Quotations about   forgiveness

Note that not all quotations have been tagged, so the Search function may find additional quotations on this topic.



Successful marriage: The union of two good forgivers.

Robert Quillen (1887-1948) American journalist and humorist
(Attributed)

Quoted in Column Review in 1935.
Added on 26-Jan-19 | Last updated 26-Jan-19
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Quillen, Robert

Marriage is three parts love and seven parts forgiveness of sins.

Langdon Mitchell (1862-1935) American playwright
The New York Idea (1907)
    (Source)
Added on 12-Sep-18 | Last updated 12-Sep-18
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Mitchell, Langdon

I ask you not to hate people who treat you badly. … This is easier to write than it is to live but there are ignorant people. Only a few are truly malicious. Hate is a poison. It can spread through your system. Forgive them if you can. Forget them if you must.

Rita Mae Brown (b. 1944) American author, playwright
Interview in OutSmart magazine (Jan 1998)
    (Source)
Added on 20-Nov-17 | Last updated 20-Nov-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Brown, Rita Mae

For my own part, I consider the best and most finished type of man to be the person who is always ready to make allowances for others, on the ground that never a day passes without his being in fault himself, yet who keeps as clear of faults as if he never pardoned them in others.

[Atque ego optimum et emendatissimum existimo, qui ceteris ita ignoscit, tamquam ipse cotidie peccet, ita peccatis abstinet tamquam nemini ignoscat.]

Pliny the Younger (c. 61-c. 113) Roman politician, writer [Gaius Plinius Caecilius Secundus]
Epistles [Epistulae], Book 8, Letter 22 “To Geminus” [tr. J.B.Firth (1900)]
    (Source)

Alt. trans.: "The highest of characters, in my estimation, is his, who is as ready to pardon the moral errors of mankind, as if he were every day guilty of some himself; and at the same time as cautious of committing a fault as if he never forgave one."
Added on 22-Aug-17 | Last updated 22-Aug-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Pliny the Younger

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. It is the lifting of a burden or the canceling of a debt. The words “I will forgive you, but I’ll never forget what you have done” never explain the real nature of forgiveness. Certainly one can never forget, if that means erasing it totally for his mind. But when we forgive, we forget in the sense that the evil deed is no longer a mental block impeding a new relationship. Likewise, we can never say, “I will forgive you, but I won’t have anything further to do with you.” Forgiveness means reconciliation, a coming together again. Without this, no man can love his enemies. The degree to which we are able to forgive determines the degree to which we are able to love our enemies.

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) American clergyman, civil rights leader, orator
“Loving Your Enemies,” Sermon, Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, Montgomery (25 Dec 1957)
    (Source)

Not to be confused with a similarly-named sermon preached on 17 November of the same year. This sermon was reprinted in Strength to Love (1963)
Added on 21-Jul-17 | Last updated 31-Jul-17
Link to this post | 2 comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by King, Martin Luther

As I walked out the door toward my freedom, I knew that if I did not leave all the anger, hatred, and bitterness behind, that I would still be in prison.

Nelson Mandela (1918-2013) South African revolutionary, politician, statesman
(Attributed)

On his release from 27 years behind bars. Quoted by Hillary Clinton from a conversation she had with him.
Added on 16-May-17 | Last updated 23-May-17
Link to this post | 3 comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Mandela, Nelson

Don’t threaten a child; either punish or forgive him.

The Talmud (AD 200-500) Collection of Jewish rabbinical writings
Passage
Added on 14-Feb-17 | Last updated 14-Feb-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Talmud

We must meet hate with love. We must meet physical force with soul force. There is still a voice crying out through the vista of time, saying: “Love your enemies , bless them that curse you, pray for them that despitefully use you.” Then, and only then, can you matriculate into the university of eternal life. That same voice cries out in terms lifted to cosmic proportions: “He who lives by the sword will perish by the sword.” And history is replete with the bleached bones of nations that failed to follow this command. We must follow nonviolence and love.

