Do I always have to forgive people?


For the first time I’ve come across this situation. That I’m skeptical about forgiving someone.

Cz this person has betrayed me many times.

Will it be against my Christian teachings to not forgive him?


My personal opinion?

What I think is that you should certainly forgive him, however don’t forget him. You know what he has done and just because you may forgive him doesn’t mean you have to trust him or even keep him as part of your life.

Forgiveness doesn’t mean you let people walk all over you, it’s just that you make sure you can sleep at night rest assured that you do not harbour grudges against him.

These passages come to mind.

“As for a person who stirs up division,after warning him once and then twice,have nothing more to do with him”- Titus 3:10

“If anyone does not obey what we say in this letter, take note of that person, and have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed. Do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother”- 2 Thessalonians 3:14-15

-With the kindest regards, James.


You might have strong reason to believe that a person’s apology is disingenuous and so it’s okay to take measures to protect your well-being.

As far as willingness to forgive, there is no limit to it. If we don’t forgive others than God won’t forgive us.



You should forgive them, but that doesn’t mean you need to keep interacting with them. Forgive them, say a prayer for them, and then walk away.


You have to do your best to forgive him. That may mean starting by asking God to help you forgive him.

However – forgiving doesn’t mean forgetting, doesn’t mean letting him do it again, doesn’t mean you have to continue to associate with him.


Think it through. Because of the gift of Free Will, we don’t have to forgive anyone…as, we don’t have to do anything…however, be aware of the consequences…scripture tells us the Father will not forgive unless we forgive, and we were taught to pray “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us”.


We are told to forgive. And all we can do is try.
If we forgive others, God will forgive us.


I’m going to answer your question, and it may seem very direct, but it’s only because I speak towards an increase in mercy for every soul.

For whatever reason, there are a lot of angry people in the world; perhaps some justified, and perhaps others are not.

In any case, including your question, I always rely on the same advice Jesus gave to the apostles when they asked him to teach them to pray as John taught his disciples: The Our Father.

There’s a few ways to look at the Our Father. Thomas Aquinas broke it into seven petition. But the other day I saw a very good talk on the Our Father, where the Priest advised looking at the Our Father as three “phases” we should go through in every prayer. Basically, seeking first the Kingdom; then asking for help with our daily needs; and, finally, we look to avoid sinfulness. In either case, embedded in the Our Father is a sentiment very similar to the Golden Rule: “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us”.

Scriptural elaborations on how to interpret that passage abound, especially in the New Testament; and, yet, it’s often one of the hardest passages to interpret and accept. But the passage “If you can’t forgive others, then why should God forgive you?” applies as directly relevant. It’s really that simple.

The best thing to do, I think, is to ask yourself if you would be willing to suffer the same wrath as you are essentially wishing on the other person, and then to forgive them anyway - even if they were as good as condemned to eternity by Jesus Himself, which He would never do. Christ’s naturally loving nature is Love itself, so He offers no resistance; thus, it is each individual soul’s agency and responsibility to respond to that love in like kind to all of God’s creation. If anyone condemned the devil, then it was the devil himself.

To help keep perspective - it’s helpful to ask yourself - why are you a Catholic? Do you really love God? In my most angry, tempted, sinful and downright vulgar moments - I don’t think anything in this earthly life is really comparable to the Glories of Heaven.

What your soul really seeks is mercy and forgiveness. That by no means makes you a bad person. Quite the opposite. It’s just you’re confronted with a problem of faith. Simply look to Jesus for the answer. He has put nothing in your hands you cant deal with. And turning to your opponent’s Creator is a great and merciful way to take a leap of faith right back into the loving arms of your own same Creator.

It’s also Lent. And this is a great chance to dismiss the temptations of the devil. Tell him to leave you alone. Ask God for help. And He will send His angels to come and minister to you - and everyone else involved in the situation you are contemplating. It may be hard to accept at times, but it’s best for everyone, and it’s in keeping with your faith.

You may have to make a bunch of hard decisions you may not necessarily like; but, I’d say, try to steer clear of the person, and wish them the best you can to resolve the situation. Again, stay focused on the mercy of Christ - seek first the Kingdom - as it is eternal, whereas all else will pass.



Forgive? Yes.

Forget? No.

Shake the dust off your sandals and leave his company.


Always forgive, but if they’ve betrayed you multiple times, you are not obligated to put yourself in a position to be betrayed again. This is an instance where St. Aquinas would say that you can practice judgment- in other words, you don’t have to give them “the benefit of the doubt” anymore. If they’ve taken from you without repaying, don’t give to them anymore, etc.


If forgiving someone only means to not hold grudge against them. Then, this is something I’ve always been doing. But that’s not what we call forgiveness.

Forgiveness is when I forget what he did and continue to talk to him.

If Jesus forgave us that way
Salvation wouldn’t be a free gift.


“Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who have trespassed against us”.

If we will not forgive others, God will not forgive us.

Yes, no matter how often someone hurts you, you must forgive. You would be prudent to no longer trust this person, however, forgive them and pray for them. We must be so radical as to love our enemies and to do good deeds for those who have done bad to us.


I’m in the same situation as you with regard to lots of people who live immoral lives. If you read paragraph 1735, there are a lot of situations which mitigate or reduce the guilt of people who sin against you. This is part of the Catechism, part of the “deposit of faith.” You must accept this.

Previous responses have covered the basic idea of the necessity of forgiving others. So, here are two different thoughts on the matter.

Maybe this person (like one of the people in my situation) has a personality disorder, a type of mental illness. You ought to look with some compassion on such a person who cannot help themselves, perhaps because they were misinformed in the first place.

There may have been some inconvenience, loss of reputation, or perhaps some monetary damage (as is the case with me). I believe we ought to, have to accept God’s will in this matter.

I have seen it so many times that people who disagreed with me eventually paid for their indiscretions. I do not gloat over that fact. It only strengthens me to stay focused on what is right as best as can be determined. From the Bible I know that each of us will get what we deserve and I suggest you pray for humility to get on with your life.

Revenge is mine, says the LORD.


Yes littlelady. Forgiving him means that I have to continue talking with him. But won’t it be hypocrisy of me to keep talking to him despite being skeptical about him. And God hates hypocrisy


Catholic doctrine does not say that forgiveness = talking to a person.


So if forgiving means no longer holding grudge. Then this is something I’ve always been doing


Forgive, yes.

Forget, no.

Unlike popular belief, we don’t have to always “forgive & forget.”

Sometimes it’s prudent to “forgive and remember”

Forgiveness also doesn’t always mean that you must restore someone back to the same standing in your life.

For example: forgiving your child for doing something bad doesn’t mean that you must eliminate all punishment.

God Bless


Your question reminded me of the story that Corrie Ten Boom told when she came face to face with one of her former captors after a talk she gave on forgiveness.
It is worth the read:


Wow, what a huge hurdle she had! And yet she made it!


I recently forgave someone for doing something bad to me
This doesn’t mean I let my guard down around them or that their is no awkwardness between us

It means that I try as hard as can to drop any grudges and do not punish them for what they did
While I do not look at this person with the same friendship I once did
I would want someone to forgive me if I did something bad and even afterwards did not act kind toward them (people go through hard times)

You should always try to forgive
Doesn’t have to be perfect

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