Struggling with Forgiveness
As Christians, we know if we repent our sins, our God is faithful and just, and He forgives our sins. We also know we are commanded to forgive those who sin against us. If God commands us to do these things, why do we find ourselves in situations where it is so hard to forgive? Especially when the one who has hurt us doesn’t seem to care? Or apologize? Even worse is when we’re hurt by family or someone who is supposed to love and care for us. I think we’ve all been there and have had to search deep within ourselves to find the strength to move forward. Most of us only need to be hurt once to know that we don’t want to open ourselves up to that kind of hurt again. But what if we forgive only to have someone hurt us again and again? What then?
God doesn’t want us to allow people to hurt us repeatedly. Just because we’re supposed to forgive, even in the absence of an apology, it doesn’t mean people have the right to take advantage of us. Sometimes, distance along with forgiveness is the only solution. Moving on and putting certain people in our past is the only way to protect ourselves. But there are times when we can’t do that. What if you work with this person? What if they are your family? Learning to get past it and move on is often not for the one who has hurt us, it is for us. Holding on to hurt and anger will slowly tear you apart and can even pull you away from God and weaken your faith. It’s something every Christian has struggled with, no matter who you are. We all have this in common. But what if someone is not a Christian? I can’t imagine the inner struggles and heartache that non-Christians go through.
In Ransom in Rio, Lexi faces the loss of her brother and the realization of a family secret that rips her apart. Her faith is weak and she isn’t sure what she’s going to do. What she goes through is something we can all relate to in one way or another. The only answer is forgiveness, but sometimes the journey to forgiveness is a long one. One thing I know from experience is that it doesn’t happen overnight. But when you find the will to forgive, your heart will have a peace that washes over it. It will free you from the pain, hurt, and anger that weighs your heart down. If you’re struggling with forgiving someone, I pray that you will continue to seek God’s will for you and find it in your heart to let your grievances go—even if it takes time.
Colossians 3:13—Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
A Chat with Theresa:
What inspired you to write Ransom in Rio?
Pelican Book Group began a new series call Passport to Romance. They provided a list of international settings to choose from, each with a list of three things that had to be written into the book. My husband had just returned from Rio on a business trip and had brought back pictures of this beautiful place. He spent two weeks there and learned a lot about the people and their culture. His pictures and stories inspired me to choose Rio. Hopefully, I’ll get to go someday!
What household task do you most dislike? Which do you most enjoy?
I dislike doing laundry! It never ends! You can’t get caught up no matter how hard you try. I love to cook. I love spending all day making a great meal for my family. It’s hard to do while working full-time, but on weekends and holidays, I love cooking their favorite meals and spending time together around the table. Cleaning up is another story!
Please share a verse of scripture that is especially meaningful to you, and why it is special.
Philippians 4:13 —I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
This is my favorite verse. It hangs framed in my office and is the screen saver on my phone. I have been through some hard times, like we all have, and when I feel like I can’t go on, I recite this verse and keep it close. This verse reminds me where my strength comes from. It is only through Him that we can endure the trials of this world.
About Ransom in Rio:
Private Investigator Braden McCoy wants nothing more than to finish out the week doing a little fishing from his boat. The ex-special ops vet enjoys his peaceful life and loves his new career. He’s learned to put his past behind him and enjoy his blessings. Until a mourning redhead walks into his office and changes his plans.
Lexi Ramos always knew her family was dysfunctional. Until the sudden death of her brother, she never knew exactly how much. Consumed with questions surrounding his accident, she seeks the help of a private investigator. What starts out as a murder investigation in Cozumel, quickly crosses borders and escalates into a race against time to save them both from Brazilian kidnappers, who somehow know more about her family secrets than she does. Lexi soon realizes that life comes with a price.
About Theresa Lynn Hall:
Theresa is an award-winning author of Christian Fiction. A native Texan, she loves to write suspenseful stories that happen in small Texas towns with old-fashioned Southern values. She’s an elementary teacher and mom to two boys—the oldest being in law enforcement, which comes in handy when she’s researching. When she’s not teaching kids or writing, she loves to cook, read a good suspense, and binge-watch episodes of Dateline. She loves to hear from readers and can be found at www.theresalynnhall.com and @theresalynnhall.