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) American clergyman, civil rights leader, orator
“Give Us the Ballot,” Speech, Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom, Washington, DC (1957)
    (Source)
Added on 20-Jan-17 | Last updated 20-Jan-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by King, Martin Luther

We believe that God forgives us our sins; but also that He will not do so unless we forgive other people their sins against us. There is no doubt about the second part of this statement. It is in the Lord’s Prayer; was emphatically stated by our Lord. If you don’t forgive you will not be forgiven. No part of His teaching is clearer, and there are no exceptions to it. He doesn’t say that we are to forgive other people’s sins provided they are not too frightful, or provided there are extenuating circumstances, or anything of that sort. We are to forgive them all, however spiteful, however mean, however often they are repeated. If we don’t, we shall be forgiven none of our own.

C.S. Lewis (1898-1963) English writer and scholar [Clive Staples Lewis]
“On Forgiveness”
Added on 25-Oct-16 | Last updated 25-Oct-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , ,
More quotes by Lewis, C.S.

When it comes to a question of our forgiving other people, it is partly the same and partly different. It is the same because, here also, forgiving does not mean excusing. Many people seem to think it does. They think that if you ask them to forgive someone who has cheated or bullied them you are trying to make out that there was really no cheating or no bullying. But if that were so, there would be nothing to forgive. They keep on replying, “But I tell you the man broke a most solemn promise.” Exactly: that is precisely what you have to forgive. (This doesn’t mean that you must necessarily believe his next promise. It does mean that you must make every effort to kill every taste of resentment in your own heart — every wish to humiliate or hurt him or to pay him out.) The difference between this situation and the one in which you are asking God’s forgiveness is this. In our own case we accept excuses too easily; in other people’s we do not accept them easily enough.

C.S. Lewis (1898-1963) English writer and scholar [Clive Staples Lewis]
“On Forgiveness”
Added on 18-Oct-16 | Last updated 18-Oct-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Lewis, C.S.

We do not quite forgive a giver. The hand that feeds us is in some danger of being bitten.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
Essays: Second Series, “Gifts” (1844)
Added on 12-Aug-16 | Last updated 12-Aug-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

“Do unto others …” is a good rule of thumb. I live by that. Forgiveness is probably the greatest virtue there is. But that’s exactly what it is -­‐ a virtue. Not just a Christian virtue. No one owns being good. I’m good. I just don’t believe I’ll be rewarded for it in heaven. My reward is here and now. It’s knowing that I try to do the right thing. That I lived a good life. And that’s where spirituality really lost its way. When it became a stick to beat people with. “Do this or you’ll burn in hell.”

You won’t burn in hell. But be nice anyway.

Ricky Gervais (b. 1961) English comedian, actor, director, writer
“Why I’m an Atheist,” Wall Street Journal (19 Dec 2010)
    (Source)
Added on 4-Aug-16 | Last updated 4-Aug-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Gervais, Ricky

You’re supposed to look at that figure of Christ on the cross and think, “How could a man suffer like that and forgive?” Not, “Romans are pussies — he still has his eyes.”

William "Bill" Maher (b. 1956) American comedian, political commentator, critic, television host.
Real Time with Bill Maher, “New Rules” (13 May 2011)

Discussing Christians who support torturing terrorists.
Added on 1-Jun-16 | Last updated 1-Jun-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Maher, Bill

His voice was soft,
His manner mild.
He seldom laughed,
But he often smiled.
He’d seen how civilized men behave.
He never forgot and he never forgave,
Not Sweeney,
Not Sweeney Todd,
The demon barber of Fleet Street.

Stephen Sondheim (b. 1930) American composer and lyricist
Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (1979) [with Hugh Wheeler]
Added on 29-Apr-16 | Last updated 29-Apr-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Sondheim, Stephen

The folly which we might have ourselves committed is the one which we are least ready to pardon in another.

Joseph Roux (1834-1886) French Catholic priest
Meditations of a Parish Priest: Thoughts, Part 4, #85 (1886)
    (Source)
Added on 28-Mar-16 | Last updated 28-Mar-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Roux, Joseph

Understanding everything makes one very indulgent.

