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200 Forgiveness Quotes to Help you Let Go of the Past

200 Forgiveness Quotes

“Hate. It has caused a lot of problems in this world, but it has not solved one yet.” – Maya Angelou

“Grudges are for those who insist that they are owed something; forgiveness, however, is for those who are substantial enough to move on.” – Criss Jami

“Hatred does not cease by hatred, but only by love; this is the eternal rule.” – Gautama Buddha

“Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth. Give the world the best you have anyway.” – Kent M. Keith

“Sometimes what a person needs most is to be forgiven.” – Jennifer McMahon

“I want to be the kind of person who can do that. Move on and forgive people and be healthy and happy. It seems like an easy thing to do in my head. But it’s not so easy when you try it in real life.” – Susane Colasanti

“We are told that people stay in love because of chemistry, or because they remain intrigued by each other, because of many kindnesses, because of luck. But part of it has got to be forgiveness and gratefulness.” – Ellen Goodman

“One thing you will probably remember well is any time you forgive and forget.” – Franklin P. Jones

“God’s forgiveness allows us to be honest with ourselves. We recognize our imperfections, admit our failures, and plead to God for clemency.” – Jonathan Sacks

“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

“Without forgiveness life is governed by… an endless cycle of resentment and retaliation.” – Roberto Assagioli

“Beware of the man who does not return your blow: he neither forgives you nor allows you to forgive yourself.” – George Bernard Shaw

“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

“Forgiving what we cannot forgive creates a new way to remember. We change the memory of our past into a hope for our future.” – Lewis Smedes

“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

“Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.” – Oscar Wilde

“Let us forgive each other — only then will we live in peace.” – Leo Tolstoy

“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 G. Jampolsky

“As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.” – Nelson Mandela

“We are all mistaken sometimes; sometimes we do wrong things, things that have bad consequences. But it does not mean we are evil, or that we cannot be trusted ever afterward.” – Alison Croggon

“It’s far easier to forgive an enemy after you’ve got even with him.” – Olin Miller

“Forgiveness should start now. Putting off forgiving only deepens the wound. Clinging to bitterness postpones happiness. Life is short, time is fleeting. Today is the day to forgive.” – Wilfred Peterson

“True forgiveness is when you can say, ‘Thank you for that experience..” – Oprah Winfrey

“I’m not perfect. Remember that, and try to forgive me when I fail you.” – Elizabeth Lowell

“If he can’t handle you at your worst then he does not deserve you at your best. Real love means seeing beyond the words spoken out of pain, and instead of seeing a person’s soul.” – Shannon L. Alder

“When you forgive, you love. And when you love, God’s light shines upon you.” – Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild

“There is no love without forgiveness, and there is no forgiveness without love.” – Bryant H. McGill

“All forgiveness is self-forgiveness.” – William Desmond

“People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered. Love them anyway.”

“Forgiveness is the sweetest revenge.” – Isaac Friedmann

“To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.” – C.S. Lewis

“Love may forgive all infirmities and love still in spite of them: but Love cannot cease to will their removal.” – C.S. Lewis

“Forgiveness is me giving up my right to hurt you for hurting me.”

“Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.” – Mark Twain

“God will forgive me. It’s his job.” – Heinrich Heine

“I wondered if that was how forgiveness budded; not with the fanfare of epiphany, but with pain gathering its things, packing up, and slipping away unannounced in the middle of the night.” – Khaled Hosseini

“Not forgiving is like drinking rat poison and then waiting for the rat to die.” – Anne Lamott

“Be the one who nurtures and builds. Be the one who has an understanding and a forgiving heart one who looks for the best in people. Leave people better than you found them.” – Marvin J. Ashton

“More people should apologize, and more people should accept apologies when sincerely made.” – Greg LeMond

“Forgiveness isn’t my best thing. Easier staying pissed. But I’m tired of being pissed all the time. Tired of feeling hurt by stuff that can never be fixed because it is an indelible part of the past.” – Ellen Hopkins

“The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.”

“Forgive, forget. Bear with the faults of others as you would have them bear with yours.” – Phillips Brooks

“The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds. Think big anyway.”

