Kim Cash Tate: Why is forgiving ourselves so hard?
As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our
transgressions from us. Kim Cash Tate explores Psalm 103:12 as she takes her readers
down the path to God’s forgiveness and reconciliation in her newest novel, Cherished: A Novel of Unconditional Love (Women of Faith Fiction).
Readers will discover that God can still use them in spite of their worst choices. And
He doesn’t just forgive them, but they are truly cherished!
Q: Cherished centers around the theme of forgiveness—forgiveness for ourselves and for others. Why do
you believe forgiveness has such a great impact on our lives?
Forgiveness has a great impact on our lives because it’s freeing. Prior to forgiving ourselves or others, we’re
bound by whatever the thing is that we’re holding onto. With regard to others, we may feel that we have a right to
hold onto the offense committed against us. We may even relish holding onto it. But in reality, it’s a prison of
bitterness. With regard to ourselves, it’s painful to think you can never get beyond the shame of what you’ve
done. But the Lord offers us freedom from the weight of sin through forgiveness. And when we forgive
ourselves and others, we experience that same sense of freedom. We’re able to truly put the past behind us and
walk in the newness of what’s ahead. Forgiveness has a great impact on our lives because we become more like
Christ when we forgive.
Q: In your novel, you look at your characters’ dreams for their futures. Some of those dreams are given
up only to be returned to them later. Other times, God changes the heart of the dreamer. How do you
think God can change our perspective as we grow to know Him?
God is certainly in the business of changing perspective. He totally changed my perspective as I grew to know
Him. He does it by aligning our hearts and minds with Him and His Word. Often, our view is skewed by our
own desires, our own thoughts as to our purpose in life, our own limitations as to what we think is possible, or
even the thoughts, plans, and ideas that others, such as our parents, may have instilled in us. But God has a
purpose for us that He worked out before the foundation of the world, and as we grow to know Him, He reveals it
Q: Your novels do not take away the consequences of the sins committed by your characters, yet your
readers are able to see God’s remarkable restoration. Do you believe that God can use anyone to bring
Him glory—no matter what sins they have committed in their pasts?
God can absolutely use anyone to bring Him glory, especially those who’ve committed the “greater sins.” His
work in the human heart is an absolute miracle. I know how far I lived from God. I wasn’t thinking about God or
how I could please Him. I was dead in my sins, as Ephesians tells us. And yet, He saved me and made me alive
through Christ. He made me a new creation. When a life is changed through Christ, that brings God glory. For
some, there’s a dramatic change. Perhaps the sin was so public or so dark or so heinous that people thought there
was no hope for the individual. But that person can be forgiven and changed like everyone else, and the glory
belongs to God.
Q: One of your characters has an affair with a married man in the church. Why do you think it was
difficult for Christians in the church to view her as changed and to forgive her?
We have our own ideas as to which sins are greater and which are lesser. The sin of adultery tends to be viewed
as one of the greater sins, and if someone is “the other woman,” it’s hard to forgive the pain and hardship she had
a hand in inflicting on the marriage. If we forgive her, we may feel that we’ve betrayed the wife. Or we may feel
that we’re ignoring the seriousness of what occurred. But all of our righteousness is as filthy rags. There’s not
one of us who has the right to decide that someone’s sin is outside the realm of forgiveness. Thank God! What
an awesome God who freely forgives and casts our sins as far as the east is from the west. He’s much freer with
forgiveness than we are.
Q: Kelli hid the sin she had committed from her entire family and shouldered her guilt alone as so many
Christians do. What freedom do you think is experienced from bringing our mistakes out into the open?
When we keep the sin hidden, it holds power over us. She had already asked God’s forgiveness, but it still
loomed large in her eyes. The shame loomed large, and it accused her. It also weighed on her. The enemy can
do a lot of damage when we struggle alone. But when we bring it out in the open, there’s freedom in gaining the
support we didn’t think we’d have. There’s freedom in gaining counsel. There’s freedom when others share truth
with us from God’s Word to erase the lies the enemy told us when we were alone. Often, when we bring things
out in the open, we find out that others we know have struggled with the same thing. We were meant to dwell
together as a body, to support, encourage, and love on each other. There’s immense freedom in operating as a
Q: Do you believe that there is anything we can do to earn God’s love and forgiveness or anything we can
do to lose it? Does He truly cherish us?
There is nothing we could possibly do to earn God’s love and forgiveness. “There is none righteous, not even
one” (Romans 3:10). There is nothing good that dwells in us (Romans 7:18). We were dead in trespasses and
sins, walking according to the prince of the power of the air when God, “being rich in mercy, because of His great
love with which He loved us” (Ephesians 2:4), made us alive together with Christ. It is “by grace you have been
saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should
boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). God, because of His grace and mercy, grants His love and forgiveness freely. And just
as we cannot earn His love and forgiveness, we cannot lose it. In terms of forgiveness, those sins are cast away as
far as the east is from the west. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to
cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). And in terms of His love: “For I am convinced that neither
death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor
depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our
Lord” (Romans 8:38-39). That is some serious CHERISHING!
Q: What is the purpose of the ministry you founded—Colored in Christ?
The purpose of the ministry is to encourage people to color their lives with the perspective of Christ. Our lives
shouldn’t reflect Christ on Sunday morning only. Our entire lives, minds, and perspectives should be transformed
by the power of Christ. If we filter all of life through that Christ-lens, we will glorify God and fulfill our purpose
on the earth.
Q: What would you like your readers to take away from reading Cherished?
I would love for readers to walk away from Cherished with a freeing picture of God’s unconditional love for
them, no matter what they’ve done or where they’ve been. I want them to know that God can still use them, that
He wants to use them, as a marvelous trophy of His grace.