9 Powerful Quotes about Forgiveness

The big problem with forgiveness is that it can be a lot harder said than done. Fortunately we have compiled a list of great quotes all about the dreaded ‘F word’ to help guide you through this difficult moral maze.

There are many quotes about forgiveness doing the rounds; in fact, most religious and self-help texts are chock full of accounts about the power of forgiveness and the positive impact this act can have on our lives.

But how do we apply this in practice? And why should we? Below we have put together some of the best quotes on the subject along with a little insight behind them to help.

#1 “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.”  – Catherine Ponder

This is a very powerful quote about forgiveness and one we would all do well to remember, whatever the circumstance.

Although forgiving someone who has done us wrong may be a bitter pill to swallow, it has to be better than dragging them around with us for the rest of our lives like a dead weight.

Move onwards and upwards; and set yourself free.

#2 “Forgive, it doesn’t erase the crime, but why should you do the time. Let go of resentment.”  The Garden of Thoughts – Dodinsky

The trouble with a lot of quotes about forgiveness is that they don’t adequately address why we should forgive others. I think the message here is quite succinct.

Forgiveness is not about accepting another person’s behavior as right, or giving in, bowing down or being a victim. It is about setting yourself free and forgiving yourself. Why should you suffer by holding on to all that anger? Let it go.

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

quotes about forgiveness

When we think about forgiveness, often we think about forgiving others. But what about forgiving ourselves? What about admitting when we have made a mistake or were wrong?

Life is sometimes about making mistakes, accepting and more importantly learning from them. But first we have to have the courage to admit them. This is pure martial arts for the soul.

#4 “Anger makes you smaller, while forgiveness forces you to grow beyond what you are.” – Anon

Holding on to that hot coal of anger is bad for you. It not only makes you look and act small minded, unloving and petty, but it can physically make you ill.  Be bigger than what life has thrown at you, or the actions of others. Be something better than all that.

#5 “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.

It is all very well to judge others for their actions, but nobody is perfect. We are all a mixture of good and bad, it just depends on which one we feed. If we keep on giving in to the dark side, we will eventually become the monster we wish to slay. If we cannot forgive, then we cannot properly love.

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

marlene dietrich quote

If you have been cheated on by your man, or treated badly in some way, it can seem impossible to move on from the betrayal. But if you have made the decision to forgive your man and continue the relationship, then you cannot keep on throwing the past back at him. This is not fair on either party.

If you ever feel like throwing past behavior back in your partners face in the heat of the moment; stop! No relationship will survive this kind of constant battering, and will show that you have not in fact forgiven or forgotten.

#7 “We read that we ought to forgive our enemies; but we do not read that we ought to forgive our friends.” – Sir Francis Bacon

This is a very wise observation, after all, it is never our enemies who betray us. It is our friends, family and those we love or trust who betray us, or it would not be a betrayal. This is the hardest part of any betrayal; it is not the betrayal itself but who it comes from. This is why it is important to learn to forgive those we love.

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

Such a beautiful quote and so eloquently put from the master wordsmith himself.

We don’t have to stay stuck in negativity experiencing bitterness and regret when someone has wronged us. Instead we can learn from the experience and gain something positive from it. There is always something to be learned from every situation. We can choose to be the fragrant scent.

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

oscar wilde quote

This is a funny quote to end on, and it is so true. Our enemies want us to feel bad; they don’t want us to be happy. By forgiving them we are showing them we are bigger than all that.

At the end of the day we must remember that forgiveness is not something we do for others, but for ourselves, to set ourselves free from the torment, anger and pain that we feel.

Are you nursing an old hurt or emotional wound?

It’s probable that you weren’t even aware of continuing to hang onto past hurt until this moment. You might have even thought that you had moved on and forgave the people who had wounded you.

After all, who is there to argue with you? It’s only natural, after all, to frown a little when you think about a certain person.

Actually though, it’s not.

So what do you do when you just can’t get over a past hurt? Learn how to embrace forgiveness, let go, and free up your emotional space so you can feel joy again.

Having these feelings is not wrong in itself, it is all part of the process and entirely natural. But we don’t have to wallow in them forever. Do yourself a favor; cut the chords of resentment, learn the lesson and allow yourself to be happy.  You deserve it!

By the way you should definitely check out our inspirational quotes infographic if you’re looking for more powerful quotes.

About the author

Eleanor Goold

As well as being an avid reader, Eleanor is also a big time animal lover; especially of dogs. If you have a tail, four legs and you bark…. you’re in! In her spare time she enjoys swimming, and vegetable gardening… but not at the same time (it can get a bit messy).

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