Do you have a favorite Bible Verse on Forgiveness? 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 of fear or raging in anger? Let’s go over 30 Bible verses on forgiveness that have helped me and still help me to this day.
Scriptures on Forgiveness
Are you wanting to know what forgiveness in the bible looks like? Here are a few Bible verses that talk about 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
Here Paul encourages us to be gently and patient with each other and to forgive one another. Why? Because God forgives us. We forgive others, because God sets the example and forgive us.
- 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
Anyone who refuses to forgive others is rebelling against God’s forgiveness. No sin committed against us, great or small, should stand in the way of our granting forgiveness to others. If we have been forgiven by God for so much, how could we withhold forgiveness from people who seem to do nothing wrong but offend us? Side note here: Forgiveness does not mean reconciliation. Sometimes we must forgive and close the door of friendship to someone.
- 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
Peter is asking this question because the Jewish rabbis required those who followed the law to forgive a person who was guilty of the same offense only three times. And Jesus tells us here that we are to extend grace many more times.
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
Forgiveness In The Bible: 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 your 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.
Verses On Forgiveness
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.
The Power Of Forgiveness In The Bible
Forgiving others is important, but sometimes it can be really difficult to do without God’s help and power.
God’s call to forgive is not merely a suggestion. It’s a command. Colossians 3:13 tells us, “as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Luke 6:37 says, “forgive, and you will be forgiven.”And Matthew 6:15 goes on to say, “but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” God does not take forgiveness lightly.
Why should I forgive and how can I do it?
The Bible offers some great instruction on the why and how to forgive. Let’s look at a few Bible Verses About Forgiveness…
“Then Peter came to Him and said, ‘Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.’” Matthew 18:21-22.
“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Matthew 6:14-15.
If we are filled with resentment and bitterness, we are exhibiting the “works of the flesh,” not the fruit of the Spirit which is evidence of true salvation (Galatians 5:19-23).
What did Jesus teach about forgiveness?
A Christian who is not willing to forgive others will find his fellowship with God hindered ( read Matthew 6:15) and can reap bitterness and the loss of reward (read Hebrews 12:14–15; 2 John 1:8).
How do you forgive yourself?
Here’s to finally forgive yourself—or at least try.
- Pray and Pray again. Ask God to help you.
- Understand the difference between guilt and shame.
- Admit you messed up.
- Apologize to anyone you may have hurt.
- Write yourself an apology.
- Take care of yourself, mentally and physically.
- Be patient.
- Print off the list of Bible Verses About Forgiveness below. Read them every day.
Why should we forgive?
The benefits include reducing anger, hurt, depression and stress, while increasing feelings of optimism, hope, compassion, physical vitality, self–efficacy, conflict resolution skills and confidence. Forgiveness can even improve our physical health with some studies suggesting it reduces hypertension.
Forgiveness is not a feeling, it is a choice. Choosing forgiveness will mean that you have to go to God on your knees for the power and help to forgive.
It’s choosing not to let thoughts of hatred and bitterness rule in your heart. It’s choosing to go to God to find help and comfort instead of dwelling on the past, even when our feelings would rather do anything but. Check out these Bible Verses About Forgiveness below.
Bible Verses About Forgiveness
Use this list of 30 bible verses about forgiveness to help you learn, grow and heal. This makes a great scripture writing plan. Grab the printable version below.
Learning To Forgive Scripture Writing Journal Printable
Bible verses about forgiveness journal. Use this 35 page printable scripture writing journal to help you learn all about what the Bible says about forgiveness.
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More Articles on Forgiveness In The Bible
Practical Steps on Forgiveness – There are practical steps to forgiving others that each Christian should take into consideration when needing to forgive others and when instructing others to forgive.
Praying for those that hurt us – God doesn’t want us to take revenge, hate, nor return the hurt towards those that have scarred our hearts. And equally He doesn’t want us holding onto the pain and letting it fester inside us and allowing it to turn into bitterness.
Forgiving without an apology – Holding on to the hurt and pain will only hinder us from true healing. Un-forgiveness can put a wedge between us and the true inner healing God has for us. It puts a wall up between us and God.
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