25 Important Bible Verses About Forgiving Others Who Hurt You

There might be affiliate links on this page, which means we get a small commission of anything you buy. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Please do your own research before making any online purchase.

Share this:

One of the most important and challenging things in life is to forgive others.  We placed our trust, loyalty, and heart into a person, expecting the best of them, only to be let down and be left with unmet expectations. 

Often, a person has not previously given us a reason not to trust them.  Other times, those who hurt us are repeat offenders, yet we find ourselves giving them another chance

No matter how the disappointment comes, it's not a comfortable place. And if we are honest, we can admit that our usual reaction is to cause that person to experience the same level of hurt and disappointment we felt the moment they hurt us.  

So, we make it our mission to achieve that goal through nasty looks, forceful words, gossip, and even physical violence.  

However, holding on to those past hurts will eat away at us and the foundation of who we are.  Then, we become shells of ourselves, begin spreading our anger to those who never hurt us, and fall short of the happiness we so richly deserve.   

Romans 12:19 tells us, “Never avenge yourselves (seek revenge yourself), but leave the way open for God’s wrath [and His judicial righteousness]; for it is written [in Scripture], “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.  As believers and followers of Christ, we are most like Him when we learn to forgive and leave the consequences of a person’s actions to Him. 

Hebrews 10:31 says, “It is a fearful and terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God [incurring His judgment and wrath].” As God’s will is eventually played out, we may even find ourselves having compassion for those who hurt us.  But this only happens when we learn to forgive.

In this article, we will define forgiveness and explain whether it means we give full access back to those who caused us harm.  Then, we will examine 25 bible verses about forgiving others who hurt you.

What is Forgiveness?

When we forgive someone, we consciously decide to let go of the anger and resentment we hold toward someone. As we choose to forgive, the hurt and resentment lessen their heavy grips on our hearts. Then, indignation starts to lose control of our actions and words toward our offenders and others. 

Forgiveness often frees our hearts to receive compassion, empathy, and understanding toward the person who hurt us. It allows us, in some cases, to see the motivation behind someone’s actions. We may even find that a person hurt us unknowingly and has felt bad about it. Yet, they couldn't explain themselves because we were too broken to hear them out. 

Forgiveness gives us the ability to get out of an emotional rut. It reminds me of where I live, “out in the country.” Here, one of the most popular activities is going mudding. 

Many take their trucks down dirt roads and out in fields and drive through mud. I admit it can be fun. 

However, going mudding is like living in unforgiveness, making you more susceptible to getting stuck in a rut (which can kill the fun of mudding). 

Similarly, getting stuck in an emotional rut can stall your life and relationships because you are stuck in the present, dealing with a moment that happened in the past. 

When mudding, others can get stuck trying to pull you out of the mud.  If you aren't careful, you can drag others down by your unforgiveness. 

The saying goes, “Misery loves company,” yet when we are miserable, others usually don't want to be around us because our negative conversation and mood drag them down with us.   

Not forgiving others can lead you down a road where many are with you initially.  Still, before long, you find yourself traveling alone. 

The saying goes, “Unforgiveness is like drinking poison yourself and waiting for the other person to die.” Unforgiveness can cause us to imagine the worst about our offenders.  Soon, in our minds, we think everything they do is with us in mind. 

We see “our enemy” smiling and laughing, or we see a post on social media where we think our offender is talking about us. Truthfully, the other person has gone on with their life and not giving their actions toward us another thought.  

Unforgiveness can make us self-centered.  Lead us to require others to jump through hoops to make us happy and “not offend us.”

Many who hurt us won’t ask for forgiveness.  Yet, it is still beneficial for us to forgive.  When we forgive those who hurt us, we can experience the following:

  • Closer relationship with the Lord.
  • Better mental health.
  • Stronger immune system.
  • Greater quality of connections.
  • Inner peace.
  • Reverse symptoms of depression.
  • Regulation of blood pressure.
  • Improved heart health.
  • Self-esteem boost.
  • Less anger, stress, hostility, and anxiousness.

Forgiveness gets us on the path to complete healing.  Forgiving others is always a shorter task, but healing is often a process that takes time.  How long depends on the offense and on our level of spirit maturity. 

