Do You Struggle to Forgive? These 6 Verses Remind You to Rely on God

The Bible teaches us to forgive one another like God forgave us

Have you ever felt like you can’t forgive someone?

Maybe it’s the first time this person sinned against you. Maybe it’s the seven thousandth time. Either way, you feel like there’s a brick wall inside your heart—and forgiveness doesn’t seem like an option.

You know that the Bible tells you not to take revenge on someone or hate them (Leviticus 19:18). But do you really need to forgive them? Maybe you could simply avoid them forever. Or ignore them. Or even pretend to like them.

When we look to God’s Word, we see that forgiveness is much more important than we might believe. In fact, Scripture shows us that if we truly value the gift of forgiveness God offers us, we should always be ready to show the same mercy to others.

In Matthew 18:21-35, Jesus illustrates this idea with the parable of the unforgiving servant. The servant’s enormous debts were forgiven by his king. Instead of being thankful and showing the same kindness to a man who owed him a small amount of money, the servant sought retribution and threw the man in jail. When the king heard this, he became furious with the servant and put him in jail instead.

Jesus ended the parable by telling his disciples, “That is how my Father in heaven will treat every one of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart” (Matthew 18:35 GNT).

Breaking down that brick wall of bitterness and grudge-holding in our hearts isn’t easy. And following God’s example of forgiveness through Jesus Christ is impossible on our own. But God promises to help us reflect his forgiving nature through his Holy Spirit and his Word.

When you’re struggling to forgive, read these six verses and remind yourself to rely on God to help you forgive others, just like he forgave you.

Remember that forgiveness is a gift that God offers to us through Jesus Christ.

For by the blood of Christ we are set free, that is, our sins are forgiven. How great is the grace of God, which he gave to us in such large measure!

Ephesians 1:7-8 GNT

We receive forgiveness by confessing our sins to God and putting our trust in Jesus.

If we confess our sins to God, he will keep his promise and do what is right: he will forgive us our sins and purify us from all our wrongdoing.

1 John 1:9 GNT

Because we have received forgiveness through Christ, we are commanded to forgive each other.

Be kind and tender-hearted to one another, and forgive one another, as God has forgiven you through Christ.

Ephesians 4:32 GNT

If we do not forgive others, God warns us that we will not receive forgiveness.

“If you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive the wrongs you have done.”

Matthew 6:15 GNT

Jesus teaches us that we should be ready to forgive one another many times, just like God always forgives us when we sin.

“If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. If he sins against you seven times in one day, and each time he comes to you saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.”

Luke 17:3b-4 GNT

Remember that forgiveness is part of God’s nature, and that he invites you to pray to him for help when you struggle to forgive others.

You are good to us and forgiving,
full of constant love for all who pray to you.

Psalm 86:5 GNT

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Elisabeth Trefsgar
Elisabeth Trefsgar

Elisabeth Trefsgar is a content specialist for American Bible Society. She has made a home in New Jersey and Sofia, Bulgaria, and is always on the lookout for the next adventure. She is passionate about seeing communities around the world flourish through the power of God's Word and the efforts of the local church. When she isn't writing, you can find her reading good stories, photographing local sights, and spending time with friends.

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