The 100 Best Ever Forgiveness Quotes

My list of the 100 best ever forgiveness quotes of all time. Please feel free to share.

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.”

Katherine Ponder


2)  “There is no love without forgiveness, and there is no forgiveness without love.”

Bryant H. McGill


3)  “Sincere forgiveness isn’t colored with expectations that the other person apologize 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, The Hidden Power of the Heart: Discovering an Unlimited Source of Intelligence


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

Robert Muller


5) “Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.”

Paul Boese


6) “He who cannot forgive breaks the bridge over which he himself must pass.”

George Herbert


7) “Forgiveness is a virtue of the brave.”

Indira Gandhi


8) “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” attribute of the strong.”

– Mahatma GandhiAll Men are Brothers: Autobiographical Reflections



9) “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, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience 


10) “True forgiveness is when you can say, “Thank you for that experience.”

Oprah Winfrey


11) “Forgiveness is not an occasional act; it is a constant attitude.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.


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

– Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner


13) “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.


14) “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


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

– Criss JamiSalomé, In Every Inch In Every Mile


16) “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


17) “When we practice the art of forgiveness and positive, non-judgmental thinking and behavior, we start feeling good, happy, and free. When we start feeling good, happy, and free, complete well-being in all areas of our lives will follow.”

– Howard Wills


18)“When you forgive, you love. And when you love, God’s light shines upon you.”

Jon KrakauerInto the Wild


19) “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. HinckleyStanding for Something: 10 Neglected Virtues That Will Heal Our Hearts and Homes


20) “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


21) “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


22) “Not forgiving is like drinking rat poison and then waiting for the rat to die.”

 Anne LamottTraveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith


23) “The practice of forgiveness is our most important contribution to the healing of the world.”

 Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles


24) “…if anything matters then everything matters. Because you are important, everything you do is important. Every time you forgive, the universe changes; every time you reach out and touch a heart or a life, the world changes; with every kindness and service, seen or unseen, my purposes are accomplished, and nothing will be the same again.”

 William Paul YoungThe Shack


25) “But remember that forgiveness too is a power. To beg for it is a power, and to withhold or bestow it is a power, perhaps the greatest.”

– Margaret AtwoodThe Handmaid’s Tale  


26) “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. JampolskyLove Is Letting Go of Fear


27) “Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could have been any different.”

 Oprah Winfrey


28) “To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.”
 Lewis B. SmedesForgive and Forget: Healing the Hurts We Don’t Deserve


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


30) “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 BoomClippings from My Notebook


31) “The bindings that limited all those that came before are only there as long as we carry them.  Forgiveness sets us free of limitation from the past.”

John Newton


32) “Offer it up personally, then. Right now. I thought of how many people go to their graves unforgiven and unforgiving. I thought of how many people have had siblings or friends or children or lovers disappear from their lives before precious words of clemency or absolution could be passed along. How do the survivors of terminated relationships ever endure the pain of unfinished business? From that place of meditation, I found the answer-you can finish the business yourself, from within yourself. It’s not only possible, it’s essential.”

 Elizabeth GilbertEat, Pray, Love


33) “Not to forgive is to be imprisoned by the past, by old grievances that do not permit life to proceed with new business. Not to forgive is to yield oneself to another’s control… to be locked into a sequence of act and response, of outrage and revenge, tit for tat, escalating always. The present is endlessly overwhelmed and devoured by the past. Forgiveness frees the forgiver. It extracts the forgiver from someone else’s nightmare.”

 Lance MorrowThe Chief: A Memoir of Fathers and Sons


34) “I’m not perfect. Remember that and try to forgive me when I fail you.”

 Elizabeth LowellSweet Wind, Wild Wind


35) “Sometimes what a person needs most is to be forgiven.”

 Jennifer McMahonIsland of Lost Girls


36) “Forgiveness is God’s greatest gift.”

 Dan BrownThe Da Vinci Code


37) “So, we forgive each other?” The crooked smile climbs up one more time. “Again?”
And I look right into his eyes, right into him as far as I can see, because I want him to hear me, I want him to hear me with everything I mean and feel and say.
“Always,” I say to him. “Every time.”

