Bible Verses About Forgiveness: A Guide to Healing 

5 min read

There are Bible verses about forgiveness that contain incredibly challenging teachings. Scripture paints a radical picture of forgiveness. As Christians, we’re taught to forgive freely, without hesitation and without reward. 

While the wisdom that we should be kind, forgiving, people is deeply ingrained across humanity. The idea that we should forgive, no matter what, is less accepted. 

Could you forgive someone who has repeatedly wronged you, with no sign of changing their behaviour? While we need to build healthy, nourishing relationships, we also need to live from a place of endless, unreserved forgiveness. It’s a difficult balance to strike but one that Jesus exemplifies perfectly. 

No matter how you’ve been hurt over the years, God makes it possible for us to forgive all. 

What Does The Bible Say About Forgiving Those Who Have Hurt  You? 

Forgiveness is a powerful act that can bring about healing and restoration in relationships. The Bible talks extensively about forgiveness, emphasizing its importance in our lives and relationships.  

Forgiveness is powerful! It can bring about healing and restoration in relationships. Not only that, it can be transformative for you. When you forgive freely you make way for a life filled with grace and joy. You also get into the habit of going easy on yourself, forgiving yourself instead of beating yourself up. 

One of the most well-known Bible verses about forgiveness is found in Matthew 6:14-15, where Jesus states, “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.” 

It’s challenging isn’t it? God shows us such incredible generosity and forgiveness. He expects it to transform us and for us to then live differently. He fills us with His goodness and covers us with His mercy and then empowers us to do the same for others. 

Another important passage about forgiveness is found in Colossians 3:13, which says, “Bear with  each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the  Lord forgave you.” 

This Bible verse about forgiveness crucially doesn’t contain any exemptions. It doesn’t have a list of grievances you do, or don’t forgive. There are no exceptions to God’s abundant forgiveness, or to how He expects us to forgive in return. 

That’s not to say forgiveness isn’t a journey. It can take time to cultivate a lifestyle of forgiveness and your progress won’t always feel linear. Go easy on yourself and give yourself time. Thankfully, God is a patient God! 

What Are Some Bible Verses About Forgiveness For Those That Have Wronged You? 

When we forgive people we extend the same grace and mercy, that we have been blessed with, to others. It’s not easy but ultimately forgiving people is a way of us yielding to God. It’s a way of us trusting God and trusting His wisdom and justice, over our own. 

The book of Micah contains a beautiful reminder of who God is: 

Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.” Micah 7: 18-20

Not only does God forgive us for everything we ever have, or ever will do. He also delights to show us mercy. He loves to be kind to us! 

What Are Some Examples of Forgiveness In The Bible? 

Forgiveness is a common theme in the Bible, and there are many examples of it throughout its  pages. One of the most well-known is the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-32, where a son who squandered his inheritance returns to his father and is forgiven. Another example is the story of Joseph forgiving his brothers in Genesis 50:15-21, despite them selling him into slavery. 

Jesus also modelled forgiveness during his life, even asking God to forgive those who crucified him on the  cross (Luke 23:34). These examples show that forgiveness is an important aspect of the Christian faith and something that we should strive to emulate in our own lives.

What Are The Benefits Of Forgiving Someone Who Has Hurt You According To The Bible? 

In truth, the Bible doesn’t promise us any benefits for forgiving people that we’ll experience this side of heaven. Most Bible verses about forgiveness stress how important it is for us to forgive others just as God forgave us. This connects directly to our spiritual wellbeing and our salvation. 

Forgiving others is part of living with an eternal perspective. It may be difficult here on earth and we may not see any reward or benefit from it, but we do it anyway as part of the outworking of our faith. 

That being said, living at peace with people, rather than at odds, can bring great joy and blessing into your life. 

Nurturing anger and bitterness towards people can also pull us away from God, damaging our intimate connection with him. 

What Does The Bible Say About Letting Go Of Hurt And Bitterness? 

The Bible teaches us to love our enemies, bless those who curse us, and to pray for those who mistreat us. In Matthew 18:21-22, Jesus instructs us to forgive others not just seven times, but  seventy-seven times. Seventy-seven isn’t meant as exact number, you don’t get to tally up how many times some has hurt you! When Jesus says seventy-seven He is implying a fullness, or never-ending, amount of times. 

No matter how justified your anger is, no matter how badly you’ve been hurt, holding onto bitterness and unforgiveness will only make things worse. Forgiving others genuinely feels freeing, it releases you from a heavy burden and makes it possible to move forward with your life. 

God doesn’t command us to forgive others as some sort of challenge, He does it because it’s better for our own wellbeing. It makes it possible for us to live full of His joy and peace. 

How Can We Show Grace And Mercy To Those Who Have Hurt Us? 

One of the easiest ways to show grace and mercy to those who’ve hurt us, is also the most powerful. Namely, we can pray for them! 

It’s one of the oldest tricks in the book but praying a blessing on people we’re angry with (even if for very good reason) is a brilliant way of making a way for us to forgive them. 

When we pray a blessing on someone who’s hurt us or let us known we shift our heart posture from bitterness and pain, to generosity and kindness. 

It can be a short, simple, prayer but say it with your whole heart and say it often. As time goes on it will get easier and easier to bless that person. 

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