Forgive and Be Forgiven?


I don’t know the actual quote from the Bible, but I recall Jesus saying that if you forgive, then sins are forgiven. If you don’t forgive, then sins will be retained or something like that.

Now this has baffled me. Is Jesus talking about, for example, if someone punches me, and I forgive him and forget about his evils, does the puncher have to confess that he punched me?

Or perhaps this is clearer. Joe steals something from Sally. One day Joe is sorry, and Sally forgives him. Does Joe still need to go to confession?

I hope these examples explain my confusion. :o


Basically yes, the act of individual forgiveness is not directly tied to the person who needs forgiveness. So you can forgive someone for a personal transgression and they may not be sorry or even repentant.

The purpose of forgiveness is twofold in this way, you are not carrying a burden of ill will and you are leading an example. The example can often help the person see their error in like many “reformed” people you here them say things like: “____ gave me a chance when I didn’t deserve it” or “I stole from him and he gave me dinner and forgave me for no reason”. These kind of things that are often the running points of the wrongdoers life is the call of forgiveness as the act can lead them to goodness.


Read this:
It’s about the Sacrament of Reconciliation.


Thanks for the replies! That tract looks interesting. :slight_smile:


IN the Our Father, we ask Him to forgive us as we forgive others, so if we want God to forgive us the way we want Him to, we need to practice forgiveness!!!


This was probably covered at length in your RCIA class when you studied the Sacraments. .


What Christ said is, unless we forgive others, our own sins will not be forgiven. We still must seek and ask for God’s forgiveness. For example, if you don’t forgive the folks who hurt you, than you can not expect God to forgive you for the times you failed to help others when you ask for forgiveness.

Matthew 18 21-

Then Peter approaching asked him, “Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him? As many as seven times?”

  • Jesus answered, “I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times.

That is why the kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king who decided to settle accounts with his servants.

  • When he began the accounting, a debtor was brought before him who owed him a huge amount.
    Since he had no way of paying it back, his master ordered him to be sold, along with his wife, his children, and all his property, in payment of the debt.
  • At that, the servant fell down, did him homage, and said, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back in full.’
    Moved with compassion the master of that servant let him go and forgave him the loan.
    When that servant had left, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a much smaller amount.* He seized him and started to choke him, demanding, ‘Pay back what you owe.’
    Falling to his knees, his fellow servant begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’
    But he refused. Instead, he had him put in prison until he paid back the debt.
    Now when his fellow servants saw what had happened, they were deeply disturbed, and went to their master and reported the whole affair.
    His master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you your entire debt because you begged me to.
    Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant, as I had pity on you?’
    Then in anger his master handed him over to the torturers until he should pay back the whole debt.*
    So will my heavenly Father do to you, unless each of you forgives his brother from his heart.”

Mark 11, 25
When you stand to pray, forgive anyone against whom you have a grievance, so that your heavenly Father may in turn forgive you your transgressions.”

Luke 6, 37
“Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven.
Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you.”


As someone mentioned before, the act of forgiveness is really not for the person who wronged us, but it is for us. Some people just hold on to things and it destroys them inside. This is what the evil one wants, but God wants us to be filled with love. It is impossible to be filled with love when we have hate or anger or whatever in us. Even if you can’t find the will to forgive someone, pray to God and ask Him to help you find the strength to forgive the other person. You’d be amazed at what happens in a few days if you keep praying this.

God bless!



John 20:23 , In Context , notice Jesus is giving His apostles the power to forgive or leave a person bound to their sin…i.e. not forgive their sin(s). Jesus is instituting the sacrament of reconciliation

The Forgiveness of Sins , How Can a Priest Forgive Sin? , Mortal Sin , To Forgive or Not to Forgive – That Is the Question ,


“Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.” It is one action - we ask for forgiveness as we forgive. It cannot be otherwise.


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