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Forgiveness Quotations

International Forgiveness Day is celebrated on the first Sunday in August each year. Contemplate what this event is all about with the following, thought-provoking collection of forgiveness quotations.
  1. "To err is human; to forgive, infrequent."
    -- Franklin P. Adams
  2. "Nothing inspires forgiveness quite like revenge."
    -- Scott Adams
  3. "Forgiveness is me giving up my right to hurt you for hurting me."
    --Anonymous
  4. "Forgiveness is the key to action and freedom."
    -- Anonymous
  5. "Forgiveness is the fragrance that the flower leaves on the heel of the one that crushed it."
    -- John Arnott
  6. "Forgive many things in others; nothing in yourself."
    --Ausonius
  7. "They who forgive most shall be most forgiven."
    -- Philip James Bailey
  8. "I can forgive, but I cannot forget" is only another way of saying, "I will not forgive." Forgiveness ought to be like a canceled note-torn in two and burned up so that it never can be shown against one."
    --Henry Ward Beecher
  9. "It is difficult indeed to forgive a man for not forgiving you."
    -- Timothy Hume Behrendt
  10. "There is no revenge so complete as forgiveness."
    --Josh Billings
  11. "It is easier to forgive an enemy than to forgive a friend."
    -- William Blake
  12. "Forgive, forget. Bear with the faults of others as you would have them bear with yours. Be patient and understanding. Life is too short to be vengeful or malicious."
    --Phillips Brooks
  13. "Nothing brings families together faster than forgiveness. That should make it Step No. 1, but most of us find forgiving hard. We associate it with weakness and losing when, actually, the reverse is true. When you forgive, you gain strength and come out a winner. You break free of control by the other person's actions."
    --Dr. Joyce Brothers
  14. "Never forget the three powerful resources you always have available to you: love, prayer, and forgiveness."
    --H. Jackson Brown
  15. "We all like to forgive, and love best not those who offend us least, nor who have done most for us, but those who make it most easy for us to forgive them."
    -- Samuel Butler

    Forgive
  16. "When we hate our enemies, we are giving them power over us: power over our sleep, our appetites, our blood pressure, our health and our happiness. Our enemies would dance with joy if only they knew how they were worrying us, lacerating us, and getting even with us! Our hate is not hurting them at al, but our hate is turning our days and nights into a hellish turmoil."
    --Dale Carnegie
  17. "To forgive is wisdom; to forget is genius."
    -- Joyce Cary
  18. "Not to forgive is to be imprisoned by the past, by old grievances that do not permit life to proceed with new business."
    --Robin Casarjian
  19. "Never does the human soul appear so strong as when it forgoes revenge, and dares to forgive an injury."
    --E. H. Chapin
  20. "To understand is to forgive, even oneself."
    --Alexander Chase
  21. "If you wish to travel far and fast, travel light. Take off all your envies, jealousies, unforgiveness, selfishness, and fears. "
    --Glenn Clark
  22. "The sun should not set upon our anger, neither should he rise upon our confidence. We should forgive freely, but forget rarely. I will not be revenged, and this I owe to my enemy; but I will remember, and this I owe to myself."
    -- Charles Caleb Colton
  23. "To be wronged is nothing unless you continue to remember it."
    --Confucius
  24. "You are never so strong as when you forgive."
    --Kimberly Converse
  25. "Life is an adventure in forgiveness."
    --Norman Cousins
  26. "One forgives to the degree that one loves."
    --Francois de La Rochefoucauld
  27. "It is easier to forgive an enemy than a friend."
    -- Madame Dorothée Deluzy
  28. "Once a woman has forgiven her man, she must not reheat his sins for breakfast."
    --Marlene Dietrich
  29. "May I tell you why it seems to me a good thing for us to remember wrong that has been done us? That we may forgive it."
    -- Charles Dickens
  30. "Great souls forgive not injuries till time has put their enemies within their power, that they may show forgiveness is their own. "
    -- John Dryden