When we choose to forgive, our Heavenly Father will give us the grace to heal.

Does Forgiveness Mean I Give Others the Same Access to My Life as Before?

One of the hardest things about forgiving someone is the feeling that we are absolving them of all the harmful actions they have inflicted upon us. 

And we worry we'll give them the impression that they have the same access to us as they once did.  However, that couldn't be further from the truth. 

Just because you forgave someone doesn’t mean you must give them the same access to your life as you did in the past. It's possible to forgive someone and still care for them from a distance. For instance, your husband cheated on you several times, and you decided to divorce. 

He betrayed your trust, was dishonest about his whereabouts, and spent the family's resources on another woman. As time passes, you forgive him and can speak cordially with him when your paths cross. 

For him, as the offender, he may feel your pleasant demeanor means you are open to getting back together. However, you have simply forgiven him but wouldn’t seriously consider getting back together now. Proverbs 4:23 tells us to “Guard our hearts…”

With the brokenness of a person’s offense comes wisdom. You may have forgiven a friend for borrowing your car, being reckless, and causing a significant accident. But wisdom tells you not to be quick to give your friend access to your next vehicle.  

Most of the time the hurt, betrayal, and disappointment blindsides us. However, because of the offense, we can start to recognize the signs and see that something isn't quite right when faced with a similar situation in the future.

However, we must remain prayerful so we aren't carried away by our suspicions of others.

It’s important to note that complete restoration is possible. But choosing forgiveness and remaining prayerful opens the door for wisdom and healing to take place. 

Then, you can open your heart up to an offender again when you see genuine remorse for their actions and a behavior change.    

25 Important Bible Verses about Forgiving Others Who Hurt You

1. Romans 12:17

“Never repay anyone evil for evil.  Take thought for what is right and gracious and proper in the sight of everyone.”

2. Matthew 5:7

“Blessed [content, sheltered by God’s promises] are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.”

3. Matthew 5:23-24

“So, if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and while there you remember that your brother has something [such as a grievance or legitimate complaint] against you, leave your offering there at the altar and go. First, make peace with your brother, and then come and present your offering.”

So, if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and while there you remember that your brother has something [such as a grievance or legitimate complaint] against you, leave your offering there at the altar and go. First, make peace with your brother, and then come and present your offering.” – Matthew 5:23-24

4. Luke 17:3

“Pay attention and always be on guard [looking out for one another]!  If your brother sins and disregards God’s precepts (offends you), solemnly warn him; and if he repents and changes, forgive him.”

5. Hebrews 8:12

“For I will be merciful and gracious toward their wickedness, and I will remember their sins no more.”

6. Isaiah 55:7

“Let the wicked leave (behind) his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts, and let him return to the Lord, and He will have compassion (mercy) on him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.”

7. 1st Peter 4:8

“Above all, have fervent and unfailing love for one another because love covers a multitude of sins [it overlooks unkindness and unselfishly seeks the best for others].”

bible verses about forgiving others | bible verses forgiveness of sins | bible verses on forgiveness

8. Mark 11:25

“Whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him [drop the issue, let it go], so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions and wrongdoings [against Him and others].”

9. Matthew 6:14

“For if you forgive others their trespasses [their reckless and willful sins], your heavenly Father will also forgive you.”

10. Proverbs 17:9

“He who covers and forgives an offense seeks love, but he who repeats or gossips about a matter separates intimate friends.”

11. Galatians 6:1

“Brothers, if anyone is caught in any sin, you who are spiritual [that is, you who are responsive to the guidance of the Spirit] are to restore such a person in a spirit of gentleness [not with a sense of superiority or self-righteousness], keeping a watchful eye on yourself, so that you are not tempted as well.”

Brothers, if anyone is caught in any sin, you who are spiritual [that is, you who are responsive to the guidance of the Spirit] are to restore such a person in a spirit of gentleness [not with a sense of superiority or self-righteousness], keeping a watchful eye on yourself, so that you are not tempted as well.” – Galatians 6:1

12. Hebrews 10:17

“And their sins and their lawless acts I will remember no more [no longer holding their sins against them].”