 Patrick NessThe Ask and the Answer


38) “Letting ourselves be forgiven is one of the most difficult healings we will undertake. And one of the most fruitful.”

– Stephen LevineA Year to Live: How to Live This Year as If It Were Your Last


39) “I know it. I know I shall make beastly mistakes, Father.”
“The world does not forgive mistakes so quickly, my girl.” He sounds bitter and sad.
“If the world will not forgive me,” I say softly, “I shall have to learn to forgive myself.”

– Libba BrayThe Sweet Far Thing


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


41) “There are many ways that I have hurt and harmed others, have betrayed or abandoned them, caused them suffering, knowingly or unknowingly, out of my pain, fear, anger, and confusion.

Let yourself remember and visualize the ways you have hurt others. See the pain you have caused out of your own fear and confusion. Feel your own sorrow and regret. Sense that finally you can release this burden and ask for forgiveness. Take as much time as you need to picture each memory that still burdens your heart. And then as each person comes to mind, gently say:
I ask for your forgiveness, I ask for your forgiveness.”

– Jack KornfieldThe Art of Forgiveness, Lovingkindness, and Peace


42) “There is a saying that to understand is to forgive, but that is an error, so Papa used to say. You must forgive in order to understand. Until you forgive, you defend yourself against the possibility of understanding. … If you forgive, he would say, you may indeed still not understand, but you will be ready to understand, and that is the posture of grace.”

 Marilynne Robinson


43) “The forgiving state of mind is a magnetic power for attracting good.”

 Catherine Ponder


44) “Sometimes we carry unhappy feelings about past hurts too long. We spend too much energy dwelling on things that have passed and cannot be changed. We struggle to close the door and let go of the hurt. If, after time, we can forgive whatever may have caused the hurt, we will tap ‘into a life-giving source of comfort’ through the Atonement, and the ‘sweet peace’ of forgiveness will be ours (“My Journey to Forgiving,” Ensign, Feb. 1997. 43). Some injuries are so hurtful and deep that healing comes only with help from a Higher Power and hope for perfect justice and restitution in the next life. . . You can tap into that Higher Power and receive precious comfort and sweet peace.”

 James E. Faust


45) “Forgiveness: It’s a miracle drug. It’s God’s miracle drug.”
 Gayle FormanI Was Here


46) “Love is forgiving, accepting, moving on, embracing, and all encompassing. And if you’re not doing that for yourself, you cannot do that with anyone else.”

 Steve MaraboliUnapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience


47) “It’s not just other people we need to forgive. We also need to forgive ourselves. For all the things we didn’t do. All the things we should have done.”

 Mitch AlbomTuesdays with Morrie


48)“There is a hard law. When an injury is done to us, we never recover until we forgive.”

– Alan Paton


49) “Your ancestors are smiling as you take a stand and break the patterns of suffering that have plagued humanity for so long. The answer to the questions you seek is within you.  And it does not fit into the mind.”

– John Newton


50) “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 Hammarskjöld


51) “What if everything you believe is wrong and you could still be loved and still be forgiven?”

 Cassandra ClareSaving Raphael Santiago


52) “My experience with forgiveness is that it sort of comes spontaneously at a certain point and to try to force it it’s not really forgiveness. It’s Buddhist philosophy or something spiritual jargon that you’re trying to live up to but you’re just using it against yourself as a reason why you’re not okay.”

 Pema Chödrön


53) “Few suffer more than those who refuse to forgive themselves.”

 Mike NortonFighting For Redemption


54) “I knew then that this is how God loves us all and receives us all, and that there is no such thing in this universe as hell, except maybe in our own terrified minds. Because if even one broken and limited human being could experience even one such episode of absolute forgiveness and acceptance of her own self, then imagine—just imagine!—what God, in all His eternal compassion, can forgive and accept.”
 Elizabeth GilbertEat, Pray, Love


55) “Don’t we all deserve forgiveness? I hope we do; I believe we do. Forgiveness says as much about the character of the person bestowing it as the person receiving it. Learning to forgive may be the most difficult of human acts, and the closest thing to divinity, whatever you decide that is.”

