Dr. Jim Dincalci How to Forgive When You Can't
 

Forgiving Words of Wisdom

Forgiveness Quotes

Forgiveness Prayers

 

Quotes

If you have a favorite forgiveness quote, please send it to us so that we can include it here.

To start off, here is a thoughtful question from R. Buckminster Fuller. The quotes that follow all provide equally thoughtful answers to his questions: “If success or failure of this planet and of human beings depends on how I am and what I do, how would I be? What would I do?”

“I shall allow no man to belittle my soul by making me hate him.”
~Booker T. Washington

“Forgiveness is not an occasional act; it is a permanent attitude.”
~Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
~Jesus – Matthew 7:3&5

“Of the Seven Deadly Sins, anger is possibly the most fun. To lick your wounds, to smack your lips over grievances long past, to roll over your tongue the prospect of bitter confrontations still to come, to savor to the last toothsome morsel both the pain you are given and the pain you are giving back—in many ways it is a feast fit for a king. The chief drawback is that what you are wolfing down is yourself. The skeleton at the feast is you.”
~Frederick Buechner

“Be not angry that you cannot make others as you wish them to be, since you cannot make yourself as you wish to be.”
~Thomas à Kempis

“You know you have forgiven someone when he or she has harmless passage through your mind.”
~Rev. Karyl Huntley

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”
~Mahatma Gandhi

“True forgiveness deals with the past, all of the past, to make the future possible. We cannot go on nursing grudges even vicariously for those who cannot speak for themselves any longer. We have to accept that we do what we do for generations past, present and yet to come. That is what makes a community a community or a people a people—for better or for worse.”
~Desmond Mpilo Tutu, excerpted from No Future Without Forgiveness

“If you have a resentment you want to be free of, if you will pray for the person or the thing you resent, you will he free. If you will ask in prayer for everything you want for yourself to be given to them, you will be free. Ask for their health, their prosperity, their happiness, and you will be free. Even when you don’t really want it for them, and your prayers are only words and you don’t mean it, go ahead and do it anyway. Do it every day for two weeks and you will find you have come to mean it and want it for them, and you will realize that where you used to feel bitterness and resentment and hatred, you now feel compassionate understanding and love.”
~The Big Book, Alcoholics Anonymous

“We must be saved by the final form of love, which is forgiveness.”
~Reinhold Niebuhr

“Forgiveness is the key that can unshackle us from a past that will not rest in the grave of things over and done with. As long as our minds are captive to the memory of having been wronged, they are not free to wish for reconciliation with the one who wronged us.”
~Lewis B. Smedes

“When we harbor negative emotions toward others or toward ourselves, or when we intentionally create pain for others, we poison our own physical and spiritual systems. By far the strongest poison to the human spirit is the inability to forgive oneself or another person. It disables a person’s emotional resources. The challenge…is to refine our capacity to love others as well as ourselves and to develop the power of forgiveness.”
~Caroline Myss, PH.D., excerpted from Anatomy of the Spirit: The Seven Stages of Power and Healing

“Forgiveness is not a matter of feeling superior, of feeling sorry for our parents because they didn't' know any better. It comes when we understand that as humans we all do the very best we can, and we can't ask for more than that. Forgiveness is making the choice to find no more value in anger, and to see that we are all God's light, all joined, and the separations we feel are only part of the illusions of the ego.”
~Gerald G. Jampolsky, MD, excerpted from Out of the Darkness into the Light: A Journey of Inner Healing

“Forgiveness is not the misguided act of condoning irresponsible, hurtful behavior. Nor is it a superficial turning of the other cheek that leaves us feeling victimized and martyred. Rather, it is the finishing of old business that allows us to experience the present, free of contamination from the past.”
~Joan Borysenko, Ph.D., excerpted from Fire In The Soul: A New Psychology of Spiritual Optimism

“The choice to follow love through to its completion is the choice to seek completion within ourselves. The point at which we shut down on others is the point at which we shut down on life. We heal as we heal others, and we heal others by extending our perceptions past their weaknesses. Until we have seen someone’s darkness, we don’t really know who that person is. Until we have forgiven someone’s darkness, we don’t really know what love is. Forgiving others is the only way to forgive ourselves, and forgiveness is our greatest need.”
~Marianne Williamson, excerpted from Illuminata: A Return to Prayer

The following quotes are taken from “The Garden of Forgiveness”:

