Perhaps you have heard about the father who introduced his children in the following manner. Or perhaps this is what happened to you. The father said, "This is Pete. He's the clumsy one of the lot." "That's Kathy coming in with mud on her shoes. She's the sloppy one!" "As always, Mike's last. He'll be late for his own funeral, I promise you." That dad did a thorough job of labeling his children with their faults and mistakes. Sadly, people do it to us and to those we love all the time. They remind us of our failures, our errors, our sins, and they won't let us live them down. Perhaps we do it so that we feel better about ourselves. We see others with their faults and failures and we see ourselves in a better light. Sadly, this labeling only creates a false image – of the other as well as one self. Try as you may to free yourself from the past, there are people who will continue to remind you of it. But I say to you this day, you have a chance to begin again. We can recognize that our God has forgiven us our past faults, failures and sins. We are renewed in life and in spirit. We trust that. We rely on that. We believe that. When we don't let people forget their past, when we don't forgive, we label people with those mistakes. We refuse to see them as more than the sum total of their errors. On the other hand, when we forgive, we gently pry the doer of the hurtful deed away from the deed itself, and we say that the past is just that – past – over and done with. As you ponder the readings of this week, what labeling have you done to another? What labeling have you done on yourself? What in your past needs to be placed there for all times? Forgiveness is a key to helping us see others and ourselves in the right light.