7 Helpful Things to Do When You Need to Forgive

| | | |

Sharing is caring!

It can be hard to admit we need to be forgiven and at times even harder to let go of pain and anger so we can forgive others. Here are 7 Things you can do to help you forgive when it's hard...

The need to forgive and be forgiven is a human condition that affects everyone.

And forgiveness is hard.

It’s hard to admit we need to be forgiven and at times even harder to let go of our pain and anger so we can forgive others.

We just celebrated all that Jesus gave to make our forgiveness possible and we know that He commanded us to forgive others.

Be on your guard. If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and comes back to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.”

Luke 17:3–4

“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

Matthew 6:14–15

But why? Why is it so important for us to forgive one another?

Because God wants us to show the world healthy loving relationships and for that to happen, He knows forgiveness is necessary.

An article from Johns Hopkins Medical says, that withholding forgiveness causes stress which can lead to physical symptoms like – anxiety, high blood pressure, and depression. It can cause negative emotions and problems with anger and frustration.

Remember, forgiveness is defined as…

  • The complete pardon of as offense that wipes the record clean.
  • Freeing us from feelings of resentment and anger.
  • Canceling a debt … determining that payment (payback) is no longer required.

It is also important to note that forgiveness does not mean you accept or approve of the hurt. It simply chooses to release the person who hurt you . . . to finally say, “You don’t owe me, I choose not to hold this against you.”

7 Things to Do When You Need to Forgive

1. Remember how much God has forgiven you. 

Be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32

2. Identify and admit there are people you need to forgive. 

“Forgiveness is the economy of the heart… forgiveness saves the expense of anger, the cost of hatred, the waste of spirits.” ~ Hannah More

3. Realize that holding a grudge hurts you, not the person who offended you.

“Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart.” ~ Corrie ten Boom

Then Peter came to Him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?” “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!

Matthew 18:21–22

4. Ask God to help you forgive.

“Everyone says forgiveness is a lovely idea until they have something to forgive.” ~ C. S. Lewis

5. Choose to stop reliving and retelling the story. 

“Let today be the day you stop being haunted by the ghost of yesterday.” ~ Steve Maribolli

6. Share the joy of forgiveness – choose to be compassionate, kind, peaceful, and happy.  

How joyful is the one
whose transgression is forgiven,
whose sin is covered!
How joyful is a person whom
the Lord does not charge with iniquity
and in whose spirit is no deceit!

Psalm 32:1–2

7. Remember — forgiveness is God’s love in action.

For you, Lord, are kind and ready to forgive,
abounding in faithful love to all who call on you.

Psalm 86:5

Every day we are forgiven by God through Christ Jesus and every day He commands us to forgive one another.

So, let’s make every day “Forgiveness Day.

It can be hard to admit we need to be forgiven and at times even harder to let go of pain and anger so we can forgive others. Here are 7 Things you can do to help you forgive when it's hard...

Let’s pray…

A Prayer for God’s Help When We Need to Forgive

Father God, thank you for loving and forgiving me. Thank you for sending Jesus to make forgiveness possible. Thank you for Your Spirit who moves in me and gives me faith to trust that Jesus came into the world to save sinners, like me.

Your Word tells me that I must forgive the people who hurt me, even when it feels impossible. I need Your help. I want to honor and obey You in all things even when it’s hard or when I don’t understand.

I believe that if something is Your will for me, You will give me the strength I need to obey or endure. I believe I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. So, I ask You to make me mindful of the countless times You have forgiven me. I need to forgive _________. Please help me.

Please help me understand that holding on to this offense, by reliving, and retelling it hurts me. It is a burden that You don’t want me to carry. Please give me the strength and will to forgive quickly. And through Your Spirit, make it possible for me to enjoy the contentment, peace, and joy You want for me.

I want people to see You in me. I want to be a representative of Your love and forgiveness. When I need to forgive, help me love like Jesus. Amen.

It can be hard to admit we need to be forgiven and at times even harder to let go of pain and anger so we can forgive others. Here are 7 Things you can do to help you forgive when it's hard...

I love this quote from Warren Wiersbe…

“The most miserable prison in the world is the prison we make for ourselves when we refuse to show mercy. Our thoughts become shackled, our emotions are chained, the will is almost paralyzed. But when we show mercy, all of these bonds are broken, and we enter into a joyful liberty that frees us to share God’s love with others.”

With God’s help, you and I can be set free from the prison of bitterness and anger that holds us hostage when we fail to forgive. God will help us when we need to forgive.

So, let’s let go of the past and take off the chains of unforgiveness. Let’s surrender our will to the Lord and let Him free us to heal and move into tomorrow with peace, joy, and love.