    Back Where You Belong
  31. "His heart was as great as the world, but there was no room in it to hold the memory of a wrong."
    --
  32. "Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you."
    --Ephesians 4:32
  33. "You don't have to accept the invitation to get angry. Instead, practice forgiveness, empathy and encouragement."
    --Dan Fallon
  34. "Our friends are those who know their own faults well enough to forgive us ours."
    --Moulton Farnham
  35. "We must be willing to forgive without limit even as God forgives; otherwise we cannot be forgiven."
    --Nels F. S. Ferre
  36. "Here is a mental treatment guaranteed to cure every ill that flesh is heir to: sit for half an hour every night and mentally forgive everyone against whom you have any ill will or antipathy."
    --Charles Fillmore
  37. "Forgotten is forgiven."
    --F. Scott Fitzgerald
  38. "Keeping score of old scores and scars, getting even and one-upping, always makes you less than you are."
    --Malcolm Forbes
  39. "Forgiveness is the sweetest revenge."
    --Isaac Friedmann
  40. "The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong."
    --Mahatma Gandhi
  41. "The law an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind."
    --Mohatmas Gandhi

    Kohler's Pig
  42. "If you want to see the brave, look at those who can forgive."
    --Bahagavad Gita
  43. "We are told that people stay in love because of chemistry, or because they remain intrigued with each other, because of many kindnesses, because of luck . . . But part of it has got to be forgiveness and gratefulness. "
    --Ellen Goodman
  44. "Forgiveness is the answer to the child's dream of a miracle by which what is broken is made whole again, what is soiled is again made clean."
    --Dag Hammarskjold
  45. "There's no point in burying the hatchet if you're going to put up a marker on the site."
    --Sydney Harris
  46. "Love is not real until forgiveness is real."
    -- John F. Hayward
  47. "It is easy enough to forgive your enemies if you have not the means to harm them."
    -- Heinrich Heine
  48. "Women will forgive anything. Otherwise, the race would have died out long ago."
    --Robert A. Heinlein
  49. "He that cannot forgive others, breaks the bridge over which he himself must pass if he would ever reach heaven, for everyone has need to be forgiven."
    --George Herbert
  50. "As long as you don't forgive, who and whatever it is will occupy rent-free space in your mind."
    --Isabelle Holland
  51. "A woman who can't forgive should never have more than a nodding acquaintance with a man."
    -- Edgar Watson Howe
  52. "Nobody ever forgets where he buried a hatchet."
    --Kin Hubbard
  53. "If you haven't forgiven yourself something, how can you forgive others?"
    --Dolores Huerta

    Forgive
  54. "To forget a wrong is the best revenge."
    --Italian proverb
  55. "If we can still love those who have made us suffer, we love them all the more."
    -- Mrs. Anna Brownell Jameson
  56. "Forgiveness is an inner correction that lightens the heart. It is for our peace of mind first. Being at peace, we will now have peace to give to others, and this is the most permanent and valuable gift we can possibly give."
    --Gerald Jampolsky
  57. "Forgiveness means letting go of the past."
    --Gerald Jampolsky
  58. "One thing you will probably remember well is anytime you forgive and forget."
    --Franklin P. Jones
  59. "Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names."
    --
  60. "We achieve inner health only through forgiveness-the forgiveness not only of others but also of ourselves."
    --Joshua Loth Leibman
  61. "Strength of character means the ability to overcome resentment against others, to hide hurt feelings, and to forgive quickly."
    --Lawrence G. Lovasik
  62. "Forgiveness is the giving, and so the receiving, of life."
    --George Macdonald
  63. "A woman can forgive a man for the harm he does her...but she can never forgive him for the sacrifices he makes on her account."
    -- W. Somerset Maugham

  64. "The more we know the better we forgive. Whoever feels deeply, feels for all who live."
    --Madame de Stael
  65. "Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die."
    --Malachy McCourt
  66. "Forgiveness is the economy of the heart... Forgiveness saves the expense of anger, the cost of hatred, the waste of spirits."
    --Hannah More
  67. "Women do not often have it in their power to give like men, but they forgive like Heaven."
    -- Madame Suzanne Curchod Necker
  68. "Forgiveness is the final form of love."
    --Reinhold Niebuhr
  69. "Forgiveness is the name of love practiced among people who love poorly. The hard truth is that all of us love poorly. We need to forgive and be forgiven every day, every hour - unceasingly. That is the great work of love among the fellowship of the weak that is the human family."
    --Henri Nouwen
  70. "When a deep injury is done us, we never recover until we forgive."
    -- Alan Paton
  71. "Forgiveness is better than revenge."
    -- Pittacus of Mitylene
  72. "To love is human, it is also human to forgive."
    -- Plautus
  73. "The forgiving state of mind is a magnetic power for attracting good."
    --Catherine Ponder
  74. "To err is human, to forgive, divine."
    --Alexander Pope

