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Bible Verses About Forgiving Others – Bible Reading Plan

Purple Holy Bible lying on rocky ground

Have you ever struggled to forgive someone in your life?

Are you more likely to forgive instantly or do you tend to stew over an offense?

Have you ever refused to forgive someone for something they’ve done or said?

We have all been hurt in ways that we don’t even like to think about. Some still have unspeakable memories and wounds too deep to describe. We’ve all dealt with our hurts in our own ways…or we haven’t.

As we explore God’s word on the subject of forgiveness through these Bible verses about forgiving others, I’m praying for you, sister, that you will receive the words He has for you, and gain something special from them.

Why Should We Forgive Others?

Forgiving is a heavy topic and one that nobody enjoys thinking about. I totally get it. I imagine most of us have, at some time or another, moved forgiveness to a back burner rather than face doing it.

But the Bible doesn’t give us that kind of choice. God tells us we must forgive, and Scripture gives us some compelling reasons to do so. 

As we look at these questions about forgiving and find the answers in these Bible verses about forgiving others, let’s at least consider the possibility of facing the often difficult, sometimes lengthy process of forgiving and healing. 

Because God Forgave Us

Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the LORD.” And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone. Psalm 32:5 (Christian Standard Version)

Lord, if you kept a record of our sins, who, O Lord, could ever survive? But you offer forgiveness that we might learn to fear you. Psalm 130:3-4

He has removed our sins from us as far as the east is from the west. Psalm 103:12

Because We All Want To Be Forgiven

If we don’t forgive others for their sins against us, God won’t forgive us for our sins against Him. The story told in Matthew 18:21-36 clearly tells us that we do not have the right to withhold forgiveness.

If you forgive those who sin against you, your Heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins. Matthew 6:14-15

Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord. Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many. Hebrews 12:14-15

Jesus replied, “But even more blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice.” Luke 11:28

Because God Said So

Over and over, throughout Scripture, we are commanded to forgive others. Any lack of obedience, even partial obedience, is still disobedience.

But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too. Mark 11:25

Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do all you can to live in peace with everyone. Dear friends, never take revenge. Romans 12:17-18

So watch yourselves! If another believer sins, rebuke that person; then if there is repentance, forgive. Even if that person wrongs you seven times a day and each time turns and asks forgiveness, you must forgive. Luke 17:3-4

Because Relationships Are Important To God

But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love you enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Luke 6:27

Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8

“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.” Luke 7:47

As you can see from the above verses, God gives us good reason for forgiving others. It’s a matter of obedience, and it’s a matter of where we will spend eternity. 

How Do You Forgive Someone Who Hurt You?

You should begin by pouring out your heart to God. Tell Him how you feel, and let the Holy Spirit guide your thoughts. Ask Him to help you to forgive even when you know you don’t have it in you. 

Choose Not To Be Offended?

Give the offense to God. Yes, just hand it over. Allow God to do with it what He will, but you can take your hands off. And then state your forgiveness to your own heart. This creates a boundary, a marker for you along this path. 

Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Colossians 3:13

Hatred stirs up quarrels, but love makes up for all offenses. Proverbs 10:12

Sensible people control their temper; they earn respect by overlooking wrongs. Proverbs 19:11

Stop dwelling on what the other person did to you. You’ve given it to God now, and it’s out of your hands. 

Obtaining Justice Is Not My Job

Sometimes we feel like the person who hurt us should suffer for it. But the Bible is very clear in stating that justice is not ours to dole out as individuals. The law may provide for justice in some cases, but if not, God says there is a time for it, and He is so patient that He can wait for the sin to reach its full measure before administering justice. Leave it to God.

Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the LORD. Romans 12:19

Don’t say, “I will get even for this wrong.” Wait for the LORD to handle the matter. Proverbs 20:22

You may go back time and time again before you remember that you’ve given it to the Lord, but that marker of stating your forgiveness will help you now. You can say, ‘But I forgave them for that’, and hopefully move on. 

Trust God with your forgiveness and let Him move you in the right direction.  I know personally that forgiving is not easy or simple. But God has the power it takes to help us to forgive.

How Can I Maintain Forgiveness?

There will be triggers that may make it hard to maintain forgiveness. Memories bombard and threaten our peace. But – you can always ask for God’s help to keep your mind focused in the right direction.

We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5 (English Standard Version)

Bitterness can become a habit that makes it all too easy to hold a grudge. We must fight against the temptation to harbor bitter feelings because a small root of bitterness will grow into a giant obstacle and when it does, it will smother the forgiveness right out of us.

Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:31-32

In my experience, it can be a long road and God will have many things to teach you. Learn the things He has for you, and keep step in the right direction. One day you’ll realize how far away from that old bitterness you’ve come. 

I’ve made a companion Bible Reading Plan with 30 Bible verses about forgiving others. You can get it right now by just clicking on the image below. Enjoy!

Forgiving Others Bible Reading Plan

The Power Of Forgiveness

Jesus paid for our sins to keep us from eternal torment in Hell. God expects us to forgive others because of the mercy we have been given. He makes this clear throughout the Bible. 

No matter the offense, whether from words or actions, on purpose or unintentional, done to us or to someone we love, there is nothing that can’t be forgiven. Nothing. 

There is great power in forgiveness, and that power doesn’t come from self-will. It’s only the power of the Holy Spirit that works in every Christian heart and breaks down walls of bitterness and offense.

I don’t have it down perfectly, or anywhere near. But every time I’ve looked a situation in the eye with the intention of learning how to forgive, God has more than rewarded me with an action plan. 

Sometimes, it’s been in the form of talking to someone, but more often it’s been a sequence of events that have made clear to me the path I needed to take. Every single situation is different, there is no formula, and I don’t intend to make it seem easy. Because it’s not. 

Forgiving is hard and the road can be just plain ugly. But when you take God’s hand and ask Him to walk it with you, there you will find the gifts that God has for you as you work through the hard with Him. 

There are as many opinions about forgiveness as there are situations that require it. But Scripture is not an opinion. It’s God’s word and His will, which trumps our opinion in every instance.

I pray that these Bible verses about forgiving others will give you the motivation and guidance you need to deal with the people you have relationships with as well as those who merely cross paths with you. 

Because, you know, we are all flawed humans, and without the grace of God, every one of us would be helpless and hopeless.

Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight! Yes, what joy for those whose record the LORD has cleared of guilt, whose lives are lived in complete honesty! When I refused to confess my sin, my body wasted away, and I groaned all day long. Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat. Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the LORD.” And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone. Therefore, let all the godly pray to you while there is still time, that they may not drown in the floodwaters of judgment. For you are my hiding place; you protect me from trouble. You surround me with songs of victory. Psalm 32:1-7 

Bible verses about forgiving others

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2 Comments

  1. Hi Aritha, You are so right, forgiving can be awfully complicated and painful. Sometimes we say we forgive with our mouth and have to work hard on following that up with forgiveness from our hearts. But God is so good, and He will walk with us hand in hand on that difficult path. Thank you for your insight.

  2. Thank you Kim. It’s good to read this. I was once too quick to forgive. That is also possible. Someone asked me to forgive him for something really bad, which he did to me as a child. So I said I forgave him, I didn’t do it with my heart, but with my mouth because I hated the things he said

    I was confused by my feelings and didn’t like him asking for forgiveness. He awakened memories I wish I hadn’t had. So, it can be very complicated.