 – Justin Cronin


56) “Forgiving yourself means that you give up on your hope that the past will be different.” 

 Edward M. HallowellDare to Forgive: The Power of Letting Go and Moving On


57) “Man cannot measure the bounds nor fathom the depths of divine forgiveness…”
 James E. Talmage


58) “The practice of forgiveness is our most important contribution to the healing of the world.”

 – Marianne Williamson


59) “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.”

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


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

Maya Angelou


61) “Do as the heavens have done – forget your evil; with them forgive yourself.”

William Shakespeare, Comedies of Shakespeare in Plain and Simple English (a Modern Translation and the Original Version); 2012. p. 7667


62) “Mistakes are your school of learning therefore forgiveness is your greatest teacher in this school of learning.”

 Stephen RichardsForgiveness and Love Conquers All: Healing the Emotional Self


63) “What if everything you believe is wrong and you could still be loved and still be forgiven?”

 Cassandra ClareSaving Raphael Santiago


64) “The greatest gift of surrender was that it helped me to realize that it is arrogant of me not to forgive myself when God forgives me.”

Iyanla Vanzant, Forgiveness: 21 Days to Forgive Everyone for Everything


65) “Forgive. See the miracle that can happen.”

Eva Mozes Kor, Holocaust survivor


66) “You’ll have to learn to forgive,” he said. “For if you don’t, you know what will happen?”
“What, Doctor?” I croaked, for my outburst had exhausted me.
“It will destroy you,” he said as he handed me the tea.
A tear came into my eye when he said it for I knew it was true and I would have loved to be able to do it (not because of its destroying me but because it was right, and deep down I knew that) but I couldn’t and the more I thought of it the more the blood came coursing to my head so that whenever I’d write I’d find myself clutching the pencil so tight I broke the lead how many times I don’t know, hundreds.”

 Patrick McCabeBreakfast on Pluto


67) “The past has no power over the present moment, unless you bring it in.”

 – John Newton


68) “We deliberately forget because forgetting is a blessing. On both an emotional level and a spiritual level, forgetting is a natural part of the human experience and a natural function of the human brain. It is a feature, not a bug, one that saves us from being owned by our memories. Can a world that never forgets be a world that truly forgives?”

– Tim ChalliesThe Next Story: Life and Faith after the Digital Explosion


69) “Forgive yourself for not being at peace. The moment you completely accept your non-peace, your non-peace is transmuted into peace. Anything you accept fully will get you there, will take you into peace. This is the miracle of surrender.”

Eckhart Tolle


70) “If I am seeing something that is blocking my awareness of love, it is an image of a false idea that I created and only forgiveness will dissolve it.”

Iyanla Vanzant, Forgiveness: 21 Days to Forgive Everyone for Everything


71) “Oh, what we could be if we stopped carrying the remains of who we were.”

Tyler Knott Gregson


72) “Let go. Why do you cling to pain? There is nothing you can do about the wrongs of yesterday. It is not yours to judge. Why hold on to the very thing which keeps you from hope and love?”

Leo Buscaglia


73) “When you haven’t forgiven those who’ve hurt you, you turn your back against your future. When you do forgive, you start walking forward.”

Tyler Perry


74) “God forgave me. I figured I better do it, too.”

Johnny Cash


75) “When we clear the old burdens, stress, karma and negative imprints that aren’t serving us, we start to notice more peace.”

John Newton


76) “Forgive yourself for not having the foresight to know what now seems obvious in hindsight.”

Judy Belmont


77) “Those mountains you’ve been carrying, you were only supposed to climb.”

Najwa Zebian


78) “Life is too short to wake up in the morning with regrets. So, love the people who treat your right, forgive the people who don’t and believe that everything happens for a reason. If you get the chance, take it. If it changes your life, let it. Nobody said it would be easy; they just promised it would be worth it.”

Dr. Seuss


79) “Forgiveness is just another name for freedom.”

