What if I can't forget the past?

Communicating, listening, showing compassion, and emotional bonding are all things men in general need to work on. Holding grudges is one for the ladies. It can be wonderful to have a memory like an elephant when it comes to remembering anniversaries and distant relatives’ names. It can be an anger prison when your thoughts are dominated by old hurts.

Some person long ago invented the cliché forgive and forget. That’s impossible. You can’t expunge pain memories from your mind as though tapping the Delete key. The key to moving on is to learn how to forgive while remembering.

St. Paul has some splendid advice for grudge holders: “[Love] is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs” (1 Corinthians 13:5). In other words, you may indeed remember your partner’s old sins, but you can choose not to continue blaming him. It’s sort of like being a judge and ruling that the statute of limitations applies.

Choosing to keep no record of wrongs is learned behavior. You can do it.

Pastor Mark Jeske has been bringing the Word of God to viewers of Time of Grace since the program began airing in late 2001. A Milwaukee native, Pastor Jeske has served as the senior pastor at St. Marcus, a multicultural congregation on Milwaukee’s near north side since 1980. In addition, he is the author of six books and dozens of devotional booklets on various topics.

 

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