I read about a researcher, who after observing hundreds of married couples, claimed he could accurately predict, in under 15 minutes, whether a couple would eventually get divorced. His prediction was not based on the amount they yelled, their family histories, traumas or bad decisions, but whether or not he observed contempt. It came down to how much residual anger he sensed between the couple in issues large and small. Praise God that I am blessed with a wonderful marriage. However, the research made me think about the other relationships in my life, especially in my leadership, where I don’t have a sacred vow, great children and a good family pushing me to work hard. Are there relationships in which contempt might be seeping in? Conflict is a part of life and can be constructive. But the anger I might be feeling, however justified I think it is, is actually preventing me from being the person I want to be and who God calls me to be. The lesson I keep trying to learn is that offering forgiveness helps me much more than the person whom I am forgiving. As we celebrate Valentine’s Day this week, let’s keep fighting and forgiving so that we can keep on finding God in each other.

by Daniel Cellucci

February 13, 2017

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