Forgiveness can be illustrated as letting go of any wrongs that others may have done to us. There is usually a temptation for one to hold on to grudge when wronged and this can greatly affect one’s health, and even the soul since anger slowly leads to stress. Forgiving, therefore, creates peace of mind and soul. One notable quote on virtues of forgiveness, as put by Bernard Meltzer, states that:

When you forgive, you in no way change the past but you sure do change the future.

Once in a while, you will come across people who will hurt your feelings where this can, at times, be terribly painful. However, you should not dwell on such since withholding your wounded feelings will just torment you internally, and you may even end up hurting others in revenge. In such situations, you should opt for forgiveness and benefit from virtues like joy, love, kindness and peace.

Forgiveness by God

Man is naturally sinful, and this is the reason why people pray to God for forgiveness. For one to make peace with God, he must make peace with himself and his friends as put in Mathew 6: 14-15 which states

For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Steps to forgiveness

It is common for people to be born with gifts, but forgiveness is a gift that we can offer ourselves. In fact, believers take refusal to forgive as a sin. Steps to forgiveness can be summarized as follows:

  • Acknowledge the inner pain
  • Express your emotions in un-harmful ways like writing them down
  • Understand the other person’s point of view
  • Forgive yourself and then the other person

Many people may not realize this but reaping the virtues of forgiveness requires a bold soul as one Mahatma Gandhi put it,

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.

This is so because forgiving can at times be more painful than the pain that was inflicted by the person you are planning to forgive. To make this easier, you should understand that holding on to grudge or anger is like having poison and this will slowly mess up your life. If you can face the person involved, simply write down your feelings and burn the paper.

56 Short and Wise Words (in less than 80 Characters)

Forgotten is forgiven.

F. Scott Fitzgerald

Forgiveness is God’s command.

Martin Luther

There is no forgiveness in nature.

Ugo Betti

God will forgive me. It’s his job.

Heinrich Heine

Life is an adventure in forgiveness.

Norman Cousins

Forgiveness is the sweetest revenge.

Isaac Friedmann

Forgiveness is a virtue of the brave.

Indira Gandhi

Forgiveness is the final form of love.

Reinhold Niebuhr

Without forgiveness, there’s no future.

Desmond Tutu

Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself.

Suzanne Somers

Forgiveness means letting go of the past.

Gerald Jampolsky

One forgives to the degree that one loves.

Francois de La Rochefoucauld

Forgiveness is love in its most noble form.


Forgiveness is the key to action and freedom.

Hannah Arendt

How unhappy is he who cannot forgive himself.

Publilius Syrus

There is no revenge so complete as forgiveness.

Josh Billings

Forgive, son; men are men; they needs must err.


Nothing inspires forgiveness quite like revenge.

Scott Adams

We win by tenderness. We conquer by forgiveness.

Frederick William Robertson

Forgiveness is the needle that knows how to mend.


Forgive many things in others; nothing in yourself.


Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names.

John F. Kennedy

My desire is to be a forgiving, non-judgmental person.

Janine Turner

The glory of Christianity is to conquer by forgiveness.

William Blake

It is always easier to ask forgiveness than permission.

US Marine Proverb

Forgiveness is like faith. You have to keep reviving it.

Mason Cooley

Forgiveness leads to love, and love leads to forgiveness.

Darren L. Johnson

Forgiveness is the giving, and so the receiving, of life.

George MacDonald

Always forgive your enemies – nothing annoys them so much.

Oscar Wilde

It is easier to forgive an enemy than to forgive a friend.

William Blake

The first step in forgiveness is the willingness to forgive.

Marianne Williamson

Genuine forgiveness does not deny anger but faces it head-on.

Alice Duer Miller

Mutual forgiveness of each vice. Such are the Gates of Paradise.

William Blake

It takes one person to forgive, it takes two people to be reunited.

Lewis B. Smedes

It’s far easier to forgive an enemy after you’ve got even with him.

Olin Miller

I believe in the forgiveness of sin and the redemption of ignorance.

Adlai E. Stevenson

It is often easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission.

Grace Hopper

Forgiveness is a funny thing. It warms the heart and cools the sting.

William Arthur Ward

Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them.

Bruce Lee

Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.

Paul Boese

Forgiveness is a funny thing, it warms the hearts and cools the sting.

Peter Allen

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.

Mohandas Gandhi

Forgiveness is indifference. Forgiveness is impossible while love lasts.

Mary Chesnut

A mistake is always forgivable, rarely excusable and always unacceptable.

Robert Fripp

Acceptance and tolerance and forgiveness, those are life-altering lessons.

Jessica Lange

I deepen my experience of God through prayer, meditation, and forgiveness.

Marianne Williamson

Love is an act of endless forgiveness, a tender look which becomes a habit.

Peter Ustinov

A soft refusal is not always taken, but a rude one is immediately believed.

Alexander Chase

To sin offers repentance and forgiveness; not to sin offers only punishment.