[Tout comprendre rend très-indulgent.]

Germaine de Staël (1766-1817) Swiss-French writer, woman of letters, critic, salonist [Anne Louise Germaine de Staël-Holstein, Madame de Staël, Madame Necker]
Corinne, Book 18, ch. 5 (1807)
Added on 16-Feb-16 | Last updated 16-Feb-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by De Stael, Germaine

The brave only know how to forgive; it is the most refined and generous pitch of virtue human nature can arrive at. Cowards have done good and kind actions, cowards have even fought, nay some times, even conquered; but a coward never forgave. It is not in his nature; the power of doing it flows only from a strength and greatness of soul, conscious of its own force and security, and above the little temptations of resenting every fruitless attempt to interrupt its happiness.

Laurence Sterne (1713-1786) Anglo-Irish novelist, Anglican clergyman
Sermon 12, “Joseph’s History Considered”
    (Source)
Added on 15-Jan-16 | Last updated 15-Jan-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Sterne, Laurence

HAMLET: Use every man after his desert, and who should ‘scape whipping?

Shakespeare - whipping - wist_info

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) English dramatist and poet
Hamlet, Act 2, sc. 2, l. 554 (1600)
Added on 23-Nov-15 | Last updated 3-Jun-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Shakespeare, William

Every man of action has a strong dose of egotism, pride, hardness, and cunning. But all those things will be forgiven him, indeed, they will be regarded as high qualities, if he can make of them the means to achieve great ends.

Charles de Gaulle (1890-1970) French statesman and soldier
The Edge of the Sword, “Of Prestige” (2) (1934) [tr. Hopkins (1960)]
Added on 7-Oct-15 | Last updated 7-Oct-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by De Gaulle, Charles

You must picture me alone in that room in Magdalen, night after night, feeling, whenever my mind lifted even for a second from my work, the steady, unrelenting approach of Him of whom I so earnestly desired not to meet. That which I greatly feared had at last come upon me. In the Trinity Term of 1929 I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed: perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England. I did not then see what is now the most shining and obvious thing; the Divine humility which will accept a convert even on such terms. The Prodigal Son at least walked home on his own feet. But who can duly adore that Love which will open the high gates to a prodigal who is brought in kicking, struggling, resentful, and darting his eyes in every direction for a chance of escape? The words compelle intrare, compel them to come in, have been so abused by wicked men that we shudder at them; but, properly understood, they plumb the depth of the Divine mercy. The hardness of God is kinder than the softness of men, and His compulsion is our liberation.

C.S. Lewis (1898-1963) English writer and scholar [Clive Staples Lewis]
Surprised by Joy, ch. 14 (1955)
Added on 19-Aug-15 | Last updated 19-Aug-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Lewis, C.S.

Individuals sometimes forgive, but bodies and societies never do.

Lord Chesterfield (1694-1773) English statesman, wit [Philip Dormer Stanhope]
Letter to his son (17 Feb 1754)
Added on 13-Apr-15 | Last updated 13-Apr-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Chesterfield (Lord)

There is nothing in the world that renders a man more unlike to a saint, and more like to Satan — than to argue from God’s mercy to sinful liberty; from divine goodness to licentiousness.

Thomas Brooks (1608-1680) English Puritan divine, writer
Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices (1652)
Added on 26-Nov-14 | Last updated 26-Nov-14
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Brooks, Thomas

Hatred is a banquet until you recognize you are the main course.

Herbert Benson (b. 1935) American doctor, cardiologist, mind-body researcher
In “Forgive and your health won’t forget,” Christian Science Monitor (19 Dec 2002)
    (Source)
Added on 8-Sep-14 | Last updated 8-Sep-14
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Benson, Herbert

Not forgiving is like drinking rat poison and then waiting for the rat to die.

