Welcome to my 10 Day Book Tour. I love to read, and I am often given books to read for review. Over the last year, I determined that I didn’t want to turn my blog into a book review site. However, I can’t help that I LOVE books. I truly do. They add so much value to my life, because I learn from them and glean new perspectives from the authors who put their hearts to the page. So, I’ve decided that each quarter, I’m going to do a 10 Day Book Tour. What have I been reading, what do I honestly think about the book, and to whom I would recommend it. Each day, for ten days, you will get a peak into my bookshelf.
DAY TWO: MOVING ON by Ruth Ann Batstone
I think we have all been there. Those moments in our life where some sort of offense has been done to us that is hard to get over. It may haunt us, replaying over in our minds. It may be forgotten, temporarily, until something sparks that memory to return.
So many of us can find ourselves in that place where we can forgive, but it’s the forgetting part that isn’t quite so easy. How can we move on, when we are holding on to the offense? What does it even mean to move on?
Moving on is something that I can struggle with. I almost can’t help myself from replaying the situation in my head. In some instances, it is an eager attempt to figure out what went wrong, was I at least partly culpable, was there misunderstanding, how could we have handled things better. I’m a fixer by nature, but I have learned that it takes two people willing to fix the problem. At a conference last year, the speaker shared with us that forgiveness and reconciliation are two separate things. Forgiveness actually requires only one person, but reconciliation requires two.
But that left me wondering how to move on when there isn’t reconciliation? How to move on when there is no closure? How to move on when perhaps the other person hasn’t and keeps inviting you back into the fray? And… how to move on when the person who isn’t forgiving is ME… and even harder… when the person I can’t forgive is myself?
What I love about this book is that it starts right out of the gate, in the Introduction, to get our heads in the right space. A series of questions to help us identify if we are holding onto unforgiveness, and what was the root of that unforgiveness is. Then moves quickly into the next question that helps us identify how we respond when we are hurt by someone.
Moving On is a short book, but an important book. The book is filled with examples of real life scenarios, that readers can relate to. More importantly, the book spends more time helping us self examine our own unforgiveness, what that does to us, how we can get beyond it. To truly be able to move on, beyond forgive and forget, we have to recognize those bitter roots of unforgiveness for what they are. We recognize how valuable forgiving and being forgiven is in our lives and relationships… even if it is painful and uncomfortable.
Batstone then goes right to the heart of the scriptures, God’s redemptive plan for His people. We are reminded of all the times were God’s people wronged the Lord, yet they were forgiven and their sins forgotten, blotted out, cast to the bottom of the sea. We learn of restoration and reconciliation to our God, from the worst of our offenses.
If God can forgive me, for all that I have done against Him and His desires…
If I am to be Christlike, that means I also have to forgive like God.
The rest of the books explores our response to offense, such as anger and seeking revenge. The difficulties & importance in forgiving not just the every day sinner, but also those monsters who cause the most hurt. And, what it will actually cost US when we choose to not forgive.
I appreciate that in the last two chapters, Batstone addresses what forgiveness IS NOT. We can forgive and even forget, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t accountability or retribution that has to take place. She also addresses what forgiveness IS… and it’s value to the “growing Kingdom of God.”