Jose Bergamin

I’m currently in an interesting correspondence with a nun about forgiveness.

Julian Clary

Once a woman has forgiven her man, she must not reheat his sins for breakfast.

Marlene Dietrich

Thank you, God, for this good life and forgive us if we do not love it enough.

Garrison Keillor

God pardons like a mother, who kisses the offense into everlasting forgiveness.

Henry Ward Beecher

There is no love without forgiveness, and there is no forgiveness without love.

Bryant H. McGill

For my part I believe in the forgiveness of sin and the redemption of ignorance.

Adlai E. Stevenson

Reason to rule but mercy to forgive: The first is the law, the last prerogative.

John Dryden

68 More Quotes To Help You Understand Forgiveness

If there is something to pardon in everything, there is also something to condemn.

Friedrich Nietzsche

Forgive him, for he believes that the customs of his tribe are the laws of nature!

George Bernard Shaw

Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.

Mark Twain

The most imaginative people are the most credulous, for them everything is possible.

Alexander Chase

Man has two great spiritual needs. One is for forgiveness. The other is for goodness.

Billy Graham

Soon I realized that if beauty equalled forgiveness, I was never going to be forgiven.

Kevyn Aucoin

I shall be an autocrat, that’s my trade; and the good Lord will forgive me, that’s his.

Catherine the Great

Without forgiveness life is governed by… an endless cycle of resentment and retaliation.

Roberto Assagioli

Humanity is never so beautiful as when praying for forgiveness, or else forgiving another.

Jean Paul

Reversing your treatment of the man you have wronged is better than asking his forgiveness.

Elbert Hubbard

My desire is to stand up and brush myself off when I make mistakes and ask for forgiveness.

Janine Turner

The practice of forgiveness is our most important contribution to the healing of the world.

Marianne Williamson

More and more people care about religious tolerance as fewer and fewer care about religion.

Alexander Chase

When there’s that forgiveness present and compassion, it just helps you live so much easier.

Craig T. Nelson

Forgiveness really is so misunderstood, as well as the power it can release in an individual.

Jennifer O’Neill

The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness.

Honore de Balzac

Anger ventilated often hurries towards forgiveness; anger concealed often hardens into revenge.

Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton

Forgiveness isn’t about condoning what has happened to you or someone else’s actions against you.

Jennifer O’Neill

It is always the case that when the Christian looks back, he is looking at the forgiveness of sins.

Karl Barth

Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart.

Corrie Ten Boom

Never forget the three powerful resources you always have available to you: love, prayer, and forgiveness.

H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

He who has injured thee was stronger or weaker than thee. If weaker, spare him; if stronger, spare thyself.

Corrie Ten Boom

I would say the hierarchy has made terrible errors in judgment and it has to seek forgiveness by its members.

William P. Leahy

You will know that forgiveness has begun when you recall those who hurt you and feel the power to wish them well.

Lewis B. Smedes

When a machine begins to run without human aid, it is time to scrap it – whether it be a factory or a government.

Alexander Chase

He that cannot forgive others breaks the bridge over which he must pass himself; for every man has need to be forgiven.

Thomas Fuller

We are all instantly forgiven but in order to benefit from this forgiveness, we must in turn forgive others and ourselves.


Forgiveness is the economy of the heart… forgiveness saves the expense of anger, the cost of hatred, the waste of spirits.

Hannah More

If you wish to travel far and fast, travel light. Take off all your envies, jealousies, unforgiveness, selfishness and fears.

Cesare Pavese

Forgiveness is the remission of sins. For it is by this that what has been lost, and was found, is saved from being lost again.

Saint Augustine

It’s said in Hollywood that you should always forgive your enemies – because you never know when you’ll have to work with them.

Lana Turner

It is very east to forgive others their mistakes; it takes more grit and gumption to forgive them for having witnessed your own.

Jessamyn West

I do not bring forgiveness with me, nor forgetfulness. The only ones who can forgive are dead; the living have no right to forget.

Chaim Herzog

Sometimes I see myself fine, sometimes I need a witness. And I like the whole truth, but there are nights I only need forgiveness.

Dar Williams

What power has love but forgiveness In other words by its intervention what has been done can be undone. What good is it otherwise

William Carlos Williams

One can’t relive one’s life. Forgiveness is not what’s difficult; one’s always too ready to forgive. And it does no good, that’s obvious.

Louis-Ferdinand Celine

Forgiveness is the answer to the child’s dream of a miracle by which what is broken is made whole again, what is soiled is made clean again.

Dag Hammarskjold

I love my children. That will never change. I have prayed to them for forgiveness and hope that they will forgive me. I never meant to hurt them!!

Susan Smith

I have to ask Allah’s forgiveness and not get angry, because they come to me out of love, and it’s not fitting that I should turn to them in hatred.

