Forgiveness Quotes

“To err is human, to forgive is divine.”

We all know this popular adage, but what does it really mean? Well, as humans, we all make mistakes – whether or not we want to admit to them is another thing entirely! However, when it comes to forgiveness, many of us would rather hold on to our hurts, our resentments, and our anger than forgive the one who has done us wrong. It usually takes a “bigger” person to forgive, someone who realizes that holding on to all those negative emotions only hurts them in the long run – instead of the person who committed the wrongdoing!

Usually, we tend to think of forgiveness as benefiting only the one who is guilty of the wrongdoing. Viewed in this way, forgiveness is a “divine” act on the part of the one who forgives; the one who is forgiven is relieved of any guilt and can go on with their lives, free from remorse. But what about the forgiver? Does he/she benefit at all?

A life that is consumed by bitterness and resentment is hardly a life worth living. When anger and resentment consume you, this only leads to depression and a life of misery, where you feel victimized and powerless.

Forgiveness frees you – it frees you to live without the weight of that anger and resentment. Forgiveness of others, and ourselves, for the wrongdoings we have caused ourselves or suffered because of another’s actions, has tremendous physical and psychological effects. Forgiveness of ourselves and others leads to increased feelings of self-worth and decreased psychological stress. This allows you to live a more satisfied and fulfilling life because you have moved beyond the negative feelings that keep you stuck in the muck and the mire and control your thinking and behavior.

Forgiveness is really a gift that you give to yourself. It has very little to do with the person who has hurt you. In fact, holding on to that hurt is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die! Doesn’t make any sense, does it? Letting go of the hurt helps to build your self-esteem because it demonstrates your willingness to move out of the “victim” role and take your own personal power back.

Remember – forgiveness doesn’t mean you have to accept the behavior of another nor does it mean you have to forget. It means granting yourself the permission to be happy and to move on – because that is what is best for you!


Some of my favourite collection of forgiveness quotes:

  • We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.—Martin Luther King, Jr.

  • Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them.
    —Bruce Lee

  • Forgiveness is a virtue of the brave.
    —Indira Gandhi

  • Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.
    Paul Boose

  • Always forgive your enemies – nothing annoys them so much.
    Oscar Wilde

  • To forgive is the highest, most beautiful form of love. In return, you will receive untold peace and happiness.
    ert Muller

  • It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody.
    —Maya Angelou

  • Many times, the decisions we make affect and hurt your closest friends and family the most. I have a lot of regrets in that regard. But God has forgiven me, which I am very thankful for. It has enabled me to forgive myself and move forward one day at a time.
    —Lex Luger

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

  • There would be no need for love if perfection were possible. Love arises from our imperfection, from our being different and always in need of the forgiveness, encouragement and that missing half of ourselves that we are searching for, as the Greek myth tells us, in order to complete ourselves.
    —Eugene Kennedy

  • Forgive, O Lord, my little jokes on Thee, and I’ll forgive Thy great big joke on me.
    —Robert Frost

  • I did once seriously think of embracing the Christian faith. The gentle figure of Christ, so full of forgiveness that he taught his followers not to retaliate when abused or struck, but to turn the other cheek – I thought it was a beautiful example of the perfect man.
    —Mahatma Gandhi

  • Anger begets more anger, and forgiveness and love lead to more forgiveness and love.

  • I read everything, but generally more fact than fiction – especially autobiographies and biographies. I’ve read ‘Long Walk to Freedom’ by Nelson Mandela at least twice on holiday. Every time, I’m totally awed by his vision, strength and forgiveness. I feel honoured to have got to know him and his wonderful wife Graca over the years.
    —Richard Branson

  • 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

Thank you for reading. This particular topic is never-ending. I’ll be returning with some more.

—–Have Hope.Keep Faith—–

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41 thoughts on “Forgiveness Quotes

  1. Great post on forgiveness…thank you. I love the mandalas, did you draw them yourself? They are very beautiful.

    1. Yes, thank you so much 💫 ❤

      I’m trying my hand at mandala drawings. Sometimes I use a stencil. Anyway, thank you again for your appreciation!

  2. It amazes me how the perfect post pops up exactly when I need to hear it or read it or whatever. Anyway, thank you. I might even use the quote by Eugene Kennedy on my blog if you don’t mind… ❤️ ~ fullcircle

  3. This is such an important topic, Aishwarya, and you followed your thoughts with such an insightful line-up of quotes. I intend to remember quite a few of them. We hear so often about the virtue and personal emotional health of forgiveness, and it is all well and good to talk about forgiving others, turning the other cheek, letting what happened in the past stay in the past, etc., but when it comes down to brass tacks, we definitely all struggle to forgive. Bitterness is human nature.

    Have you ever watched small children playing together? One moment, they’re playing; the next, they’re yelling at one another, shaking fists, and kicking over some minor infraction on the part of one of the playmates. They declare their grand dislike for one another and intent to never play with the together ever again. Just a couple of minutes later, they are blissfully playing as before. Adults sigh in exasperation and ask aloud, “How are kids like that?”

    I read the answer in a book or article recently: Kids know how to value happiness over bitterness. They know that holding grudges helps neither party, and particularly ruins themselves. Adults would do well to learn from the innocent principles of childhood.

    1. I’m thankful for your beautiful compliment.

      And what you said about children, it is so TRUE. Perhaps, they don’t dwell on the emotions or feelings of despair for too long. They choose happiness over everything. That is something very much to be learned from them. As we grow, we tend to keep thinking about the things that happened or that could’ve. It ignores our happiness for ourselves. This is just my opinion.

