Self-Defense & Violence Prevention Blog

news and commentary about security, self-defense, and topics like violent crime prevention and bullying

Quotes about Forgiveness

I created this blog to inspire us all to exercise compassion in an effort to reduce and hopefully eliminate offensive violence and protect ourselves and others. We want to stop offensive violence such as murder, rape, assault, battery and kidnapping. I have pointed out before that the desire for revenge causes many of those acts of violence. People literally beat and sometimes murder each other as revenge; not in defense but rather for revenge.

I think if we can remember to forgive it can help us avoid revengeful violence. For instance, if we forgive the violent criminal we can determine the most effective and efficient way to deal with him to protect the rest of us without having our judgment clouded and our decisions perverted by a dangerous, destructive desire for revenge. We can forgive a murderer, and still incarcerate the murderer out of compassion rather than revenge. If we forgive and refuse to seek revenge, our desire to protect people and prevent violence will not have to compete with a desire for revenge.

So in this post I have decided to provide a handful of quotes that I like about forgiveness:

“Many people are afraid to forgive because they feel they must remember the wrong or they will not learn from it. The opposite is true. Through forgiveness, the wrong is released from its emotional stranglehold on us so that we can learn from it. Through the power and intelligence of the heart, the release of forgiveness brings expanded intelligence to work with the situation more effectively.”
~ David McArthur & Bruce McArthur

“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.”
~ Lewis B. Smedes

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”
~ Mahatma Gandhi

“The stupid neither forgive nor forget; the naive forgive and forget; the wise forgive but do not forget.”
~ Thomas S. Szasz

“We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us.”
~ Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“”Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.”
~ Jesus

“Never does the human soul appear so strong as when it foregoes revenge, and dares to forgive an injury.”
~ Edwin Hubbell Chapin

“A more glorious victory cannot be gained over another man than this, that when the injury began on his part, the kindness should begin on ours.”
~ Tillotson

“Take forgiveness. Two levels here. One level: forgiveness means you shouldn’t develop feelings of revenge. Because revenge harms the other person, therefore it is a form of violence. With violence, there is usually counterviolence. This generates even more violence—the problem never goes away. So that is one level. Another level: forgiveness means you should try not to develop feelings of anger toward your enemy. Anger doesn’t solve the problem. Anger only brings uncomfortable feelings to yourself. Anger destroys your own peace of mind. Your happy mood never comes, not while anger remains. I think that’s the main reason why we should forgive. With calm mind, more peaceful mind, more healthy body. An agitated mind spoils our health, very harmful for body. This is my feeling.”
~ The Dalai Lama

“Always forgive your enemies – nothing annoys them so much.”
~ Oscar Wilde

“We are all full of weakness and errors; let us mutually pardon each other our follies.”
~ Voltaire

“Anger makes you smaller, while forgiveness forces you to grow beyond what you were.”
~ Cherie Carter-Scott

“Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?”
~ Abraham Lincoln

“To err is human; to forgive, divine.”
~ Alexander Pope

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”
~ Buddha

“Forgiveness is choosing to love. It is the first skill of self-giving love.”
~ Mahatma Gandhi

What do you think? Please also post any other quotes about forgiveness that you like!

By | September 4th, 2009 | SHOW COMMENTS (4)


I am the creator of this website, which I use to post about self-defense and violence prevention. I have two children who I love so much. I want them to be proud of me, and I hope what I do here contributes to that. Please let me know what you think about my posts by leaving a comment below. I throw my opinions around pretty openly here, but I am totally open to opposing viewpoints and a productive discussion. So please post a comment. And follow me on Twitter: @scottmhughes

4 Responses

  1. Nea | Self Improvement Saga says

    Thanks for this post. I especially loved the Buddha quote, “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” That is such a true fact of life that many people do not understand.

  2. Jorg says

    Nice quotes scott. I found and like this quote:
    “I’ve learned that no matter how good a friend someone is, they’re going to hurt you every once in awhile and you must forgive them for that.” (Unknown)

  3. Turning Winds says

    These quotes are very true. Thanks for sharing them.

  4. Paul @ Self Defence Course says


    Nice article and really nice quotes enjoyed reading makes you just stop and think for a while.


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