Abdul Qadeer Khan

We are certain that there is forgiveness, because there is a Gospel, and the very essence of the Gospel lies in the proclamation of the pardon of sin.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon

On a level of simple personal survival, understanding and forgiveness are crucial… whether in an intimate personal relationship or on a global level.

Edward Albert

Grief and tragedy and hatred are only for a time. Goodness, remembrance and love have no end, and the Lord of life holds all who die and all who mourn.

George W. Bush

There is no justification without sanctification, no forgiveness without renewal of life, no real faith from which the fruits of new obedience do not grow.

Martin Luther

I discipline churchgoers with godly lessons and sharp words if they do not change their ways. My goal is to open their hearts so that they seek forgiveness.

William Brewster

If there are dreams about a beautiful South Africa, there are also roads that lead to their goal. Two of these roads could be named Goodness and Forgiveness.

Nelson Mandela

When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realised that the Lord doesn’t work that way so I stole one and asked Him to forgive me.

Emo Philips

Inner peace can be reached only when we practice forgiveness. Forgiveness is letting go of the past, and is therefore the means for correcting our misperceptions.

Gerald Jampolsky

All major religious traditions carry basically the same message, that is love, compassion and forgiveness the important thing is they should be part of our daily lives.

Dalai Lama

Forgiveness does not mean the cancellation of all consequences of wrong doing. It means the refusal on God’s part to let our guilty past affect His relationship with us.


And as I ask for your forgiveness, I also ask for your support to keep all things in perspective and keep all things in proportion. The good of nine years versus the bad.

John Rowland

Forgiveness is not always easy. At times, it feels more painful than the wound we suffered, to forgive the one that inflicted it. And yet, there is no peace without forgiveness.

Marianne Williamson

Well, I’ve never left my faith – but have I made a lot of mistakes? But was I fortunate that I was brought up in that Pentecostal church, where I heard about God’s love and God’s forgiveness.

Billy Ray Cyrus

When I am able to resist the temptation to judge others, I can see them as teachers of forgiveness in my life, reminding me that I can only have peace of mind when I forgive rather than judge.

Gerald Jampolsky

God’s forgiveness is the only thing. And, well, I take full responsibility for the adultery. It was my fault and, you know, no matter what went on, the man has to take responsibility; and I do.

Jim Bakker

I ask the people of Connecticut for their forgiveness, I should have paid more attention to people around me and people that I trusted but I am sorry for my actions and take full responsibility.

John Rowland

Holding on to anger, resentment and hurt only gives you tense muscles, a headache and a sore jaw from clenching your teeth. Forgiveness gives you back the laughter and the lightness in your life.

Joan Lunden

Forgiveness breaks the chain of causality because he who forgives you — out of love–takes upon himself the consequences of what you have done. Forgiveness, therefore, always entails a sacrifice.

Dag Hammarskjld

Christmas gift suggestions To your enemy, forgiveness. To an opponent, tolerance. To a friend, your heart. To a customer, service. To all, charity. To every child, a good example. To yourself, respect.

Oren Arnold

I can forgive, but I cannot forget, is only another way of saying, I will not forgive. Forgiveness ought to be like a cancelled note – torn in two, and burned up, so that it never can be shown against one.

Henry Ward Beecher

In the evening of life we shall be judged on love, and not one of us is going to come off very well, and were it not for my absolute faith in the loving forgiveness of my Lord I could not call on him to come.

Madeleine L’Engle

The principle that certain sins should not receive the Church’s testimony of forgiveness was probably no novelty at all, but had been applied in various churches; perhaps, however, with no strict consistency.

Robert Rainy

For me, forgiveness and compassion are always linked: how do we hold people accountable for wrongdoing and yet at the same time remain in touch with their humanity enough to believe in their capacity to be transformed?

Bell Hooks

The schools would fail through their silence, the Church through its forgiveness, and the home through the denial and silence of the parents. The new generation has to hear what the older generation refuses to tell it.

Simon Wiesenthal

How does one know if she has forgiven? You tend to feel sorrow over the circumstance instead of rage, you tend to feel sorry for the person rather than angry with him. You tend to have nothing left to say about it all.

Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Murder is unique in that it abolishes the party it injures, so that society has to take the place of the victim and on his behalf demand atonement or grant forgiveness; it is the one crime in which society has a direct interest.

W. H. Auden

If Jesus Christ was who He claimed to be, and He did die on a cross at a point of time in history, then, for all history past and all history future it is relevant because that is the very focal point for forgiveness and redemption.

Josh McDowell

You’ve just got to have a sense of respect for the person you have children with. Anger doesn’t help anybody. Ultimately you have to say forgiveness is important, and honoring what you had together is important. But it’s easy to say and harder to do.

Nicole Kidman

The best thing to give to your enemy is forgiveness to an opponent, tolerance to a friend, your heart to your child, a good example to a father, deference to your mother, conduct that will make her proud of you to yourself, respect to all men, charity.

Francis Maitland Balfour

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