“As long as you don’t forgive, who and whatever it is will occupy a rent-free space in your mind.” – Isabelle Holland

“To love means loving the unlovable. To forgive means pardoning the unpardonable. Faith means believing the unbelievable. Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless.” – G.K. Chesterton

“To be wronged is nothing unless you continue to remember it.” – Confucius

“It can be hard to forgive and let go but it’s important to remember that harboring the resentment and holding a grudge can hurt you even more. The word ‘forgive’ really means to give something up for yourself not for them.” – Jack Canfield

“Forgiveness is the key to action and freedom.” – Hannah Arendt

“There is nobility in compassion, a beauty in empathy, a grace in forgiveness.” – John Connolly

“As long as I am breathing, in my eyes, I am just beginning.” – Criss Jami

“When you forgive, you in no way change the past—but you sure do change the future.” – Bernard Meltzer

“Forgiveness must be immediate, whether or not a person asks for it. Trust must be rebuilt over time. Trust requires a track record.” – Rick Warren

“Sincere forgiveness isn’t colored with expectations that the other person apologizes or change. Don’t worry whether or not they finally understand you. Love them and release them. Life feeds back truth to people in its own way and time-just like it does for you and me.” – Sara Paddison

“Forgiveness liberates the soul. It removes fear. That is why it is such a powerful weapon.” – Nelson Mandela

“Forgiveness is a virtue of the brave.” – Indira Gandhi

“Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.” – Nelson Mandela

“A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers.” – Robert Quillen

“Mistakes are always forgivable if one has the courage to admit them.” – Bruce Lee

“Life is an adventure in forgiveness.” – Norman Cousins

“He who cannot forgive breaks the bridge over which he himself must pass.” – George Herbert

“Blame keeps wounds open. Only forgiveness heals.” – Thomas S. Manson

“Yes, this is what good is: to forgive evil. There is no other good.” – Antonio Porchia

“When a deep injury is done to us, we never heal until we forgive.” – Nelson Mandela

“Forgiving is rediscovering the shining path of peace that at first you thought others took away when they betrayed you.” – Dodinsky

“Saying ‘I’m sorry’ is saying ‘I love you’ with a wounded heart in one hand and your smothered pride in the other.” – Richelle E. Goodrich

“… In love, everyone does things that hurt the other person, so there is really no ‘Right’ and ‘Wrong’. You just have to decide what you’re willing to forgive.” – Yvonne Wood

“Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.” – Paul Boese

“Nobody forgets where he buried the hatchet.” – Frank McKinney

“God forgive you, but I never can.” – Elizabeth I

“What I cannot love, I overlook.” – Anaïs Nin

“If you do well, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives. Do well anyway.”

“Anger begets more anger, and forgiveness and love lead to more forgiveness and love.” – Mahavira

“Forgive. It doesn’t erase their crime but why should you do the time. Let go of resentment.” – Dodinsky

“Life is grace. Sleep is forgiveness. The night absolves. Darkness wipes the slate clean, not spotless to be sure, but clean enough for another day’s chalking.” – Frederick Buechner

“Don’t ever underestimate the power of forgiveness. I’ve seen it free people. I’ve seen it life burdens that had weighed them down and kept them from moving on.” – Buffy Andrews

“I forgive myself and set myself free.” – Louise Hay

“To understand is to forgive, even oneself.” – Alexander Chase

“To forgive is the highest, most beautiful form of love. In return, you will receive untold peace and happiness.” – Robert Muller

“The practice of forgiveness is our most important contribution to the healing of the world.” – Marianne Williamson

“I invite everyone to chose forgiveness rather than division, teamwork over personal ambition.” – Jean-Francois Cope

“If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway.”

“Some forgive and forget, more forgive and remember, most forgive and remind.” – Robert Brault

“Forgiving men is so much easier than forgiving women.” – Margaret Atwood

“Forgiveness is a reflection of loving yourself enough to move on.” – Dr. Steve Maraboli

“Throughout life people will make you mad, disrespect you and treat you bad. Let God deal with the things they do because hate in your heart will consume you too.” – Will Smith

“Sometimes you just have to regret things and move on.” – Charlaine Harris

“You will never forgive anyone more than God has already forgiven you.”

