I love the title: Forgiving Others, Forgiving Me. When we learn how to do both of those things, we find life works much better. I recently asked Renee some questions about her book:
Arlene: As Christians, we are taught that we need to forgive others. Why is forgiving ourselves also important?
Renee: I believe it’s sometimes more important because we don’t realize it’s the same process as asking God to help us forgive someone else. This time it’s you. Both can equally upset and equally cause us to sin if we’re not careful (or choose not to forgive).
Arlene: In the book, you point out that forgiveness is a personal process. We should not judge how someone else handles forgiveness. Yet are there ways to help others in their journey?
Renee: There are plenty of ways we can encourage someone to forgive. The first step is talking to them one on one. Instead of going behind their back or giving them unsoliticed advice (both never work by the way!), you can ask him or her what is wrong and if you can help. The best help we can give that we most often forget is to PRAY for the person. Prayer changes things.
Arlene: Why is it unhealthy when we hold on to grudges?
Renee: As I say in my book, “un-forgiveness kills.” A grudge can start small and turn into a monster of sin if we’re not careful. What starts with bitterness can end in a broken or non-existant relationship if we’re not careful. Feelings are not always fact and emotions often lie. The battle begins in the mind, and if we don’t take our thoughts captive we can reap the repercussions of that in our own body, heart, and mind if we’re not careful.
Renee is known as the Devotional Diva and her mission in life is to “spur others forward” (Hebrews 10:24). One personal fun fact: my husband James who is a realtor sold Renee and her husband their first home!