Forgiveness is an essential pillar of our Christian faith, and specifically, as Catholics, the beauty of the sacrament of reconciliation is unparalleled. But just because God forgives us doesn’t mean that it's easy to forgive others or to forgive ourselves.
When I’m especially struggling with forgiveness, I find it comforting to pray with specific scripture verses. And I know I’m not the only one, so in this post, I’ve collected my favorite Bible verses for forgiveness. I hope you can use them to pray with and to find God’s grace in whatever your situation may be!
(All of these verses are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition translation, NABRE.)
Be merciful, just as [also] your Father is merciful. Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven. - Luke 6:36-37
It’s so easy to slip into judging others, from what they are wearing to how they parents and everything in between. This verse reminds us to stop judging others and to forgive, just as our Father forgives us!
When you stand to pray, forgive anyone against whom you have a grievance, so that your heavenly Father may in turn forgive you your transgressions. - Mark 11:25
Forgiving others or even yourself can be so hard. But God asks us to do these hard things, and in return, He also forgives us.
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if one has a grievance against another; as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do. - Colossians 3:12-13
Honestly, it’s a good thing that God doesn’t approach forgiveness the way our human hearts do! He openly forgives us without reservation of judgement. Let us strive to do the same for each other and for ourselves!
If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions. - Matthew 6:14
No matter how many times I hear it, this one always feels a bit jarring. It’s really not optional to forgive others, at least not if we also want to be forgiven! If you’re struggling with forgiveness, pray for God’s grace to soften your heart so you can forgive more freely.
All bitterness, fury, anger, shouting, and reviling must be removed from you, along with all malice. [And] be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ. - Ephesians 4:31-32
Along with forgiveness comes letting go of anger and resentment. This is so important in living a more Christ-centered life!
I hope this post has been helpful to you and reminded you that God gives us his grace and mercy through the sacrament of reconciliation. If you haven’t been in a while, make it a goal to go as soon as you can! And in the meantime (and even afterward), spend some time reflecting on these Bible verses for forgiveness! If you struggle with anxiety, make sure you check out this post next for 10 Bible verses for anxiety.
And if you're looking to deepen your spiritual life with a daily prayer and journaling practice, be sure to grab your copy of the free Daily Happiness With The Saints Journal below!