Are you looking for inspiration to heal, move on, and let go of the past and everything that’s holding you back? Well, we’ve compiled 73 inspirational and wise forgiveness quotes to help inspire you to choose to have a forgiving heart.
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Forgiveness doesn’t mean you’re okay with the wrong things they did. It doesn’t mean that you’ll forget their wrongdoings. And it certainly doesn’t have to mean reconciliation. In the simplest form, forgiveness frees you. It means choosing to move past everything that’s holding you back – hurt, disappointment, resentment, bitterness, revenge, and your life’s broken pieces.
And it doesn’t matter if they deserve your forgiveness or not, or whether they asked for your forgiveness or not. Forgiving those who wronged you, even if that’s yourself, is not about them. Forgiveness is all about you!
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Forgive People to Let Go of Negativity
Forgive people because you want to let go of the resentment, anger, and pain inside you. And once you have let go of all those difficult emotions and feelings, you’ll have a more open space to accept what’s good and better in your heart and life.
Now, no one will tell you that forgiving is an easy journey because it is not! It takes enough courage, of a lot of it. In fact, forgiveness is one of the hardest things to do. A human being is an emotional creature, which means pain and anger will have us longing to take revenge when we feel wronged.
But here are several of the best and most inspiring quotes about forgiveness, what forgiveness means, and why forgiveness is the better path to choose.
10 Forgiveness Quotes About Life People Need to Hear
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Forgiving someone who has done you wrong is easier said than done. But what does forgiveness really mean? How do you truly forgive someone? Can you? Should you?
These forgiveness quotes will help open your eyes to what it means to forgive and bring you to a powerful place of peace.
1. “It takes a strong person to say sorry, but it takes an even stronger person to forgive.” – Anonymous
2. “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” – Mahatma Gandhi
3. “There is no love without forgiveness, and there is no forgiveness without love.” – Bryant H. McGill
4. “Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.” – Mark Twain
5. “Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could have been any different.” – Oprah Winfrey
6. “You never know how strong your heart is until you learn to forgive who broke it.” – Anonymous
7. “To Forgive is to set a prisoner free and realize that the prisoner was you.” – Anonymous
8. “Grudges are for those who insist that they are owed something; forgiveness, however, is for those substantial enough to move on.” – Criss Jami
9. “The act of forgiveness takes place in our own mind. It really has nothing to do with the other person.” – Louise Hay
10. “Forgiveness is God’s greatest gift.” – Dan Brown
10 Forgiveness Quotes to Help You Find Compassion
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Forgiveness (and forgetting) seems an impossible thought to think while you’re hurting. But remember – forgiveness liberates and allows you to let go of your judgments and grievances and will enable you to move on and heal.
Although forgiveness seems impossible to you right now, these forgiveness quotes and messages will help you understand that while the process of forgiveness may be complicated, there is an immense payoff and untold peace in the end.
1. “Hating someone makes them important. Forgiving them makes them obsolete.” – Anonymous
2. “When you choose to forgive those who have hurt you, you take away their power.” – Anonymous
3. “To be wronged is nothing. Unless you remember it.” – Confucius
4. “Throughout life, people will make you mad, disrespect you, and treat you bad. Let God deal with the things they do, cause hate in your heart will consume you too.” – Will Smith
5. “Holding a grudge doesn’t make you strong; it makes you bitter. Forgiving doesn’t make you weak; it sets you free.” – Anonymous
6. “Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.” – C.S. Lewis
7. “Let no man pull you so low as to hate him.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
8. “Resentment is like drinking poison then hoping it will kill your enemies.” – Nelson Mandela
9. “Forgive others, not because they deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace.” – Jonathan Huie
10. “Forgive, forget. Bear with the faults of others as you would have them bear with yours.” – Phillips Brooks
10 Examples of Forgive Yourself Quotes
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Forgiving yourself is an act that will relieve you from the guilt and shame and take you towards the feelings of empathy and compassion towards yourself, your family, friends, and everyone else.
