If you’ve ever let anger or resentment become a stronghold in your life, read through these forgiveness quotes to inspire you to let go of the past.
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Forgiveness Quotes
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A lack of forgiveness comes in many forms. Unexpected breakups, family trauma, or betrayal of any kind can easily cause resentment to take root in our hearts. It can be an unimaginably hard task to choose to let go of past hurts and begin to heal, but the decision to forgive will ultimately lead to a happier and more fulfilling life. It's important to understand that deciding to forgive doesn't mean you're dismissing or justifying the pain someone has caused you; it will however create space in your mind and heart for true joy.

If you find yourself wondering where to begin, these forgive-and-forget quotes are sure to inspire you to take next steps in your compassion journey. That can often mean you need to forgive yourself first and these inspiring quotes about forgiveness will help you do just that. Keep reading for 30+ quotes, from wise people like Mother Teresa, Oprah, and the Pope, about forgiveness.

The Best Quotes About Forgiveness

Take forgiveness slowly. Don't blame yourself for being slow. Peace will come. - Yoko Ono
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Yoko Ono

"Take forgiveness slowly. Don't blame yourself for being slow. Peace will come." 

No Love without forgiveness quote Bryant H. McGill
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Bryant H. McGill

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

Throughout life people will make you mad, disrespect you and treat you bad. Let God deal with the things they do, because hate in your heart will consume you too. - Will Smith
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Will Smith

"Throughout life people will make you mad, disrespect you and treat you bad. Let God deal with the things they do, because hate in your heart will consume you too."

“If we really want to love, we must learn how to forgive.” — Mother Teresa
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Mother Teresa

"If we really want to love, we must learn how to forgive."

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
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Jodi Picoult

"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'."

“Surely it is much more generous to forgive and remember, than to forgive and forget.” - Maria Edgeworth
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Maria Edgeworth

"Surely it is much more generous to forgive and remember, than to forgive and forget."

"Forgiveness is above all a personal choice, a decision of the heart to go against natural instinct to pay back evil with evil." - Pope John Paul II
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Pope John Paul II

"Forgiveness is above all a personal choice, a decision of the heart to go against natural instinct to pay back evil with evil."

“When you forgive, you heal. When you let go, you grow.” Anonymous
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Anonymous

"When you forgive, you heal. When you let go, you grow."

"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
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Tyler Perry

"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."

“We win by tenderness. We conquer by forgiveness.” - Frederick William Robertson
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Frederick William Robertson

"We win by tenderness. We conquer by forgiveness."

"To err is human; to forgive, divine. - Alexander Pope
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Alexander Pope

"To err is human; to forgive, divine."

“How unhappy is he who cannot forgive himself.” - Publilius Syrus
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Publilius Syrus

"How unhappy is he who cannot forgive himself

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

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

“Forgiveness is a powerful expression of the love within our soul.” — Anthony Douglas
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Anthony Douglas

"Forgiveness is a powerful expression of the love within our soul."

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

"True forgiveness is when you can say 'Thank you for that experience'."

“There is no revenge so complete as forgiveness.” - Josh Billings
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Josh Billings

"There is no revenge so complete as forgiveness."

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

"It's one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody."

“Forgiveness isn’t approving what happened. It’s choosing to rise above it.” – Robin Sharma
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Robin Sharma

"Forgiveness isn't approving what happened. It's choosing to rise above it."

“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," - Martin Luther King Jr.
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Martin Luther King Jr.

"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."

“Forgiveness is not something we do for other people. It’s something we do for ourselves to move on.” - Anonymous
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Anonymous

"Forgiveness is not something we do for other people. It's something we do for ourselves to move on."

If one by one we counted people out / For the least sin, it wouldn’t take us long / To get so we had no one left to live with. / For to be social is to be forgiving. - Robert Frost
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Robert Frost

"If one by one we counted people out / For the least sin, it wouldn't take us long / To get so we had no one left to live with. / For to be social is to be forgiving."

“Acceptance and tolerance and forgiveness; those are life-altering lessons.” — Jessica Lange
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Jessica Lange

"Acceptance and tolerance and forgiveness; those are life-altering lessons." 

Never forget the nine most important words of any family: I love you. You are beautiful. Please forgive me. - H. Jackson Brown Jr.
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H. Jackson Brown Jr.

"Never forget the nine most important words of any family: I love you. You are beautiful. Please forgive me."

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

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

I believe forgiveness is the best form of love in any relationship. It takes a strong person to say they’re sorry and an even stronger person to forgive. - Yolanda Hadid
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Yolanda Hadid

"I believe forgiveness is the best form of love in any relationship. It takes a strong person to say they're sorry and an even stronger person to forgive."

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

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

"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.
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Martin Luther King Jr.

"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."

Oscar Wilde
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Oscar Wilde

"Always forgive your enemies – nothing annoys them so much." 

Let’s shake free this gravity of judgment, And fly high on the wings of forgiveness. - India Arie Simpson
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India Arie Simpson

"Let's shake free this gravity of judgment, and fly high on the wings of forgiveness."

T. D. Jakes Forgiveness Quote
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T. D. Jakes

"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." 

Forgiveness is the needle that knows how to mend. - Jewel
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Jewel

"Forgiveness is the needle that knows how to mend."

Roberto Assagioli Without Forgiveness Quote
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Roberto Assagioli

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

As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison. - Nelson Mandela
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Nelson Mandela

"As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn't leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I'd still be in prison."

"Forgiveness is a funny thing. It warms the heart and cools the sting." - William Arthur Ward
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William Arthur Ward

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

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

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

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

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

Forgiveness is not weak. It takes courage to face and overcome powerful emotions. - Desmond Tutu
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Desmond Tutu

"Forgiveness is not weak. It takes courage to face and overcome powerful emotions."

"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
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Iyanla Vanzant

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

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
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Maya Angelou

"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'."

Fred Rogers Forgiveness Quore
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Fred Rogers

"Forgiveness is a strange thing. It can sometimes be easier to forgive our enemies than our friends. It can be hardest of all to forgive people we love."