Like lots of sports fans I have two conflicting images from recent weeks.
I freely admit that I couldn't quite believe it when Luis Suarez "allegedly" bit yet another member of the opposition after a horror strewn yet quite brilliant couple of years, and yesterday I was really touched and felt the hurt of Mark Cavendish when he had that terrible accident in the lovely Yorkshire Dales stage of the Tour de France.
What struck me about both events was the way the two individuals reacted to them. The mealy mouthed half breathed apology from Luis Suarez, days after insisting that he "fell" into Giorgio Chiellini leaves a bad taste behind. Here is someone, unable to admit to anyone, perhaps even himself that he has caused injury to others. He may be a fine footballer, but as a human being.... I am not sure that he holds the same high standard.
Mark Cavendish almost immediately afterwards - whilst dealing with the pain of a dislocated shoulder and ligament damage said straight away... "It was my fault, I take full responsibility and shall be apologising to the other riders".
Saying sorry, being honest about the kind of people we are and the hurt we cause others is fundamental to the Christian faith and living fruitful, honest congruent lives.
Today's passage from the New Testament speaks of Jesus saying that the "yoke" or load which he offers is easier than the one you bear already. Why? Because His yoke has at the centre of it, a message of offering forgiveness and seeking repentance. Of saying "sorry" and being prepared to offer the same to others - freely give, freely receive.
I just want to challenge you this week to be aware of every slight, every hurt you either cause or receive, and then consciously offer, or ask for forgiveness.
I do not wish to comment on Elton John's fine song, sorry may be the hardest word, but it is also the first step towards healing.