The art of genuine forgiveness is the hardest of all. As William Blake said, it is easier to forgive your enemy than a friend. And the funny thing is, it’s hardest to forgive yourself.
But these important words about forgiving yourself will guide you to the new beginning of self-forgiveness, self-acceptance, and self-love.
1. “How unhappy is he who cannot forgive himself.” – Publilius Syrus
2. “It is important that we forgive ourselves for making mistakes. We need to learn from our errors and move on.” – Steve Maraboli, author of Life, the Truth, and Being Free
3. “Forgive yourself and welcome love back into your life.” – Wayne Dyer
4. “We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love” – Martin Luther King Jr
5. “I think that if God forgives us, we must forgive ourselves. Otherwise, it is almost like setting up ourselves as a higher tribunal than Him.” – C.S. Lewis
6. “I have learned that the person I have to ask for forgiveness from the most is: myself. You must love yourself. You have to forgive yourself every day; whenever you remember a shortcoming, a flaw, you have to tell yourself, “That’s just fine.” You have to forgive yourself so much until you don’t see those things anymore. Because that’s what love is like.” – C. JoyBell C.
7. “The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.” – Steve Maraboli
8. “To be Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.” – C.S. Lewis
9. “As we know, forgiveness of oneself is the hardest of all the forgiveness.” – Joan Baez
10. “You forgive yourself for every failure because you are trying to do the right thing. God knows that, and you know it. Nobody else may know it.” – Maya Angelou
10 Examples of Love and Forgiveness Quotes
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True forgiveness comes from such a powerful place that it can turn hate into love. As long as you are ready and willing to open yourself to the broader experience of life. Put aside your anger and stop being a prisoner, free yourself from resentment and allow the inherent goodness of the world to shine.
Love and forgiveness go hand in hand and exist in a cycle. The more room you have in your life to love, the great your capacity for forgiveness can become. One feeds the other, and understanding this is the key to a peaceful, more forgiving way of life.
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The following love and forgiveness quotes are designed to show you just how important that single act can be and the long-lasting effect it can have on your life.
1. “Forgive yourself first. Release the need to replay a negative situation over and over again in your mind. Don’t become a hostage to your past by always reviewing and reliving your mistakes. Don’t remind yourself of what should have, could have, or would have been. Release it and let it go. Move on.” – Les Brown
2. “There are only two ways to have a peaceful conscience: Never do anything wrong or learn self-forgiveness (Pro tip: first way’s impossible).” – Elizabeth Gilbert
3. “Do as heavens have done, forget your evil; With them forgiven yourself.” – William Shakespeare
4. “The burden of regret can weigh us down heavily on our spiritual journey. The best way to release regret is to forgive ourselves.” – James Van Praagh
5. “It’s toughest to forgive ourselves. So, it’s probably best to start with other people. It’s almost like peeling an onion. Layer by layer, forgiving others, you really do get to the point where you can forgive yourself.” – Patty Duke
6. “Everyone makes mistakes. The wise are not the people who never make mistakes, but those who forgive themselves and learn from their mistakes.” – Ajahn Brahm
7. “To forgive is the highest, most beautiful form of love. In return, you will receive untold peace and happiness.” —Robert Muller
8. “The first to apologize is the bravest. The first to forgive is the strongest. And the first to forget is the happiest.” – Anonymous
9. “Sins cannot be undone, only forgiven.” – Igor Stravinksy
10. “Never forget the nine most important words of any family- I love you. You are beautiful. Please forgive me.” – H Jackson Brown Jr
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10 Quotes That Capture Why It’s Important to Forgive
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True forgiveness in life– it’s not a feeling nor an occasional act but rather a commitment. It’s a choice not to hold the offense up against someone. Sometimes, it can be an expression of love or compassion.
But they also say that forgiveness is about you, and it’s a gift that you can give to yourself. It doesn’t exonerate the offender. And it certainly doesn’t mean you’re okay with what they did to you. It doesn’t matter if they deserve your forgiveness. Instead, forgiveness forces you to heal and grow beyond where you are today.