“People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs. Fight for a few underdogs anyway.”

“It’s not an easy journey, to get to a place where you forgive people. But it is such a powerful place because it frees you.” – Tyler Perry

“It’s easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission.” – Grace Hopper

“Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names.” – John F. Kennedy

“Never does the human soul appear so strong as when it forgoes revenge and dares forgive an injury.” – E.H. Chapin

“There’s no point in burying a hatchet if you’re going to put up a marker on the site.” – Sydney Harris

“Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more, Men were deceivers ever,- One foot in sea and one on shore, To one thing constant never.” – William Shakespeare

“Forgiveness is the key that unlocks the door of resentment and the handcuffs of hatred. It is a power that breaks the chains of bitterness and the shackles of selfishness.” – Corrie ten Boom

“I think it is important that we rebuild an atmosphere of forgiveness and civility in every aspect of our lives.” – T. D. Jakes

“Once a woman has forgiven her man, she must not reheat his sins for breakfast.” – Marlene Dietrich

“Always forgive, but never forget, else you will be a prisoner of your own hatred and doomed to repeat your mistakes forever.” – Wil Zeus

“If we really want to love we must learn how to forgive.” – Mother Theresa

“You can make up a quarrel, but it will always show where it was patched.” – Edgar Watson Howe

“It takes a strong person to say sorry, and an ever stronger person to forgive.”

“What we forgive too freely doesn’t stay forgiven.” – Mignon McLaughlin

“Dumbledore says people find it far easier to forgive others for being wrong than being right.” – J.K. Rowling

“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 even see those things anymore. Because that’s what love is like.” – C. JoyBell C.

“Genuine forgiveness does not deny anger but faces it head-on.” – Alice Duer Miller

“To err is human, to forgive, divine.” – Alexander Pope

“People have to forgive. We don’t have to like them, we don’t have to be friends with them, we don’t have to send them hearts in text messages, but we have to forgive them, to overlook, to forget. Because if we don’t we are tying rocks to our feet, too much for our wings to carry!” – C. JoyBell C.

“Life doesn’t get easier or more forgiving, we get stronger and more resilient.” – Steve Maraboli

“Forgive, not because they deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace.”

“Sometimes you only forgive someone because you can’t stand not having them in your life.”

“Life becomes easier when you learn to accept an apology you never got.” – Robert Brault

“We should always forgive; the penitent for his sake, the impenitent for our own.” – Marie Dubsky

“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

“What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight. Build anyway.”

“The willingness to forgive is a sign of spiritual and emotional maturity. It is one of the great virtues to which we all should aspire. Imagine a world filled with individuals willing both to apologize and to accept an apology. Is there any problem that could not be solved among people who possessed the humility and largeness of spirit and soul to do either – or both – when needed?” – Gordon B. Hinckley

“We are all on a life long journey and the core of its meaning, the terrible demand of its centrality is forgiving and being forgiven.” – Martha Kilpatrick

“Last night I lost the world, and gained the universe.” – C. JoyBell C.

“It is easier to forgive an enemy than to forgive a friend.” – William Blake

“It is important that we forgive ourselves for making mistakes. We need to learn from our errors and move on.” – Steve Maraboli

“Forgive others not because they deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace.” – Jonathan Huie

“The ineffable joy of forgiving and being forgiven forms an ecstasy that might well arouse the envy of the gods.” – Elbert Hubbard

“Forgiving is love’s toughest work, and love’s biggest risk. If you twist it into something it was never meant to be, it can make you a doormat or an insufferable manipulator. Forgiving seems almost unnatural. Our sense of fairness tells us people should pay for the wrong they do. But forgiving is love’s power to break nature’s rule.” – Lewis B. Smedes

“I don’t forgive people cause I’m weak I forgive them cause I’m strong enough to understand people make mistakes.”