Anne Lamott (b. 1954) American novelist and non-fiction writer
Traveling Mercies, ch. 3 (1999)

On Facebook (31 Jan 2013) she further wrote: "When I first got sober in '86, I first heard someone say that harboring resentment is like drinking rat poison, and waiting for the rat to die. Resenting someone is about not forgiving them -- thinking that they have done something to you so damaging or disgusting that the are beyond the pale; so therefore you are choosing to be toxic for the rest of your life, rather than to work and pray for the healing. You are willing to go through life not metabolizing the rat poison, so that this person should know what a morally repellent person you believe them to be. But the most horrible thing is that half the time, they aren't even AWARE of what it is you think they did to you. So it's a complete waste of your precious bile. When I am willing to have clogged bile ducts, because of a person who hardly thinks of me, or has no idea that he behaved like a total asshat, then I'm the crazy one."
Added on 28-Aug-14 | Last updated 28-Aug-14
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , ,
More quotes by Lamott, Anne

Be careful of your word, even in keeping the most trifling appointment. But do not blame another for a failure of that kind till you have heard his excuse.

James Burgh (1714-1775) British politician and writer
The Dignity of Human Nature, Sec. 5 “Miscellaneous Thoughts on Prudence in Conversation” (1754)
    (Source)
Added on 10-Jul-14 | Last updated 10-Jul-14
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Burgh, James

He who has injured thee was either stronger or weaker than thee. If weaker, spare him; if stronger, spare thyself.

Seneca the Younger (c. 4 BC-AD 65) Roman statesman, philosopher, playwright [Lucius Annaeus Seneca]
Moral Essays, “On Anger [De ira],” 3
Added on 24-Jan-14 | Last updated 24-Jan-14
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Seneca the Younger

The essence of true religious teaching is that one should serve and befriend all. … It is easy enough to be friendly with one’s friends. But to befriend the one who regards himself as your enemy is the quintessence of true religion. The other is mere business.

Mohandas Gandhi (1869-1948) Indian philosopher and nationalist [Mahatma Gandhi]
In Harijan (11 May 1947)
Added on 13-Dec-13 | Last updated 13-Dec-13
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , ,
More quotes by Gandhi, Mohandas

Justice does not belong to the Christian way of life and there is no mention of it in Christ’s teaching. Rejoice with the joyous and weep with those who weep; for this is the sign of limpid purity. Suffer with those who are ill and mourn with sinners; with those who repent, rejoice. Be a partaker in the sufferings of all men. Rebuke no one, revile no one, not even men who live very wickedly. Spread your cloak over the man who is falling and cover him. And if you cannot take upon yourself his sins and receive his chastisement in his stead, then at least patiently suffer his shame and do not disgrace him.

St. Isaac of Nineveh (d. c. 700) Assyrian bishop and theologian [a.k.a. Isaac the Assyrian, Abba Isaac, Isaac of Syria, Isaac Syrus]
Ascetical Homilies
Added on 9-Dec-13 | Last updated 9-Dec-13
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Isaac of Ninevah

A part of kindness consists in loving people more than they deserve.

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French moralist
Pensées (1838) [ed. Auster (1983)]
Added on 10-Jun-13 | Last updated 13-May-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Joubert, Joseph

The best thing to give to your enemy is forgiveness; to an opponent, tolerance; to a friend, your heart; to your child, a good example; to a father, deference; to your mother, conduct that will make her proud of you; to yourself, respect; to all men, charity.

Clara Lucas Balfour (1808-1878) English novelist, lecturer, temperance campaigner
Sunbeams for All Seasons: Counsels, Cautions, and Precepts (1861 ed.)
Added on 29-May-13 | Last updated 8-Jul-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Balfour, Clara

We may be surprised at the people we find in heaven. God has a soft spot for sinners. His standards are quite low.

Desmond Tutu (b. 1931) South African cleric, Archbishop of Cape Town, Nobel Laureate
Sunday Times (15 Apr 2001)
Added on 21-Nov-11 | Last updated 22-Apr-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Tutu, Desmond

You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven.