Remember – true forgiveness is not something you do for others, but it’s something to do for yourself. Similarly, your capacity to forgive people often says much more about your character than the person you are forgiving.
If you don’t want the hate and bitterness in your life, these ‘I forgive you’ quotes will help you let go of past hurts and disappointments.
1. “Forgiving you is my gift to you. Moving on is my gift to myself.” – Anonymous
2. “Forgiveness means it finally becomes unimportant that you hit back. You’re done.” – Anne Lamott
3. “Forgive others not because they deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace.” – Jonathan Hue
4. “But if you forgive someone for something they did to you, it doesn’t mean you agree with what they did or believe it was right. Forgiving that person means you have chosen not to dwell on the matter anymore; you have moved on with your life.” – Idowu Koyenikan
5. “Let us forgive each other – only then will we live in peace.” – Leo Tolstoy
6. “Holding a grudge doesn’t make you strong; it makes you bitter. Forgiving doesn’t make you weak; it sets you free.” – Dave Willis
Editor’s note: Without forgiveness, life will only be an endless cycle of pain, resentment, and wanting revenge. Forgiveness liberates you from making bitter choices.
7. “The simple truth is, we all make mistakes, and we all need forgiveness.” – Desmond Tutu
8. “Certainly, people make mistakes in their life. I’m no different. I’ve made mistakes. When people mess up, forgive them. When I mess up, I ask for forgiveness.” – Michele Bachmann
9. “Forgive me for my nonsense, as I also forgive the nonsense of those that think they talk sense.” – Robert Frost
10. “I’m not perfect. Remember that and try to forgive me when I fail you.” – Elizabeth Lowell
10 Brutally Honest Forgive But Never Forget Quotes
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Forgive and forget – an oft-repeated piece of advice they have told us to do since we were young. But in many situations, it’s better to forgive and still remember, but graciously.
Many people say that the weak can never forgive, so it is important to rise above those that bring you down; always forgive your enemies, for it shows them you’re better than they are.
However, forgiving doesn’t always mean forgetting. It’s not a golden rule. Knowing how to forgive someone can be an essential life skill.
But remembering who and what hurt us is necessary if we are to learn from past experiences. It’s not okay to dwell and rehash what happened, but not forgetting all about it means you can avoid being a victim of the same offense.
Here are some of the best ‘forgive but not forget’ quotes that will help you get past it but not the lessons that come with it.
1. “The stupid neither forgive nor forget; the naive forgive and forget; the wise forgive but do not forget.” – Thomas Szasz
2. “Forgiving doesn’t mean forgetting; it means choosing to remember love instead.” – Kyle Gray
3. “What is forgiven is usually well remembered.” – Louis Dudek
4. “Forgiving does not erase the bitter past. A healed memory is not a deleted memory. Instead, forgiving what we cannot forget creates a new way to remember. We change the memory of our past into a hope for our future.” – Lewis B. Smedes
5. “Forgiveness in no way requires that you trust the one you forgive.” – Wm. Paul Young ‘The Shack’
6. “If you can’t forgive and forget, pick one.” – Robert Brault
7. “Any fool knows men and women think differently at times, but the biggest difference is this. Men forget, but never forgive; women forgive but never forget.” – Robert Jordan
8. “We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
9. “One forgives to the degree that one loves.” – Francois de La Rochefoucauld
10. “Forgiveness is about empowering yourself, rather than empowering your past.” – T.D. Jakes
10 Inspirational Forgiveness Quotes to Help
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Some things you can forgive, some things you can’t. And sometimes, you can forgive the person who wronged you, but not what they did to you – don’t hate the player, hate the game.
Other times, you can forgive the things they did wrong but never speak of their names again. And that’s completely fine. Forgiveness works in many ways, and none of them are any more valid than another.
The following collection of inspirational forgiveness quotes will give you a closer look at the other side of forgiveness when you decide to forgive them, but it’s still their fault!
1. “Always forgive your enemies – nothing annoys them so much.” – Oscar Wilde
Editor’s note: That’s why forgiveness is called the best form of revenge – no evil act and revenge necessary.