“Three months ago, if you asked me, I would have told you that if you really loved someone, you’d let the go. But now I look at you, and I dreamed about Maggie, and I see that I’ve been wrong. If you really love someone, Allie, I think you take them back.” – Jodi Picoult

“That is why all forgiveness is a gift to yourself.” – A Course in Miracles

“To forgive is wisdom, to forget is genius. Because it’s true. It’s a new world every heartbeat.” – Joyce Cary

“The things two people do to each other they remember. If they stay together, it’s not because they forget; it’s because they forgive.” – Demi Moore

“The stupid neither forgive nor forget; the naive forgive and forget; the wise forgive but do not forget.” – Thomas Szasz

“We ask for forgiveness. And we forgive others who ask us. In that way we can experience healing, healing in our souls.” – Ed Dobsons

“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

“To forgive is to set a prisoner free, only to discover that the prisoner was you.” – Lewis B. Smedes

“Would ‘sorry’ have made a difference? Does it ever? It’s just a word. One word against a thousand actions.” – Sarah Ockler

“But sorry is the Kool-Aid of human emotions. True sorrow is as rare as true love.” – Stephen King

“Before we can forgive one another, we have to understand one another.” – Emma Goldman

“Forgiveness is like faith. You have to keep reviving it.” – Mason Cooley

“Any good apology has 3 parts: 1) I’m sorry; 2) It’s my fault; 3) What can I do to make it right? Most people forget the third part.”

“There is no revenge so complete as forgiveness.” – Josh Billings

“In some families, please is described as the magic word. In our house, however, it was sorry.” – Margaret Laurence

“Always forgive your enemies – nothing annoys them so much.” – Pamela Daranjo

“The ability of a person to atone has always been the most remarkable of human features.” – Leon Uris

“In this life, when you deny someone an apology, you will remember it at time you beg forgiveness.” – Toba Beta

“A broken friendship that is mended through forgiveness can be even stronger than it once was.” – Stephen Richards

“And you know, when you’ve experienced grace and you feel like you’ve been forgiven, you’re a lot more forgiving of other people. You’re a lot more gracious to others.” – Rick Warren

“What was the point of being able to forgive, when deep down, you both had to admit you’d never forget?” – Jodi Picoult

“Forgiveness means it finally becomes unimportant that you hit back. You’re done. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you want to have lunch with the person. If you keep hitting back, you stay trapped in the nightmare.” – Anne Lamott

“When we don’t forgive, we’re not hurting the other person. We’re not hurting the company that did us wrong. We’re not hurting God. We’re only hurting ourselves.” – Joel Osteen

“An apology is the super glue of life. It can repair just about anything.” – Lynn Johnston

“I’m sorry about yesterday,” she said. He hung on to his straps and shrugged. “Yesterday happens.” – Rainbow Rowell

“We don’t forgive people because they deserve it. We forgive them because they need it—because we need it.” – Bree Despain

“Never forget the three powerful resources you always have available to you: love, prayer, and forgiveness.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

“A life lived without forgiveness is a prison.” – William Arthur Ward

“Always forgive your enemies – nothing annoys them so much.” – Oscar Wilde

“Forgiveness is the name of love practiced among people who love poorly. The hard truth is that all people love poorly. We need to forgive and be forgiven every day, every hour increasingly. That is the great work of love among the fellowship of the weak that is the human family.” – Henri J.M. Nouwen

“If you can’t forgive and forget, pick one.” – Robert Brault

“Forgiveness is the final form of love.” – Reinhold Niebuhr

“Forgive me. Forgive this fool. Sorry that I acted so cruel. I love you and love only you. Take my hand and let’s start anew.” – Gabrielle Yana Concepcion

“Everyone says forgiveness is a lovely idea until they have something to forgive.” – C.S. Lewis

“Forgiveness has nothing to do with absolving a criminal of his crime. It has everything to do with relieving oneself of the burden of being a victim — letting go of the pain and transforming oneself from victim to survivor.” – C. R. Strahan

“One of the keys to happiness is a bad memory.” – Rita Mae Brown

“What is forgiven is usually well remembered.” – Louis Dudek

“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

“One of the secrets of a long and fruitful life is to forgive everybody everything every night before you go to bed.” – Bernard Baruch

“Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable. Be honest and frank anyway.”

