offenses against one another, as the Lord has pardoned you, because you should act in kind.
Matthew 6:14
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.
Mark 11:25
When you pray, if you remember anyone who has wronged you, forgive him so that God above can also forgive you.
Ephesians 4:26 When you are angry, don’t let it carry you into sin. Don’t let the sun set with anger in your heart


  1. This is good for everyone, whether a caregiver or a worker in the church. So often I take the arrow to the heart rather than remember that the person doing the speaking may need extra consideration for one reason or another. Thanks for the reminder that we are responsible for our responses.
    Praying for you this day and that you might have a very special and blessed day with your mother.

  2. We are responsible for our actions. It is hard though.