Jesus said, "You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, 'You shall not murder'; and 'whoever murders shall be liable to judgment.' But I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be liable to judgment; and if you insult a brother or sister, you will be liable to the council; and if you say, 'You fool,' you will be liable to the hell of fire. So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift. Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are on the way to court with him, or your accuser may hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison. Truly I tell you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny." Matthew 5:21-26
Today is our 39th wedding anniversary. I cannot begin to count the times when I have said mean things to my dear Mark, only to follow him out the door, down the stairs, down the beach - where ever - to apologize. We are all flawed and vulnerable human beings, and I am the worst among them. Asking forgiveness, and giving that forgiveness had been crucial to our relationship. Loving others demands that we seek reconciliation and forgiveness whenever possible. Love grows in a climate of forgiveness and humility.
Jesus was teaching from the mountain side, encouraging people to take seriously how they treat one another. He never said, "love is never having to say you're sorry." Just the opposite, he encouraged reconciliation and humility in all of our lives. Our culture may prize winners but God prizes the humble and honest, those who can seek out forgiveness and forgive those who have hurt us.
Today, I ask God to help me be grateful in every moment. We have been truly blessed with the love of family and friends and a life time of joy. May we all be grateful today for the love we have been given, and be always ready to seek forgiveness and reconciliation today.