Bible verses on forgiveness can be sweet or brutal, depending on whether you are the one extending forgiveness or the one receiving forgiveness.
Either way, the bible verses are pretty clear on forgiveness and what is expected for the Christian.
But clear and easy are two very different things.
When you’re hurt, it’s easy to wonder “why should I forgive?”
After all, you didn’t do anything wrong.
Sometimes forgiveness can feel like punishment for the one doing the forgiving.
Why Forgive at All?
It’s a great question.
Why should you offer forgiveness?
After all, if somebody did something they knew was wrong, do they even deserve forgiveness?
Here’s what I would say if you’re in that situation.
Forgiving is for you… not for them.
It seems like it’s for them, but it’s really not.
You aren’t actually doing anything when you forgive somebody except releasing yourself from the emotions and bitterness you hold from unforgiveness.
God can only forgive sin and wipe it clean from a person’s ledger.
Think about this… if that person wants forgiveness, God WILL forgive them even if you do not.
That is God’s nature and his promise to us.
But there’s scientific evidence to suggest that when you forgive, there are a lot of powerful and positive things that happen in your physiology and psychology.
For more on that, check out this article and study by Berkeley.
That’s all I’ll say about why you should forgive.
Now let’s see what the scriptures have to say about forgiveness and look at some specific bible verses on forgiveness that can help you as you navigate the wounds that we each inevitably will receive in life.
Bible Verses on Forgiveness of Others
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.
Matthew 6:14-15 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Mark 11:25 And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
Luke 6:37 Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven.
Luke 17:3-4 Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.
Romans 3:23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
Romans 12:17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.
Ephesians 4:23 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Colossians 3:13 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.
John 8:7 And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.”
1 Thessalonians 5:15 See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone.
1 Peter 4:8 Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.
Galatians 6:1 Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness.For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God -Romans 3:23 Click To Tweet
Those are great bible verses on forgiveness when it comes to others.
But what about when you carry baggage and regrets about mistakes you’ve made yourself?
Bible Verses on Forgiving Yourself
In this section I want to explore some bible verses on forgiveness that focus on you.
Sometimes forgiving yourself can be harder than forgiving others.
That’s the enemy at the gates whispering lies.
Don’t believe every thought you have…
just because you think something does NOT make it true.
His Grace is sufficient for you!
2 Corinthians 12:9 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Psalm 32:5 I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin.
1 Peter 5:7 Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
Romans 8:31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? -Romans 8:31 Click To Tweet
2 Corinthians 5:17-18 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.
Romans 5:1 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. -Romans 8:1 Click To Tweet
Philippians 3:13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead…
Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
John 3:20-21 For whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God
Ephesians 1:7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace…
Psalm 19:14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
Bible Verses on Forgiveness from God
Maybe you want to know what the bible says about God’s forgiveness.
The bible verses on forgiveness below dive into the mercy, love, compassion, forgiveness, and redemption that God offers.
Daniel 6:1 The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him.
Hebrews 8:12 For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.
Isaiah 43:25 I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins.
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.
Matthew 7:2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.
Matthew 18:35 So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.
John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Psalm 103:12 As far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.As far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. -Psalm 103:12 Click To Tweet
John 3:36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.
Acts 10:43 To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.
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.
Isaiah 43:25 I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins.
Romans 5:8 But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. -Romans 5:8 Click To Tweet
Forgiveness in the Bible
Daniel 9:9 To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against him.
Proverbs 15:1 A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Proverbs 17:9 Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends.
Proverbs 20:22 Do not say, “I will repay evil”; wait for the Lord, and he will deliver you.
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.
Matthew 5:7 Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. -Matthew 5:7 Click To Tweet
Matthew 18:21-35 Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven. “Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. And since he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made…
Proverbs 28:13 Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.
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.
Ephesians 1:7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,
Matthew 26:28 For this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.
Matthew 18:15-20 “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. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.
1 John 2:12 I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven for his name’s sake.
Forgiveness Quotes from the Bible
Psalm 32:1 Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.
Acts 2:38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Matthew 18:21-22 Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.
Luke 23:34 And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments.
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.
Roman 5:10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.
Matthew 6:12-15 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Isaiah 1:18 Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.
Quotes on Forgiveness
“The act of forgiveness takes place in our own mind. It really has nothing to do with the other person.” -Louise Hay
“Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.” ―Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much. ― Oscar Wilde Click To Tweet
“To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.” ―
“To err is human, to forgive, divine.” ―
“One of the keys to happiness is a bad memory.” ―
“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” ―The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. -Mahatma Gandhi Click To Tweet
“True forgiveness is when you can say, “Thank you for that experience.” ―
“Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.” ―
“Keep in mind, hurting people often hurt other people as a result of their own pain. If somebody is rude and inconsiderate, you can almost be certain that they have some unresolved issues inside. They have some major problems, anger, resentment, or some heartache they are trying to cope with or overcome. The last thing they need is for you to make matters worse by responding angrily.” ―
“Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.” ―
“Not forgiving is like drinking rat poison and then waiting for the rat to die.” ―
“But we can’t go back. We can only go forward.” ―But we can't go back. We can only go forward. ― Libba Bray Click To Tweet
“Throughout life people will make you mad, disrespect you and treat you bad. Let God deal with the things they do, cause hate in your heart will consume you too.” ―
“Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names.” ―
“To be wronged is nothing, unless you continue to remember it.” ―
“Forgiveness must be immediate, whether or not a person asks for it. Trust must be rebuilt over time. Trust requires a track record.” ―
“I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice.” ―
“Forgiveness is not about forgetting. It is about letting go of another person’s throat.” ―
“Sometimes you just have to regret things and move on.” ―Sometimes you just have to regret things and move on. ― Charlaine Harris Click To Tweet
“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.” ―
“To forgive is wisdom, to forget is genius.” ―
“Forgiveness means it finally becomes unimportant that you hit back.” ―
“A life lived without forgiveness is a prison.” ―
Ultimate Bible Verse on Forgiveness
All the bible verses on forgiveness can be summed up in 1 ultimate verse…
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him, shall not perish, but have everlasting life.
If you’re and this page and want total redemption… forgiveness of all your sins and a new life in Christ, please visit our salvation page and make that happen today!
Jason and Daniele