    If I Came Back to You and Said I'm Sorry...
  75. "There's no operation where you can have your anger cut out. But if you work on yourself, as you get better, you'll be more capable of seeing others as flawed human beings. That makes it easier to forgive."
    --Robin Quivers
  76. "The mind that too frequently forgives bad actions will at last forget good ones."
    -- Frederic Reynolds
  77. "Men are less forgiving than women."
    -- Samuel Richardson
  78. "Humanity is never so beautiful as when praying for forgiveness, or else forgiving another."
    -- Jean Paul Richter
  79. "True forgiveness is not an action after the fact, it is an attitude with which you enter each moment."
    --David Ridge
  80. "The man whom society will not forgive nor restore is driven into recklessness."
    -- F. W. Robertson
  81. "The folly which we might have ourselves committed is the one which we are least ready to pardon in another."
    --Joseph Roux
  82. "The narrow soul knows not the godlike glory of forgiving."
    -- Nicholas Rowe
  83. "It is in pardoning that we are pardoned."
    --Saint Francis of Assisi
  84. "To forgive a fault in another is more sublime than to be faultless one's self."
    -- George Sand
  85. "The unforgivable sin is the refusal to pardon."
    -- George Santayana
  86. "Anger makes you smaller, while forgiveness forces you to grow beyond what you were."
    -- Cherie Carter-Scott
  87. "Youth, which is forgiven everything, forgives itself nothing: age, which forgives itself everything, is forgiven nothing."
    -- George Bernard Shaw
  88. "Beware of the man who does not return your blow: he neither forgives you nor allows you to forgive yourself."
    -- George Bernard Shaw
  89. "The secret of forgiving everything is to understand nothing."
    -- George Bernard Shaw
  90. "Tis the most tender part of love, each other to forgive."
    -- John Sheffield

    To Forgive

  91. "To Forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you."
    -- Lewis Smedes
    Author of

  92. "Don't tell friends their social faults; they will cure the fault and never forgive you. "
    --Logan Pearsall Smith
  93. "A coward never forgives."
    -- Laurence Sterne
  94. "The heart has always the pardoning power."
    -- Anne Sophie Swetchine
  95. "We forgive too little, forget too much."
    -- Anne Sophie Swetchine
  96. "How unhappy is he who cannot forgive himself."
    --Publilius Syrus
  97. "The stupid neither forgive nor forget; the naïve forgive and forget; the wise forgive but do not forget."
    --Thomas Szasz
  98. "And when a man injures and oppresses you and deals unjustly with you, you should deal kindly with him and forgive him. This you will strike at the root of hatred and enmity and he who is your enemy will become your friend."
    --The Koran
  99. "The sin
    That neither God nor man can well forgive."
    -- Lord Alfred Tennyson
  100. "'Tis easier for the generous to forgive,
    Than for offence to ask it."
    -- James Thomson
  101. "Without forgiveness, there's no future."
    -- Desmond Tutu
  102. "We cannot love unless we have accepted forgiveness, and the deeper our experience of forgiveness is, the greater is our love."
    --Paul Tillich
  103. "Forgiveness is of high value, yet it costs nothing."
    --Unknown

    Dove of Peace
  104. "Love is an act of endless forgiveness."
    -- Peter Ustinov
  105. "To carry a grudge is like being stung to death by one bee."
    --William H. Walton
  106. "Forgiving those who hurt us is the key to personal peace."
    --G. Weatherly
  107. "It is easy to forgive others their mistakes; it takes more grit to forgive them for having witnessed your own."
    --Jessamyn West
  108. "Always forgive your enemies--nothing annoys them so much."
    -- Oscar Wilde
  109. "Many promising reconciliations have broken down because while both parties come prepared to forgive, neither party come prepared to be forgiven."
    --Charles Williams
  110. "The practice of forgiveness is our most important contribution to the healing of the world."
    --Marianne Williamson
  111. "Forgiveness is not an emotion, it's a decision."
    --Randall Worley
  112. "Resentment is one burden that is incompatible with your success. Always be the first to forgive; and forgive yourself first always."
    --Dan Zadra


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The entire Forgiveness program is on this one page. It runs online or offline.


From the Forgiveness Guide written by Johann Christoph Arnold.

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