2. “Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names.” – John F. Kennedy
3. “Most of us can forgive and forget; we just don’t want the other person to forget that we forgave.” – Ivern Ball
4. “There’s nothing more classy or powerful than showing forgiveness and grace to someone who does not deserve it.” – Anonymous
5. “Sometimes the first step to forgiveness is understanding the other person is a complete idiot.” – Anonymous
6. “Once a woman has forgiven her man, she must not reheat his sins for breakfast.” – Marlene Dietrich
7. “It’s far easier to forgive an enemy after you’ve got even with him.” – Jewel
8. “When you hold resentment toward another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel. Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free.” – Katherine Ponder
9. “Forgiveness is not to give the other person peace. Forgiveness is for you. Take that opportunity.” – Mackenzie Phillips
10. “The stupid neither forgive nor forget; the naive forgive and forget; the wise forgive but do not forget.” – Thomas Szasz
10 of the Best ‘It’s Hard to Forgive’ Quotes
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Forgiveness is an incredibly long process. Forgiving someone will take a long time, and the process itself can be complicated. Forgiving can be even more complex than the hurt itself. But remember, holding too long to blame and resentment can make your life bitter.
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Let’s take a look at some of the best forgiveness quotes that can help you in the difficult journey of forgiving those who wronged you.
1. “Everyone says forgiveness is a lovely idea until they have something to forgive.” – C.S. Lewis
2. “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
3. “When you initially forgive, it is like letting go of a hot iron. There is initial pain, and the scars will show, but you can start living again.” – Stephen Richards
4. “Bring it up, make amends, forgive yourself. It sounds so simple, but don’t think that it is easy for a second. Getting free from the tyranny of past mistakes can be hard work but definitely worth the effort. And the payoff is health, wholeness, and inner peace. In other words, you get your life back.” – Steve Goodier
5. “Forgiveness is hard but holding onto your anger is harder.” – Anonymous
6. “Forgiveness is the best charity. (It is easy to give the poor money and goods when one has plenty, but to forgive is hard, but it is the best thing if one can do it).” – Meher Baba
7. “Take forgiveness slowly. Don’t blame yourself for being slow. Peace will come.” – Yoko Ono
8. “The journey to forgiveness begins in pain and ends in hope.” – Brenda Seefeldt Amodea
9. “It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody.” – Maya Angelou
10. “True forgiveness is when you can say ‘Thank you for that experience,'” – Oprah Winfrey
What Is Forgiveness?
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They say that the wise forgive. This is because they understand that forgiveness in life is freeing. Hate and resentment are only going to cause harm to one person, and that is you – the one allowing those emotions to dictate your action.
Forgiveness is an act of compassion, and it is done not so the receiving party feels better but because you need it. The capacity for forgiveness is one of the greatest gifts in life and can go a long way to healing hurt and strengthening the inherent fragility of life’s broken pieces.
For the late Desmond Tutu, forgiveness was about freeing yourself. He said, “If you can find it in yourself to forgive, then you are no longer chained to the perpetrator.”
Forgiveness Is Good for the Soul
Mercy bears richer fruits, and when that comes to the context of forgiveness, life is much richer when you decide to let go of negativity and resentments and instead focus on the good that you can achieve and bring out in others.
Many people think that forgiving someone is about that person when in fact, it is more often about you and the impact such a single act can have on the direction of your life. Forgiveness comes from such a powerful place, and when you can tap into it, you realize just how rich and good life can be.
Whether you believe in divine retribution, karma, justice, or whatever, it’s first crucial to understand that none of these things happen or are affected by your harboring feelings of negativity.
Final Thoughts on Forgiveness Quotes
We hope you enjoyed all these inspiring, wise, and cheeky forgiving quotes. Which of the forgiveness quotes above did you like most? Don’t hesitate to share your favorite forgiveness quote in the comments below. And share these with those around you that could use some encouragement!
We’d also like to hear your stories of forgiveness. How did you step up and put a stop to the endless cycle of resentment? How did you move on and allow yourself a new beginning in life? Let us know in the comments.