The Bible (14th C BC - 2nd C AD) Christian sacred scripture
Matthew 5:43-45

See Matthew 22:36-40.
Added on 1-Aug-11 | Last updated 18-Dec-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Bible

Of course God will forgive me; that’s his job.

[Bien sûr, il me pardonnera; c’est son métier.]

Heinrich Heine (1797-1856) German poet and critic
Last Words (1856)

Quoted in German in Alfred Meißner, "Heinrich Heine. Erinnerungen," Letzte Worte auf dem Totenbett (1856). Quoted in Bros. Goncourt (ed.) Journal (23 Feb 1863). Quoted in French in Sigmund Freud, The Joke and Its Relation to the Unconscious (1905) [tr. J Crick (2003)].

Alt trans.: "Why, of course, he will forgive me; that's his business. [Gott wird mir verzeihen, das ist sein Beruf.]

See Catherine the Great.
Added on 10-Jun-09 | Last updated 25-Oct-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Heine, Heinrich

They say that God says to me, “Forgive your enemies.” I say, “I do”; but he says, “I will damn mine.” God should be consistent. If he wants me to forgive my enemies he should forgive his.

Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) American lawyer, agnostic, orator
“Orthodoxy” (1884)
    (Source)
Added on 23-Oct-08 | Last updated 2-Feb-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Ingersoll, Robert Green

How unhappy is he who cannot forgive himself.

Publilius Syrus (d. 42 BC) Assyrian slave, writer, philosopher [less correctly Publius Syrus]
Sententiae [Moral Sayings]
Added on 21-Oct-08 | Last updated 15-Feb-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , ,
More quotes by Publilius Syrus

I have made up my mind that if there is a God, he will be merciful to the merciful.
Upon that rock I stand.
That he will not torture the forgiving.
Upon that rock I stand.
That every man should be true to himself, and that there is no world, no star, in which honesty is a crime.
Upon that rock I stand.
The honest man, the good woman, the happy child, have nothing to fear, either in this world or the world to come.
Upon that rock I stand.

Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) American lawyer, agnostic, orator
“What Must We Do to Be Saved?” Sec. 11 (1880)
    (Source)
Added on 16-Apr-08 | Last updated 4-Feb-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Ingersoll, Robert Green

For the American people are a very generous people and will forgive almost any weakness, with the possible exception of stupidity.

Will Rogers (1879-1935) American humorist
The Illiterate Digest, “Another Hot Confession in the Oil Scandal” (1924)
Added on 21-Jul-07 | Last updated 5-Feb-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , ,
More quotes by Rogers, Will

There is, however, a limit at which forbearance ceases to be a virtue.

Edmund Burke (1729-1797) Anglo-Irish statesman, orator, philosopher
Observations on a Late Publication, “The Present State of the Nation” (1769)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 7-Jul-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Burke, Edmund

What I like most about myself is that I is that I’m so understanding when I do something wrong.

Ashleigh Brilliant (b. 1933) Anglo-American writer, epigramist, cartoonist
Pot-Shots, #1189
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 4-May-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: ,
More quotes by Brilliant, Ashleigh

But regardless of whether Hitler or the mass murderer of your choice sincerely regretted his actions in his last moments and made it to Heaven, with all due respect, what difference does it make to you? Apart from the awkward silence if you happen to bump into him there, I mean.

John Russell (contemp.) ("jr")
Belief-L (24 Nov. 1999)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 10-Feb-19
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Russell, John "jr"

What’s the good of being forgiven, if I have to promise not to do it again?

Ashleigh Brilliant (b. 1933) Anglo-American writer, epigramist, cartoonist
Pot-Shots #1175
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 4-May-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Brilliant, Ashleigh

Certainly, in taking revenge, a man is but even with his enemy; but in passing it over, he is superior; for it is a prince’s part to pardon.

Francis Bacon (1561-1626) English philosopher, scientist, author, statesman
“Of Revenge,” Essays, No. 4 (1625)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 16-May-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Bacon, Francis