Close Ad

51 Forgiveness Quotes to Help You Let Go and Move On
forgiveness quotes

51 Forgiveness Quotes to Help You Let Go and Move On

Forgiveness is clearly a voluntary action. After someone hurts us, forgiveness is something we choose to do when we're ready to move on, or when the love in our hearts speaks louder than temporary hate.

RELATED: A Guide to Forgiving Yourself (and Others) for Inner Peace

In a world where being out for revenge seems to be more at hand, and appears to bring greater satisfaction, they say it takes courage and strength to do it. "An eye for an eye" is a reaction to being hurt, physically or emotionally. The need for retaliation poisons our minds, and it takes hard work to finally be able to say "I forgive you."

Forgiveness is about letting go of the past, understanding, and then moving on. It’s about taking care of your own mental health and setting yourself free. Selfish? Maybe, but it’s the kind that does good to others too.

Forgiveness Quotes to Inspire Change and Healthy Thinking


"Forgiveness says you are given another chance to make a new beginning."

-- Desmond Tutu

"There is no love without forgiveness, and there is no forgiveness without love."

-- Bryant H. McGill

"Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude." - Martin Luther King Jr.

"Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it."

-- Mark Twain

“Forgive others, not because they deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace.”

-- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

“Anger makes you smaller, while forgiveness forces you to grow beyond what you are.” - Cherie Carter-Scott

"Forgiving isn't something you do for someone else. It's something you do for yourself. It's saying 'You're not important enough to have a stranglehold on me.' It's saying, 'You don't get to trap me in the past. I am worthy of a future'."

-- Jodi Picoult


"To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you." - Lewis B. Smedes

"The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong."

-- Mahatma Gandhi

"The stupid neither forgive nor forget; the naive forgive and forget; the wise forgive but do not forget."

-- Thomas Szasz

"Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them."

-- Bruce Lee

"Always forgive your enemies - nothing annoys them so much." - Oscar Wilde

"All major religious traditions carry basically the same message; that is love, compassion and forgiveness the important thing is they should be part of our daily lives."

-- Dalai Lama

"I think the first step is to understand that forgiveness does not exonerate the perpetrator. Forgiveness liberates the victim. It's a gift you give yourself."

-- T.D. Jakes

"Forgive, forget. Bear with the faults of others as you would have them bear with yours." - Phillips Brooks

“Life is too short. I forgive and forget. I have not time to get mad or hate.”

-- Debasish Mridha

"Forgiveness is a funny thing. It warms the heart and cools the sting."

-- William Arthur Ward

"You can't forgive without loving. And I don't mean sentimentality. I don't mean mush. I mean having enough courage to stand up and say, 'I forgive. I'm finished with it'."

-- Maya Angelou

“True forgiveness is when you can say, ‘Thank you for that experience'." - Oprah Winfrey

"I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice."

-- Abraham Lincoln

"Forgiveness does not mean ignoring what has been done or putting a false label on an evil act. It means, rather, that the evil act no longer remains as a barrier to the relationship. Forgiveness is a catalyst creating the atmosphere necessary for a fresh start and a new beginning."

-- Martin Luther King Jr.

"Children begin by loving their parents; after a time they judge them; rarely, if ever, do they forgive them."

-- Oscar Wilde

"It's not an easy journey, to get to a place where you forgive people. But it is such a powerful place, because it frees you."

-- Tyler Perry

"Before we can forgive one another, we have to understand one another." - Emma Goldman

"Without forgiveness life is governed by an endless cycle of resentment and retaliation."

-- Roberto Assagioli

"When you hold resentment toward another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel. Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free."

-- Katherine Ponder

"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."

-- Will Smith

"Forgiveness is the remission of sins. For it is by this that what has been lost, and was found, is saved from being lost again."

-- Saint Augustine

"Forgotten is forgiven." - F. Scott Fitzgerald

"The remedy for life's broken pieces is not classes, workshops or books. Don't try to heal the broken pieces. Just forgive."

-- Iyanla Vanzant

"Forgiveness is the giving and so the receiving of life. the latter may be an impulse of a moment of heat; whereas the former is a cold and deliberate choice of the heart."

-- George MacDonald

"How unhappy is he who cannot forgive himself."

-- Publilius Syrus

"Acceptance and tolerance and forgiveness, those are life-altering lessons." - Jessica Lange

"If there are occasions when my grape turned into a raisin and my joy bell lost its resonance, please forgive me. Charge it to my head and not to my heart."

-- Jesse Jackson

"To understand somebody else as a human being, I think, is about as close to real forgiveness as one can get."

-- David Small


"For me, forgiveness and compassion are always linked: how do we hold people accountable for wrongdoing and yet at the same time remain in touch with their humanity enough to believe in their capacity to be transformed?"

-- bell hooks

"The lesson is that you can still make mistakes and be forgiven." - Robert Downey Jr.

"It is easier to forgive an enemy than to forgive a friend."

-- William Blake

"We think that forgiveness is weakness, but it's absolutely not; it takes a very strong person to forgive."

-- T.D. Jakes

"As we know, forgiveness of oneself is the hardest of all the forgivenesses."

-- Joan Baez

"Selfishness must always be forgiven you know, because there is no hope of a cure." - Jane Austen

"I learned a long time ago that some people would rather die than forgive. It's a strange truth, but forgiveness is a painful and difficult process. It's not something that happens overnight. It's an evolution of the heart."

-- Sue Monk Kidd

"Forgiveness is not to give the other person peace. Forgiveness is for you. Take that opportunity."

-- Mackenzie Phillips

"Forgiveness means letting go of the past." - Gerald Jampolsky

"It's toughest to forgive ourselves. So it's probably best to start with other people. It's almost like peeling an onion. Layer by layer, forgiving others, you really do get to the point where you can forgive yourself."

-- Patty Duke

"I like second chances. I've given people second chances. You have fall-outs with friends, and forgiveness is a great thing to have. It's not easy to forgive. I definitely don't forget, but I do forgive."

-- Odette Annable

"Without forgiveness, there's no future." - Desmond Tutu

"Just knowing you don't have the answers is a recipe for humility, openness, acceptance, forgiveness, and an eagerness to learn - and those are all good things."

-- Dick Van Dyke

"Without forgiveness life is governed by… an endless cycle of resentment and retaliation."

-- Roberto Assagioli

"Reconciliation and forgiveness can actually help all of us move on in a healthier, happier way."

-- Chesa Boudin

"Thankfully, forgiveness, and the healing it brings in its wake, has nothing to do with 'deserve.'"

-- Eric Metaxas


50 Inspirational Quotes to Uplift and Motivate

Hot Stories

Couple on a red carpet and a man kissing a woman's head

Jelly Roll Visits His High School Years After He Was Banned

Photo by Taylor Hill/WireImage (via Getty Images) and TikTok/ xomgitsbunnie

High school is either one of the best times or one of the worst times of your life, depending on how you lived it. You might have nostalgia for the “good old days,” or you might want to leave that part of your life far, far behind.

For famous country star Jelly Roll, the high school years were especially dramatic. In fact, he’s been quite open in the past about those years of drug addiction and legal battles. Things got so bad that he was actually kicked out of his high school in Nashville, Tennessee.

Keep ReadingShow less
Uplifting News