When someone hurts you, you can hold on to anger and resentment — or embrace forgiveness and move forward.
Forgiveness is the deliberate and intentional decision of letting go of a debt incurred by another. Hurt, resentment, anger and hate is the fruit of unforgiveness.
The benefits of forgiving someone.
Letting go of grudges and bitterness can make way for improved health and peace of mind. Forgiveness can lead to:
- Healthier relationships.
- Improved mental health.
- Less anxiety, stress and hostility.
- Fewer symptoms of depression.
- Lower blood pressure.
- A stronger immune system.
- Improved heart health.
- Improved self-esteem.
What forgiveness is NOT.
- 1. Forgiveness does not mean you have to forget what happened. People who have been terribly abused, neglected, and victimized don’t forget their traumas and they don’t need to. They can learn to forgive, yet remember.
2. Forgiveness doesn’t mean you’re minimizing your experience. By engaging in forgiveness you aren’t saying “it’s okay…it wasn’t that bad.” Not at all! You can forgive yet still admit that the trauma was very real.
3. Forgiveness doesn’t mean that you’re a chump. Forgiveness is not a sign of weakness, naiveté, or foolishness.
4. Forgiveness doesn’t depend upon the other person apologizing. Sadly, you cannot expect that the person who wronged you can fully understand or appreciate that what he or she did was wrong. They may never admit that they did anything problematic at all. That’s okay, because you can engage in forgiveness for your own benefit, not theirs. You don’t need anything from them to forgive them.
5. Forgiveness is a process. Or rather, forgiveness is instantaneous, but getting over the hurt, pain, resentment, and anger may take longer and require work to let the healing take place. Removing the toxic emotions are core to spiritual healing.
1. Romans 12:17
Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.
2. Ephesians 2:8
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.
3. Proverbs 15:1
A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
4. Matthew 5:7
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
5. Hebrews 8:12
For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.
6. John 13:34
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.
7. 2 Chronicles 7:14
If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
8. Luke 17:3
If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, … If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him.
9. Acts 10: 43
To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.
10. Matthew 5:23-24
So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
11. Isaiah 55:7
Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
12. 1 John 2:2
He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.
13. 1 Peter 4:8
Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.
14. Acts 17:30
The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent
15. Isaiah 43:25
I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins.
16. Matthew 6:14
For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly father will also forgive you.
17. Mark 11:25
And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your father in heaven may forgive you your sins.
18. 1 John 2:12
I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven for his name’s sake.
19. Psalm 32:1
Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.
20. Proverbs 17:9
Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends.
21. Galatians 6:1
Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.
22. Daniel 9:9
The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him.
23. Isaiah 1:18
“Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”
24. Hebrews 10:17
Then he adds, “I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.”
25. James 5:16
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
26. Luke 6:27
But I say to you who hear: love your enemies, do good to those who hate you.
27. Matthew 18:15
If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.
28. Ephesians 1:7-8
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace, which he made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence.
29. Luke 6:37
Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
30. 1 Peter 3:9
Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.
31. Romans 6:23
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
32. John 3:16-17
For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
33. Matthew 18:21-22
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”
34. Joel 2:13
Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.
35. Psalm 65:3
Though we are overwhelmed by our sins, you forgive them all.
36. Romans 4:5
But people are counted as righteous, not because of their work, but because of their faith in God who forgives sinners.
37. Luke 7:47
I tell you, her sins — and they are many — have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.
38. Psalm 103:11-12
For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.
39. Colossians 1:13-14
He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
40. Luke 23:34
And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments.
41. Matthew 12:31
And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the spirit will not be forgiven.
42. Acts 3:19
Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.
43. Ephesians 4:31
Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.
44. Matthew 6:12
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
45. Proverbs 10:12
Hatred stirs old quarrels, but love overlooks insults.
46. 1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
47. Matthew 6:15
But if you do not forgive others their sins, your father will not forgive your sins.
48. 2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
49. Psalm 86:5
You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you.
50. Colossians 3:12-13
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.