Author: Pamela Gilsenan (Colorado, US)
My family and friends enjoy the scarves I knit for them. I try to find the softest yarn in wonderful colours to make their gifts. The yarn comes in twisted skeins but needs to be rolled into balls to prevent tangles. Sometimes as I roll it, the yarn still seems to tangle. If I tug hard on the tangle, it creates a knot that is almost impossible to remove. But if I am gentle, taking care to notice what’s causing the problem, the potential knots almost untangle themselves.
Sometimes my relationships also seem to tangle without cause, all but closing off communication with the people I care about. I have to remember in that moment the words from Proverbs: ‘A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.’
So when I have been offended by someone I care about, I try to slow down and look at that ‘tangle’ as a potential ‘knot’ in our relationship. That keeps me from answering with harsh words or an angry tone of voice.
How we respond in hurtful situations makes a difference in our connection with other people and with God. When we heed the words of Proverbs 15:1, we give our relationships a better chance to flourish and to enrich our lives.
Prayer: Dear Lord, help us to model your loving-kindness in our responses to others. Put a guard on our mouths so that we don’t hurt others or ourselves. Amen