“There is a hard law…When an injury is done to us, we never recover until we forgive.”
~Alan Paton

“Every act of revenge is a time-bomb thrown into the future, one which reverberates through history, unless dealt with through modern psychological and effective methods of reconciliation and peace building.”
~Alexandra Asseily

“Whoever opts for revenge should dig two graves.”
~Chinese proverb

“Hope for a great sea-change On the far side of revenge. Believe that a further shore Is reachable from here. Believe in miracles And cures and healing wells.”
~Seamus Heaney

“People ask me what advice I have for a married couple struggling in their relationship. I always answer: pray and forgive. And to young people from violent homes, I say: pray and forgive. And again, even to the single mother with no family support: pray and forgive.”
~Mother Teresa

“It is freeing to become aware that we do not have to be victims of our past and can learn new ways of responding. But there is a step beyond this recognition…It is the step of forgiveness. Forgiveness is love practiced among people who love poorly. It sets us free without wanting anything in return.”
~Henri J.M. Nouwen

“Without being forgiven, released from the consequences of what we have done, our capacity to act would, as it were, be confined to a single deed from which we could never recover; we would remain the victims of its consequences forever, not unlike the sorcerer’s apprentice who lacked the magic formula to break the spell.”
~Hannah Arendt

World scripture quotations from “The Garden of Forgiveness” :

“Be quick in the race for forgiveness from your Lord, and in the race for a garden wide as the heavens and the earth, prepared for the righteous—[the righteous are] those who spend whether in prosperity or adversity, who restrain anger and who pardon all people. For God loves those who do good.”
(Islam. Qu'uran, 3:133 –134)

“Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”
(Christianity. The Lord’s Prayer)

“Subvert anger by forgiveness.”
(Jainism. Samanasuttam 136)

“The best deed of a great man is to forgive and forget.”
(Islam [Shiite]. Nahjul Balagha, Saying 201)

“Where there is forgiveness, there is God Himself.”
(Sikhism. Adi Granth, Shalok, Kabir, p. 1372)

“If you efface and overlook and forgive, then lo! God is forgiving, merciful.”
(Islam. Qur'an 64.14)

“The superior man tends to forgive wrongs and deals leniently with crimes.”
(Confucianism. I Ching 40: Release)

“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.”
(Christianity. Matthew 5.23-24)

“The Day of Atonement atones for sins against God, not for sins against man, unless the injured person has been appeased.”
(Judaism. Mishnah, Yoma 8.9)

“Show endurance in humiliation and bear no grudge.”
(Taoism. Treatise on Response and Retribution)

“You shall not take vengeance or bear any grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.”
(Judaism and Christianity. Leviticus 19.18)

“Who takes vengeance or bears a grudge acts like one who, having cut one hand while handling a knife, avenges himself by stabbing the other hand.”
(Judaism. Jerusalem Talmud, Nedarim 9.4)

“Moses son of Imran said, ‘My Lord, who is the greatest of Thy servants in Thy estimation?’ and received the reply, ‘The one who forgives when he is in a position of power.’”
(Islam. Hadith of Baihaqi)

“Better and more rewarding is God’s reward to those who believe and put their trust in Him: who avoid gross sins and indecencies and, when angered, are willing to forgive…Let evil be rewarded by like evil, but he who forgives and seeks reconciliation shall be rewarded by God. He does not love the wrongdoers…True constancy lies in forgiveness and patient forbearance.”
(Islam. Qur'an 42.36-43)

“In reconciling a great injury, Some injury is sure to remain. How can this be good? Therefore the sage holds the left-hand tally [obligation] of a contract; He does not blame others. The person of virtue attends to the obligation; The person without virtue attends to the exactions.”
(Taoism. Tao Te Ching 79)

“Then Peter came up and said to him, ‘Lord, how often shall 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.’”
(Christianity. Matthew 18:22)
Quotations from The Koran:
“Hold to forgiveness, command what is right, and turn away from the ignorant.”
(Qu'uran, 7:199)

“…They should rather pardon and overlook. Would you not love Allah to forgive you? Allah is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”
(Qu'uran, 24:22)

“The repayment of a bad action is one equivalent to it. But if someone pardons and puts things right, his reward is with Allah…”
(Qu'uran, 42:40)

“But if you pardon and exonerate and forgive, Allah is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”
(Qu'uran, 64:14)

“But if someone is steadfast and forgives, that is the most resolute course to follow.”
(Qu'uran, 42:43)

 
 
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