Forgiveness can be difficult. In our day-to-day people will do or say things that offend us, rather than hold a grudge – the Bible teaches us to forgive them. Having an unforgiving heart leads to bitterness, and a heart that is bitter can not love as it ought to love.
This is something I’m putting into practice myself. I often demanded an apology in order to forgive someone. But when it’s done this way we – more often than not, are reacting based on the desires of our flesh. We feel an apology is owed to us.
In scripture we can find encouraging, and inspiring verses that encourage us to be forgiving.
These are some of the verses I like to turn to for encouragement when I’m struggling with the difficulty of forgiveness.
Ephesians 4: 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Matthew 18: 21-22 Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.
2 Corinthians 2:5-8 Now if anyone has caused pain, he has caused it not to me, but in some measure—not to put it too severely—to all of you. For such a one, this punishment by the majority is enough, so you should rather turn to forgive and comfort him, or he may be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. So I beg you to reaffirm your love for him.”
Colossians 3:13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
1 Corinthians 13: 4-6 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.
Luke 6:37 Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven;
John 8:7 And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.”
Matthew 5:23-24 So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
Luke 23: 33-34 And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”And they cast lots to divide his garments.
Hebrews 12:14 Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.
James 1: 19-20 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
1 Peter 5:8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
James 5:16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.
Do you have any verses you turn to when you are struggling with forgiveness?
For more Bible Verses by topic go HERE.
Grab you journal and write these verses down so you can quickly turn to them whenever you’re finding it difficult to forgive. Don’t have a journal? Grab one here:
Feeling angry? Is anger destroying your relationships? Do you want to change?
Anger’s family of behaviors includes violence, rage, bitterness, hatred, and vengefulness. These can be replaced with forgiveness.
Discover how to overcome anger in its various forms through time-tested insights that really work!
Are You Angry?
The following self-evaluation quiz will help you determine whether you have a tendency toward anger.
- Do the people who know you well worry that you will blow up at them?
- Do you have a lot of enemies?
- Do you ever scheme to get back at people?
- Do you try to control situations by “powering up” on others?
- Have you ever been in trouble with authorities for fighting?
- Does the thought of certain people cause you to tense up or grow cold?
- Are there people whom you try to avoid because you are holding something against them?
- Have you had anger-related physical symptoms, such as stomach pains, high blood pressure, or sleeplessness?
- Do you keep reliving in your mind the wrongs others have done to you?
Anger: When Mad is Bad
Anger is a strong feeling of dislike, displeasure, or antagonism. It is connected to a host of other negative feelings and behaviors, including rage, hatred, bitterness, vengefulness, and violence.
What do you do if you are filled with rage or hatred or bitterness? What do you do if you are vengeful or violent? By God’s grace, you get rid of the anger and replace it with the virtue of forgiveness. (read more)
5 Steps to Overcome Anger
Are you struggling with anger or an anger-related behavior? We have outlined a five-step process to help you change and heal in this area of your life. Take all the time you need with each of the steps included in this process. (read more)
Finding Freedom — A True Story
Dave was a department foreman at a manufacturing firm. One day his boss called him insto the office and said, “Dave, as you know, things are a bit slow these days. I realize you have worked hard and run one of the best departments in the company, but my orders are to cut one supervisor, so I am letting you go.”
Dave was stunned. He was the only Christian among the foremen. The other supervisory personnel, including his boss, liked to go out drinking and had some wild parties together. As a result, their work sometimes suffered and Dave had to step in to rescue them. He had worked hard and now this was his reward. (read more)
Meditate on these verses related to anger, and ask God to show you anything that you need to confess and repent of:
Control your temper, for anger labels you a fool. (Ecclesiastes 7:9, NLT2)
But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! (Matthew 5:22, NLT2)
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger. (Ephesians 4:31, NIV)
You have heard that it was said, “Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. (Matthew 5:43-44, NIV)
Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the LORD. (Romans 12:19, NLT2)
But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too. (Mark 11:25, NLT2)
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” (Matthew 18:21-22, NIV)
(see more verses)