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Quotes on Forgiveness

Words That Inspire You to Forgive and Forget


Need a little inspiration so you can finally forgive the friend that did you wrong? Here are quotes from entertainment and literature that underscore the importance of forgiveness.

Paul Boese

Angry With a Friend
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"Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future."

This is the essence of forgiveness. You can't change what happened but you can make sure it doesn't have the power to prevent you from being happy tomorrow. That includes letting go of the anger you have with your friend.

Sydney Harris

Forgive a Friend
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"There's no point in burying a hatchet if you're going to put up a marker on the site."

So many people say they forgive and yet keep bringing up the same hurt over and over again to their friend. This is not forgiveness. Not only that, but if you don't let go of the fact that your friend hurt you, you won't enjoy their friendship going forward. You owe it to yourself (and your pal) to truly leave the past behind. (Can you forgive and forget? Take our poll.)

George Herbert

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"He who cannot forgive breaks the bridge over which he himself must pass."

The thing about messing up is that we all do it! So if you can't forgive someone, how do you expect them to forgive you down the line? (And you know they will have to do that at some point.)

What's the biggest thing you've had to forgive in a friend?

Marlene Dietrich

Marlene Dietrich
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"Once a woman has forgiven her man, she must not reheat his sins for breakfast."

This quote is similar in meaning to the Sydney Harris quote, but let's face it, Marlene Dietrich says it with a special kind of flare. While she might be referring to a romantic relationship, the same principle applies to friendship.

Mahatma Gandhi

Wave the white flag when you did something wrong.
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"The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong."

Sometimes people think that if they forgive, they are letting their friend walk all over them. But if your friend apologizes, who are you to hold their error against them? We grow and learn from our friends, so when your pal is sorry for their mistake, show them what a great friend you are by truly letting it go.

Mignon McLaughlin

One friend breaking up with another.
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"What we forgive too freely doesn't stay forgiven."

Did you ever just quickly accept someone's apology and then secretly held on to the fact that they did you wrong? That's what this quote is referring to. Don't say you'll forgive if you really won't. Instead, take time to talk things out so you can fully make up with your pal and leave the argument behind you.

What Have You Had to Forgive

Readers share the biggest things they've had to forgive in a friend.

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