“I think we learn the most from imperfect relationships – things like forgiveness and compassion.” – Andrea Thompson

“Forgiveness in no way requires that you trust the one you forgive.” – Wm. Paul Young

“Can I be forgiven for all I’ve done to get here? I want to be. I can. I believe it.” – Veronica Roth

“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

“Forgiveness is a sign that the person who has wronged you means more to you than the wrong they have dealt.” – Ben Greenhalgh

“Forgiveness is not a feeling; it is a commitment. It is a choice to show mercy, not to hold the offense up against the offender. Forgiveness is an expression of love.” – Gary Chapman

“Forgiveness is not an occasional act; it is a permanent attitude.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Forgiving is not forgetting. It’s letting go of the hurt.” – Kathy

“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

“Apologizing does not always mean that you are wrong and the other person is right. It just means that you value your relationship more than your ego.”

“Like a loving spouse who occasionally doesn’t feel so loving, we ask for forgiveness and come back into relationship.” – Laurie Penner

“The man who forgives is far stronger than the man who fights.” – Nathan Croall

“These are the few ways we can practice humility: To speak as little as possible of one’s self. To mind one’s own business. Not to want to manage other people’s affairs. To avoid curiosity. To accept contradictions and correction cheerfully. To pass over the mistakes of others. To accept insults and injuries. To accept being slighted, forgotten and disliked. To be kind and gentle even under provocation. Never to stand on one’s dignity. To choose always the hardest.” – Mother Teresa

“Forgiveness is not about forgetting. It is about letting go of another person’s throat.” – Wm. Paul Young

“Forgiveness is the giving, and so the receiving, of life.” – George MacDonald

“As we know, forgiveness of oneself is the hardest of all the forgivenesses.” – Joan Baez

“It is very easy to forgive others their mistakes; it takes more grit and gumption to forgive them for having witnessed your own.” – Jessamyn West

“We forgive as long as we love.” – François Duc De La Rochefoucald

“Forgiveness is a choice, but it is not an option.” – Joel Osteen

“Forgive all who have offended you, not for them, but for yourself.” – Harriet Nelson

“This is one of my favorites: “True forgiveness is when you can say, “Thank you for that experience.” – Oprah Winfrey

“To truly forgive is to let the other person forget.” – Robert Brault

“Nothing releases like forgive. Nothing renews like forget.” – Ray A. Davis

“I guess forgiveness, like happiness, isn’t a final destination. You don’t one day get there and get to stay.” – Deb Caletti

“I have learned that sometimes “sorry” is not enough. Sometimes you actually have to change.” – Claire London

“Forgiveness is a funny thing. It warms the heart and cools the sting.” – William Arthur Ward

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” – Mahatma Gandhi

“Only the brave know how to forgive. … A coward never forgave; it is not in his nature.” – Laurence Sterne

“Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart.” – Corrie ten Boom

“I could easily forgive his pride if he had not mortified mine.” – Jane Austen

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

“Sacrifice is at the heart of repentance. Without deeds, your apology is worthless.” – Bryan Davis

“Listen. Slide the weight from your shoulders and move forward. You are afraid you might forget, but you never will. You will forgive and remember.” – Barbara Kingsolver

“My dear, don’t let the sun go down upon your anger; forgive each other, help each other, and begin again to‑morrow.” – Louisa May Alcott

“You cannot forgive just once, forgiveness is a daily practice.” – Sonia Rumzi

“Can you really forgive if you can’t forget?” – Sarah Jessica Parker

“I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice.” – Abraham Lincoln

“It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody.” – Maya Angelou

“Dear Lord, please show me everything I need to understand forgiveness and surrender.” – Elizabeth Gilbert

“Anger makes you smaller, while forgiveness forces you to grow beyond what you are.” – Cherie Carter-Scott

Originally published September 26, 2019, updated September 26, 2021

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