Byron Katie


80) “Forgiveness liberates the soul. It removes fear. That is why it is such a powerful weapon.”

Nelson Mandela


81) “I wish for you the wisdom to realize that forgiveness has nothing to do with an apology.”

Steve Maraboli


82) “Forgiving and being reconciled to our enemies or our loved ones are not about pretending that things are other than they are. It is not about patting one another on the back and turning a blind eye to the wrong. True reconciliation exposes the awfulness, the abuse, the hurt, the truth. It could even sometimes make things worse. It is a risky undertaking but in the end, it is worthwhile, because in the end only an honest confrontation with reality can bring real healing. Superficial reconciliation can bring only superficial healing.”

― Desmond Tutu, No Future Without Forgiveness


83) “For forgiveness, we need to have humility of the heart. When we forgive others, we need to remember that we need forgiveness, and that is where humility of the heart comes. Forgiveness is then the greatest presence of peace.”

Mother Theresa


84) “To hold, you must first open your hand. Let go.”

Lao Tzu


85) “History needn’t be a trap. We can escape its web and shake off its weight of pain. We can change our minds and open up our hearts. We can let forgiveness speak and allow it to be heard, let friendship flourish, and let love in so it might feed and sustain us all our days.”

– “Call the Midwife”, S3E7


86) “We were sent here to learn the teachings of the land. And the land says to forgive, like the fresh summer grasses forgive the harsh snows of winter.”

Kent Nerburn, Lakota Elder, “Neither Wolf Nor Dog”


87) “If you want to be brave, look at those who forgive.”

Bhagavad Vita


88) “Give forgiveness – that is your greatness.”

Yogi Bhajan


89) “Forgiveness is the root of compassion.”

Elizabeth Kipp


90) “Forgiveness is the only way to reverse the irreversible flow of history.”

Hannah Arendt


91) “I knew that my heart and mind would always be tempted to feel anger – to find blame and hate. But I resolved that when the negative feelings came upon me, I wouldn’t wait for them to grow or fester. I would always turn immediately to the Source of all true power: I would turn to God and let His love and forgiveness protect and save me.”

Immaculee Ilibagiza, Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust


92) “I had to clear up my messy life. By letting go of the debris and filth, I have come to a deeper, more soulful beauty and clarity like an oasis in the desert. From that place of clarity, a vision of what I could have, what I could do, who I could be had emerged if I allow my heart to become a place of compassion, acceptance, and forgiveness.”

– Sharon E. Rainey, Making a Pearl from the Grit of Life


93) “Forgiving is something that you do for yourself. When you forgive, you stop holding others responsible for your emotional experiences.”

– Gary Zukav


94) “She thought about how it was so simple with animals. They gave their hearts without question or fear. They had no expectations. They were so easy to love. If people could only be like that, no one would ever be hurt, she thought. No one would ever need to learn how to forgive.”

– Elizabeth George, A Suitable Vengeance


95) “In the spiritual life, nothing goes away. There is no heavenly garbage dump. It’s all here, wherever we are. Everything belongs. Even forgiveness does not mean it goes away. It means we forgive it for being there, nothing more. Even our demons do not go away. As Robert Bly wisely said: You don’t get rid of demons, you just educate them.”

– Richard Rohr, Quest for the Grail


96) “The only way out of the labyrinth of suffering is to forgive.”

– John Green, Looking for Alaska


97) “To err is human, to forgive divine definition. All people commit sins and make mistakes. God forgives them, and people are acting in a godlike way when they forgive.”

– Alexander Pope, 18th Century English poet, An Essay on Criticism


98) “I live in a constant shower of self-forgiveness.”

Yogi Bhajan


99) “We all have the courage to be grateful, even when things aren’t going our way; the courage to forgive, even when the person who hurt us isn’t sorry, and the courage to step outside our own pain and help others. We all have the courage to choose love!”

Lady Gaga (Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta)


100) “I love you. I’m sorry. I forgive you. Thank you.”

Hawaiian Ho’oponopono Prayer


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