13. James 5:16

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another [your false steps, your offenses], and pray for one another, that you may be healed and restored.  The heartfelt and persistent prayer of a righteous man (believer) can accomplish much [when put into action and made effective by God—it is dynamic and can have tremendous power].”

14. Luke 6:27-28

“But I say to you who hear [Me and pay attention to My words]: Love [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for] your enemies, [make it a practice to] do good to those who hate you, bless and show kindness to those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.”

15. Luke 7:47

“Therefore, I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.”

god's forgiveness verses | verses about forgiving others | bible verse about forgiveness

16. Luke 6:29-31

“Whoever strikes you on the cheek, offer him the other one also [simply ignore insignificant insults or losses and do not bother to retaliate—maintain your dignity].  Whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either. Give to everyone who asks of you.  Whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back.  Treat others the same way you want them to treat you.”

17. Matthew 18:15

“If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens and pays attention to you, you have won back your brother.”

18. Matthew 18:21-22

“Then Peter came to Him and asked, “Lord, how many times will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him and let it go?  Up to seven times?” Jesus answered him, “I say to you, not up to seven times, but seventy times seven.”

19. 1st Peter 3:8-9

“Finally, all of you be like-minded [united in spirit], sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted [courteous and compassionate toward each other as members of one household], and humble in spirit; and never return evil for evil or insult for insult [avoid scolding, berating, and any kind of abuse], but on the contrary, give a blessing [pray for one another’s well-being, contentment, and protection]; for you have been called for this very purpose, that you might inherit a blessing [from God that brings well-being, happiness, and protection].”

Finally, all of you be like-minded [united in spirit], sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted [courteous and compassionate toward each other as members of one household], and humble in spirit; and never return evil for evil or insult for insult [avoid scolding, berating, and any kind of abuse], but on the contrary, give a blessing [pray for one another’s well-being, contentment, and protection]; for you have been called for this very purpose, that you might inherit a blessing [from God that brings well-being, happiness, and protection].” – 1st Peter 3:8-9

20. Joel 2:13

“Rip your heart to pieces [in sorrow and contrition] and not your garments.” Now return in repentance to the Lord you God, for He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness [faithful to His covenant with His people]; and He relents [His sentence of] evil [when His people genuinely repent].”

21. Luke 6:37

“Do not judge [others self-righteously], and you will not be judged; do not condemn [others when you are guilty and unrepentant], and you will not be condemned [for your hypocrisy]; pardon [others when they truly repent and change], and you will be pardoned [when you truly repent and change].”

22. Matthew 6:12

“And forgive us our debts, as we have forgiven our debtors [letting go of both the wrong and the resentment].”

bible verses on forgiving others | forgiveness quotes bible | forgiving god bible verse

23. Luke 23:34

“And Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots, dividing His clothes among themselves.”

24. Ephesians 4:31

“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor [perpetual animosity, resentment, strife, fault-finding] and slander be put away from you, along with every kind of malice [all spitefulness, verbal abuse, malevolence].”

25. Proverbs 10:12

“Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers and overwhelms all transgressions [forgiving and overlooking another’s faults].”

Final Thoughts on Bible Verses about Forgiving Others Who Hurt You

When you've been hurt, you may feel no one understands, but Scripture tells us that Jesus does.

Hebrews 4:15 says, “For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to sympathize and understand our weaknesses and temptations, but One who has been tempted (tested) [knowing exactly how it feels to be human] in every respect as we are, yet without [committing any] sin.”

Part of the values and responsibilities of modeling Christianity is to learn to love others with the same kind of selfless love Jesus exhibited when He was here on the earth.  Though He even modeled it flawlessly, He knows it's not an easy task to do alone. 

In fact, it can't be done without Him. So, when we pray, put our faith in Him, and choose forgiveness over anger and resentment, we will find the grace to release offenses. 

Unforgiveness is binding, but forgiving others is freedom. Our lives no longer have to be divined by those who harmed us. 

We can find the purpose we are destined to live in when we choose to forgive and let it go.    

And if you're looking for powerful Bible verses to help get you through tough times, be sure to read these blog posts:

bible verses about forgiving others who hurt you | bible verse about forgiveness | bible verses about forgiveness of sins
Share this: