Powerful Bible Verses On Forgiveness

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How do you forgive? How do you forgive when the pain runs so deep it catches your breath? Or when the mention of the person who caused you pain sends your heart in a race to fear or raging in anger? Let’s go over some practical steps and Bible verses on forgiveness that have helped me and still help me to this day.

Scriptures on Forgiveness

  • Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Colossians 3:13
  • For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. Matthew 6:14-15 NIV
  • 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.” Matthew 18:21-22

There is a long long list of Bible verses on forgiveness, but those are a few to get you started in your search and study on this topic.

What Does The Bible Say About Forgiveness?

From the example of Jesus, it has been inferred that Christians must always forgive all offenses against them, even when repentance is not offered. However, the most that we can legitimately infer from Jesus’ actions on that occasion is that we have the right to forgive people unilaterally. Though that may be indeed a wonderful thing, it is not commanded. If we look at the commandment that Jesus gives in Luke 17:3, He says, “If your brother sins, rebuke him.” Notice that the first response to the offense is not forgiveness but rather rebuke. The Christian has the right to rebuke those who commit wrong doing against him. That’s the basis for the whole procedure of church discipline in the New Testament. If we were commanded to give unilateral forgiveness to all, under all circumstances, then the whole action of church discipline to redress wrongs, would itself be wrong. – Ligonier.org

How Do You Truly Forgive Someone?

It’s a daily process.

We all can pull out a few quick bible verses on forgiveness, but real life calls for practical step by step advice linked hand in hand with scripture.

  • Take it one day at a time.
  • Tell God all about it. Share with him the pain, the raw ugly pain that you are feeling.
  • Read you bible and pray. Then read your Bible and pray again.
  • Ask God to help you heal from the offense and help you to forgive.
  • Every time those scaring, painful memories come to the surface bring it to God. Every moment, everyday, every time.
  • Set boundaries with the ones that are hurting you on an ongoing basis.

I believe forgiveness is a process. A day by day, moment by moment and season by season process.

Forgiveness is not condoning the bad behavior. It is not forgetting what has happened. It is not restoring trust to the offender. It is not doing that person a favor nor is it easy. Forgiveness is a process. 

Forgiving someone, even if they haven’t apologized, is about your freedom, your spiritual life, trusting God, and your responsibility to move forward. 

It is a process and not a one time event. It’s not a one time prayer and it’s done. It takes time. Especially if the pain is deep.

We have a whole book in the Bible that deals with lamenting. Lamentations! Learn to lament at the feet of Jesus. In your prayer time, it’s okay to let it all out to Him.

King David wrote so many cries to God for help dealing with enemies as well. Read them. Look at what his cries for help and lamenting looked like.

I suggest learning and setting healthy boundaries with those that are hurting you on an ongoing basis.

Boundaries are okay and Biblical. God sets boundaries with us even.

You do not have to stand and take toxic behavior over and over again.

Study forgiveness in the Bible, cry out – lament to God, sharing your pain with him, asking for help in healing and forgiving.

Never let anyone shame you for your process.

Yes as Christians we are called to forgive and we move forward every day laying the pain at the feet of Jesus, but it is a process. Repeat after me….Forgiveness is a process.

A moment by moment, day by day, week by week, month by month process of us continuing to seek after God and reading scripture to help us with forgiveness.

Knowing who you are in Christ is so important in forgiving others. Their sin is about them. It’s not yours to fix. It’s not yours! It doesn’t label who you are.

Remind yourself who you are in Christ as you work thru forgiveness. It’s so important to your healing through this great pain. 

What happens when I don’t forgive?

If we choose not to work on forgiveness or flat out choose not to forgive, when the one who offended us has truly repented, we offend God. Choosing not to forgive those who have repented is sinning against God. This is the command of Jesus. We are to extend the same grace and forgiveness that Christ gives us.

More Articles on Forgiveness You May Enjoy

Practical Steps on Forgiveness

Praying for those that hurt us

Forgiving without an apology

Refresh your spirit and find encouragement with this beautifully designed printable kit for depression & sadness, My Hope Toolbox, which you can download now. Depression and sadness hit hard, yet God offers us peace. This tool puts resources you need for wellness right at your fingertips.

Bible Verses Forgiveness

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