I’d like to welcome the terrific Tamera Lynn Kraft as our guest this week. Her picture alone should bring a smile to your face.
Forgiveness Isn’t Easy
Mark 11:25 (ESV) And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
A close friend decided to ghost me. She stopped being my friend, ignored me, and wouldn’t say why. Once in the grocery store, she saw me and darted to the next aisle to avoid saying hi. Ouch! Then she started to tell others lies about me. Though I knew God commanded me to forgive, doing so didn’t feel fair.
My unforgiveness had put me in prison. I stayed awake at night worrying about what she had done. Every time I went to church, I would wonder who she told lies about me to. Who believed the lies? Worse yet, it affected my worship and my devotional time. It seemed there was a wall separating me from the presence of God that I couldn’t breakthrough.
Then I remembered all the times I’ve sinned against God and others, including when I wasn’t remorseful. Jesus forgave me of so much—every evil thought, wayward action, and rebellion I’ve done since my birth. That’s a lot, and He longs for me to reveal His love and grace in how I respond to others.
How can I hold back forgiveness from this woman when I’ve been forgiven so much? To hold an offense against someone and expect God to forgive me is arrogant and prideful, another sin I need to be forgiven of. I might not be able to restore the relationship, but I could keep the hurt of what she has done from affecting my life and my relationship with others and with God. And I could pray for her. She has to be carrying pain from the past to do this to someone she cared for. We all need God’s mercy and grace.
Forgiveness comes more easily when I consider Christ’s forgiveness, grace, and mercy toward me. I asked for God’s help and chose to forgive my ex-friend. Though the relationship didn’t heal, God healed my hurt from the broken friendship. Trusting my friends not to do this to me again took a little, but God taught me how to open myself again to share love and receive love.
In my latest novel, LOST IN THE STORM, Lavena has a hard time forgiving her father of his sins. As in our lives, it affects every area of her life and her relationships with God and others. If we don’t forgive, we are the ones who suffer most.
I’d like to thank all three of my guests the past week: Erin Unger, Carol Raj, and Tamera Lynn Kraft. If you have any interest in being a guest, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I don’t accept only authors. In fact, the only qualification is you have to be a Christian wanting to help other Christians.
Book Blurb for Lost in the Storm; Book 2 of the Ladies of Oberlin by Tamera Lynn Kraft:
Will war bring them love or will they be Lost in the Storm?
Lavena, a journalist during the Civil War, wants to become a war correspondent. She finally gets her chance, but there’s a catch. She has to get an interview from a war hero who has refused to tell his story to every other journalist, and she has to accomplish this impossible task in a month or she’ll lose her job.
Captain Cage, the war hero, has a secret that will destroy his military career and reputation. Now, a new journalist is trying to get him to tell what he’s been hiding. He wants to ignore her, but from the moment she came into camp, he can’t get her out of his mind.
Leading up to the turbulent Battles for the city of Chattanooga, will Lavena and Cage find the courage to love and forgive, or will they be swept away by their past mistakes that don’t want to stay buried?
Meet the Ladies of Oberlin, the causes they’re willing to fight for, and the men who capture their hearts.
Purchase the book at:
Tamera Lynn Kraft Bio:
Award-Winning Author Tamera Lynn Kraft has always loved adventures and writes Christian historical fiction set in America because there are so many adventures in American history. She is married to the love of her life, has two grown children, and lives in Akron, Ohio.
Tamera is the leader of a ministry called Revival Fire For Kids where she mentors other children’s leaders, teaches workshops, and is a children’s ministry consultant and children’s evangelist. She has curriculum published and is a recipient of the 2007 National Children’s Leaders Association Shepherd’s Cup for lifetime achievement in children’s ministry.