I am excited to introduce you to my friend and author, Renee Fisher. She recently released her fourth book Forgiving Others, Forgiving Me. I know the mention of forgiveness arouses a variety of emotions within us, but we must strive to extend and receive forgiveness in a way that honors God. Renee has written a wonderful resource that enables us to do so. I believe her words will encourage and inspire those who seek to forgive others (and themselves) as God has forgiven them.
Would you join me in welcoming Renee by leaving her a comment below? Feel free to share with her your thoughts on forgiveness~ for example, is forgiveness a big deal? In what type of situations do you find it easier to forgive? In what situations do you find it difficult to forgive? We would love to hear from you and enjoy our interview!
Tracy: Welcome Renee! Tell us a little bit about yourself:
I’m the loudest and most outgoing introvert you will ever meet! I thought I would become a high school math teacher, but really–God had other plans for me to become a writer. Because of the health issues and heartbreak’s I’ve experienced I love to share my story. I’m just blessed to be able to share some of that with you today! After being single for my entire 20’s, God brought Marc into my life and we got married and adopted the coolest pit bull/boxer mix ever named Star!
Tracy: How did you come to write on the challenging topic of forgiveness?
When I was 19, I moved to Texas to become a missionary and learn how to write through Ambassadors For Christ (a 9 and a half month long Discipleship Training School). Only problem was, my health wasn’t cooperating and I had to move home because my eczema spread and took the skin off my hands. From that moment on, I knew I had to forgive myself, and God (although He doesn’t need my forgiveness), otherwise I’d never find the freedom I so desperately was searching for. I’m 31 now and after four revisions and much more heartache and health issues I now know what it means to experience true forgiveness (both for others including myself).
Tracy: What is your favorite example of forgiveness mentioned in Scripture?
Matthew 5:23-24 that says, “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.” (NIV). My whole life I assumed it meant if someone hurt YOU, not if you hurt them. That was so powerful that I realized I had a lot of confessing to do. Even though the other person may NEVER EVER EVER say they’re sorry, I still needed to own up to the hurt I had caused in other people’s lives. So powerful!
Tracy: I know that God forgives me of my sin, and commands me to forgive others. I find that forgiving someone who will not make things right or apologize for hurting me is a challenge. Do you have any advice as to how I should handle this?
This is still a challenge for me too. In my book, “Forgiving Others, Forgiving Me” I write, “Remember, the only person you have control over is yourself. The only attitude you can control is your own. We can’t control what other people do, how they act, or what they feel. We can only make choices for ourselves.” I had to give up a lot of my pride to admit and take it a step further and decide to live that passage out. No matter how much the other person hurt me, I had to take responsibility for my life–even if it was just 1% I was supposedly “guilty” of. That’s when I went to God and asked him to help me grieve over my sin, no matter how small (or big). The more I saw myself in light of God–the more I was able to have mercy and forgive those who sinned against me.
Tracy: What is the main takeaway or message you want readers to come away with from Forgiving Others, Forgiving Me?
OVERCOMING. IS. POSSIBLE.
Tracy: What is one aspect of a person’s relationship with Christ that will be strengthened by reading this book?
Prayer! In my book I mention,“anguish leads to a powerful prayer life.” Maybe you’re praying about forgiving someone, but through the process you’ll often find that God changes you, your heart, and your life. It’s pretty amazing if you think about it!
Tracy: I heard that you have created a website where we can go to learn more about the book?
If you go to my new book website I created called www.forgivingme.com you can download the first Chapter for Free and a Free eBook that includes ALL the scriptures listed in my book on forgiveness. Plus you can look at some pretty cool pictures too.
My review of Forgiving Others, Forgiving Me:
What sets Renee’s book on forgiveness apart from others I’ve read is the tone and focus of her writing. I appreciate that she tackles a tough topic with authenticity and grace. In a conversational manner, Renee beautifully weaves scenes from the lives of Biblical characters such as Abraham, Joshua, Daniel, and Job, with her own stories of personal heartache and triumph.
While Renee discusses dealing with others and their willingness or hesitancy to extend forgiveness, her main emphasis is for us to turn the eyes of our hearts inward. I appreciate this, for I have a tendency to think forgiveness is a one way street. If someone has hurt me, then reconciliation is all on them. This book has challenged me on this way of thinking.
Forgiving Others, Forgiving Me helped me to learn how to forgive another person and myself in a way that honors God. I highly encourage you to grab a copy of this book from Amazon.com. I believe this book can also be used as a resource for group study as well.
Thank you Renee for sharing your heart with us today!
AUTHOR BIO: Renee Fisher, the Devotional Diva®, is the spirited speaker and author of Faithbook of Jesus, Not Another Dating Book, Forgiving Others, Forgiving Me, and Loves Me Not. A graduate of Biola University, Renee’s mission in life is to “spur others forward” (Hebrews 10:24) using the lessons learned from her own trials to encourage others in their walk with God. She and her husband, Marc, live in California with their dog, Rock Star.