We can always choose to forgive even when we can’t forget. If God wills forgiveness, and He does, then He will give us what we need to accomplish it.

Who do you need to forgive today?

We would love to pray for you.
You can leave your prayer requests here

and even take a few minutes to pray over the list left by our friends.

Never Miss an Update

Leave your email address and I’ll send you a short email every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday to alert you to each new devotion. Plus you’ll receive a copy of 30 Ways to Bless Your Marriage and Keep the Spark Burning

I always enjoy hearing from you! Please take a minute to say ‘hi” and share your thoughts in the comments below.

And if this article blessed or helped you today — would you share it with someone? Maybe a friend, family member, coworker, or through the links below…

Thanks again for visiting! Don’t forget to check out the links below to find additional posts that will bless you…

Sharing is caring!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Martha Orlando says:

    We all should practice forgiveness daily. God will help us to accomplish this.
    Blessings, Deb!

    1. I’m so thankful for the Lord’s help, Martha. I don’t think I could or would forgive as He desires without His help. Blessings!

  2. Kathy Francescon says:

    I think of all the things that God has forgiven me for. And my sins against Him have been far worse than anything that has been done or said against me. If God forgave me for great things, how can I not forgive others whose anger or pain has truly been small so small in comparison. Forgiveness is so necessary for our own growth if we desire to walk righteously with God. Amen, to this beautiful post today, Deb! Father God, “Forgive us our trespasses and we forgive those who trespass against us.” Praying for all today to feel the joy of being forgiven and offering that forgiveness to others!

    1. I try to remember that as well. The God who sees into our hearts and minds chooses to forgive me. I try hard to be patiently forgiving by remembering that I can’t see the inside of the person who hurt me. I don’t know everything that is going on in their lives. And of course, I want others to forgive me. All things that motivate me to want to forgive as the Lord commands … even when it’s hard. Whew, I am so thankful for God’s mercy and grace. Blessings and hugs, dear friend.

  3. Ana Cordova says:

    Thank you Deb I sure needed this to trust in God to help forgive those who have hurt me. God you have forgiven me all the times I have hurt you. May the Holy Spirit give me the grace to forgive and the Sacred Heart of Jesus to love those who have hurt me. Without you God I can not do it help me to live like you for others to be humble, loving, and compassionate.
    Blessing Deb have a wonderful evening.

  4. I forgive those who have hurt me, and pray for forgiveness of those I have hurt. I have trouble forgetting though. Not forgetting builds a wall of protection and caution. I am thankful for the prayer you gave. This whole post is very thought provoking. I will ponder the verses and of course the beautiful prayer. God is faithful and I am grateful for His forgiveness. I am grateful He has given me a forgiving heart.
    God Bless You my dear friend. Hugs!!

    1. We all have trouble forgetting sometimes, Sue. And maybe we’re not supposed to forget completely. I think of it like remembering what it’s like to touch a hot burner. It teaches me to be cautious but doesn’t keep me from cooking. I can forgive and have a relationship but may be a little more cautious … if that makes sense. I agree, I’m so very thankful for the Lord’s forgiveness and for the many times I’ve been forgiven by others. Blessings and hugs!

      1. Thank you so much for the “hot burner” analogy. It does make perfect sense to me. I appreciate your comment on that. You are a really good friend.

        1. You’re welcome. It’s one that helps me. Blessings!

  5. Mary Nelson says:

    Dear Deb thank you so much for this brilliant post. It is a reminder of how much our Saviour gave up for us, I am afraid at Easter with all the horror of the cross my brain switches off, I can’t deal with it.
    The Christian faith is the only faith that takes to wearing an instrument of torture as jewellery, what does that say about us when we are trying to be bringing Gods Love to the world, just a thought!🤔
    Blessings Mary

    1. It is awful to think of all that Jesus suffered on our behalf. I remember the first time I watched the movie, The Passion. I was horrified and had to look away. But then I remember that by grace, He didn’t look away from this sinner. He went to the cross in love. And I do wear the empty cross because it is no longer just a symbol of suffering but a symbol of God’s grace, mercy, and love. It is a symbol of His victory in my life. Thanks for prompting me to think about it. God’s blessings!

      1. Deb,
        Like you, I was given to thought when I read Mary’s post. I am so proud to wear the cross around my neck. It tells me of the supreme sacrifice that Christ gave to save a sinner like me. To lay down ones life for HIS friends is the greatest way of showing love. This cross signifies that love for us all. Mary did a good thing in her post. She brought to mind things I need to ponder. Bless Mary and bless you my friend.