      That article peice you shared resonates with me. Practical truth.

  4. Hi Aishwarya, I read your blog regularly. It shows your in-depth knowledge about the subject you write. I am really astounded by your blogs since they carry crystal clear human psychology and relations there in. But today the subject which you have chosen is far wide and beyond mundane world I suppose. The Title “To err is human, to forgive is divine.” Itself reminds us of Divinity. It is said we are born, brought-up and guided by that almighty and we – our souls are said to be of God-Particles themselves, hence we inherently have an affinity towards God, Spirituality and the `beyond the life’ world. To err is mundane and natural but to `keep it in mind’ to respond back and continue the journey of life will always create `weight’ not only in this life but `beyond-the-life’ journey also, which is endless then. Yes as you title says `To Forgive is Divine’. It is necessary for your owns sake to leave that `baggage’ of `err-by-human’ behind by `forgiving-from-Heart’. This is what our Saints have taught us. Life becomes really Beautiful by forgiving, not only `Here’ but in `Beyond-The-Life-World’ and it is a step towards `Elevated-Soul’.

    Thanks Aishwarya for touching the subject in your Blog. The Pictures you have put with The Blog are also indicative of the Subjects `depth’. Keep writing, I await enthusiastically for your next Blog please.

    1. I’m ever so grateful for your beautiful compliment. You know, these are the little things that I’ve learned from you and to this day, I keep learning. You’ve taught me what it takes to be human in this world.

      Your insights on this subject just perfectly articulated into one simple comment. That is the purity of following and learning values and gestures from you.

      Thank you. Thank you so much for your appreciation and your great words. LOVE it. THANKS AGAIN. ❤❤❤❤❤

  5. Thanks for sharing this. You make some pretty valid points. Forgiveness can turn out to be cathartic both for the person who grants it and for the person who receives it. All it takes is for us to think that, sometimes, people do not deserve to be forgiven but we do forgive them because they need it so much. Because we need it in order to move on without the burden of hatred, bitterness and resentment weighing us down for the rest of our lives. Forgiveness is a great act of compassion, love and self-love and it requires much soul-searching and introspection.

    1. I just learned something from you. Thank you so much for your beautiful insights. I’m thankful for your beautiful comment here on my blog. ✨😊

  6. This is so, true! ~ Doing simple Forgiveness practice can truly completely change our lives and move it to the next Level. Deeply understanding Forgiveness and doing the practice every day, brought so much benefits to my life! ~ I’ve shared in this YouTube video how this truly work and why, hope you get to see it, much LoVe and Gratitude, TJ

  7. “…some people would rather die than forgive.” —Sue Monk Kidd
    This is an interesting statement and one that might have more truth than we realize. According to the book A Course in Miracles, if we forgave completely and did not attack others (with resentment, hatred, assaults, etc.), then our bodies would become invulnerable to sickness and death. We could then use the body for good purposes and simply lay it aside gently when we are done with it.

    1. I did not know this. I just learned something from you. Thank you so much for your words.
      Also, I’m thankful for your comment on my blog. ❤

  8. Great post. Have you read Mark 11 v 24. Jesus said Whatsoever you desire believe you have received it and it will be yours. And when you stand praying if you hold anything against anyone forgive them so your Father in heaven will forgive you your sins. I enjoyed this post. Well written and true. Can I quote some of it if I am writing about unforgiveness. I have suffered mental anguish and cancer because of unforgiveness. . Angela

  9. A great write which is the truth of been a human. Will there be any situations where you will not be able to forgive someone for something which they never did to you but to another?

    Scenarios such as of the sexual abuse which is taking place to countless of children and ladies around the world? Innocents been mauled over while walking to work whom never knew that would be their last day on earth. Countless of refugees ending their life’s at sea not because they wanted to but due to the actions of another.

    Please don’t get me wrong as your post meant well and I am aware of how much of frustrations can build up within an individual when he or she isn’t able to let it go (forgive) but when something unspeakable or unreasonable happens to your own love one, to let go and forgive is the ultimate action that can be done but not everyone can pull themselves to do that.

    Maybe if I had nothing to lose I would forgive everyone for their mistakes committed to me or others but when there is something to loose, that forgiveness won’t come easy. Probably that’s why many teachings share the context of “Don’t get attached to any materialistic items or even relations, as they aren’t going to be there forever. But again I am just a human.

  10. Powerful piece!

    I always like reading your post, like myself I can see that you are a thinker, a student. You’re always learning how to master your craft, I appreciate that!

    You are absolutely right; forgiveness is a “divine” act on the part of the one who forgives. Forgiveness frees the one who forgives; a gift that you give to yourself. A wise person shouldn’t forget, or you may fall into the same pit. You just need to forgive, to free your own heart!

    I live that, that’s why I can truly appreciate your heart. You’re doing a wonderful job! Blessings!

  11. Great post! Forgiveness is difficult at times, although it’s so important to allow our hearts to let go. So that we may live with peace and prosperity.

  12. “The weak can never forgive.Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” – Mahatma Gandhi.
    Beautiful words, aren’t they ?
    Infact , here in India , a holy event & a festival of forgiveness called Paryushana is being celebrated every year. Right now , it’s underway ( from 7th September to 14 th September )
    So Let’s share our thoughts on & celebrate Forgiveness :

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