8 Best Forgiveness Stories To Move Ahead In Life

Last Updated on June 4, 2024 by Team Lifelords


Inspiring Stories of Forgiveness To Lift Up Spirit & Move Ahead In Life

Heart-touching Stories of Forgiveness For Everyone: Forgiveness is a conscious internal process and a deliberate decision to let go of grudges towards individuals. Forgiveness means an action or process of forgiving; for example to stop feeling angry or to stop blaming others.

Best Forgiveness Stories

However, it takes a lot of grace, mental strength, and courage to practice forgiveness—either toward the person who has wronged you or to yourself. While you may never forget how you were hurt, by forgiving, you are taking the steps toward healing yourself, spiritually, emotionally, and mentally.

Here are some of the most inspiring stories of forgiveness enriched with the sense to forgive the hurt and cherish the goodness that crosses your path. Wishing you all a deep meaningful life!

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1. A Story To Remind You The Christian Principle of Forgiveness

This true story will always be remembered as a remarkable example of real-life forgiveness. The incident was part of a close-to-home tragedy that shocked the entire nation, when Dylann Roof walked into a bible study group at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC, on June 17, 2015.

Later he proceeded to shoot and kill nine church members and wound three others. He fired more than 70 shots, and each victim was hit multiple times. One of his victims was a prominent state senator and pastor of the church.

The police arrested him after a lot of effort, for which they will always be remembered. Just two days later at his bond hearing, some family members of the victims extended verbal expressions of forgiveness to this assassin.

I don’t know how they did it, but it was really a very difficult task. They truly put into action their faith and the Christian principle of forgiveness with their words and deeds in the following days.

Even after he continued to exhibit no remorse for his actions throughout any court appearances, interviews, and his jury trial, some family members were still extending far more of a measure of grace and temperance than I think I could have if put in that situation.

Courtesy: Nancy Smith

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2. A Touching Story of Forgiveness To Move Forward In Life

Once upon a time a young man who had been reported killed in action came home from a prisoner of war camp. His family and his buddies and even his girlfriend had mourned him as dead and then more or less got over their grief. His sudden reappearance was disconcerting, to say the least.

They had all loved him, but they had in effect written him out of their lives. His girlfriend was engaged to marry someone else. Moreover, he didn’t seem like the boy who had gone off to war. He was thin and haggard and haunted.

However, he was now mature, self-possessed, and, astonishingly, happy. He hadn’t smiled much as a kid and rarely joked. Now he was witty and ebullient all the time. A quiet kid had become an outgoing adult man.

He didn’t fit into the patterns of relationships he had left behind. Quite the contrary, his happiness and maturity were unsettling. He congratulated his former girlfriend on her coming marriage and shook hands cordially with the fiancé.

There’s something wrong with him, everyone said. His family went to the priest. There sure is, the priest said – he has risen from the dead and now acts like a saint.

Courtesy: Andrew M. Greeley, April 20, 2003

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3. Most Powerful Forgiveness Story Someone Has Personally Experienced

A Heart-Touching Forgiveness Story Everyone Must Read

South Africa has the dubious distinction of being the rape capital of the world. My daughter was an innocent 14-year-old, a bit of a nerd hiding behind thick glasses and a coy smile. One day she went to the mall with her father and sister. It was the day that irrevocably altered the course of our lives.

While she was in the mall she broke a cardinal rule. She went to the bathroom alone, was intercepted in the corridor and dragged out a service door and raped. She said it felt like she left her body. I wished I could leave mine as I held her while they conducted the rape kit.

Can you imagine how awful it must feel to be examined in the area where you’ve just been brutalized? It took 4 nurses and a doctor just to prise her legs apart. The nightmare that began that day threatened to tear our lives apart.

But three months later, I learned a powerful lesson. She came back from a session with a therapist and she said to me with tears streaming down her cheeks, “Mommy, I don’t want to go back?” I asked, “Why?”

“Because she says I must be angry and I’m not and she says I must be in denial,” she replied.

Confused, I shook my head, not quite understanding. “What do you mean you’re not angry? What happened to you was terrible. How can you say you’re not angry?”

She looked at me with something akin to pity in her eyes. “Because I’ve forgiven him, Mom. Something terrible happened to him to make him like that. I pray for him every day.”

I stared at her in mute shock, memories suddenly flooding my mind. I was the same age when I was raped by the neighbor’s boyfriend. He was about ten years older at the time. This after a protracted period of ‘grooming’ that included sexual abuse.

As I contemplated her words, a look of recognition suddenly dawned in her eyes and with a tender voice, reached out to me and said, “Oh no Mommy, it happened to you too didn’t it?”

I don’t know why but my knees buckled right then, and I dropped to the floor, keening. Grief seeped from every pore. I remember the rational part of my brain thinking, “You can’t do this now. Don’t do it! She needs you. Get it together,”

But I had no control over the pain that moved through my body in waves. My child cradled me in her arms and it was as if we’d flipped roles.

She further said, “Maybe it’s time you forgave, Mom!”

Eventually, I managed to rasp, “How?”

“Just say it, mom. Then pray and ask God to help you.”

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The Story of A Brave Girl Who Forgave An Offender

I humored her and followed her lead and yes, I felt some relief but it was easier to forgive a shadowy figure from my past than to forgive the rapist that had hurt my child. That sat like a stone in my belly. I had imagined how I’d hurt him each time I closed my eyes.

The next day he was caught. I don’t feel like the timing of his arrest was an accident. This is a long story that I won’t share in detail but to say that after she had identified him, she asked to be allowed to see him. She insisted she had to tell him she forgave him.

It was not something that would ordinarily be allowed but the detective on the case made an exception when I explained the circumstances, even if she didn’t quite understand. The next day he was brought up from a holding cell by two armed cops.

They brought him into an office and stood guard as my daughter approached her rapist. He stood in front of her with his head deeply bowed and she put her hand on his shoulder and said, “I forgive you!” She prayed for him as he sobbed.

Those were the most powerful words I’ve ever heard and this was undoubtedly the greatest lesson I ever learned. A few years ago, my rapist emailed me. He’d found me on Linkedin and reached out.

It was a shock to hear from the man I’d confined to the deepest recesses of my mind. I thought what happened had no power over me, that I was healed, and that I had moved on. Not so.

The shock was intense, but after a night of tossing and turning, I convinced myself he just wanted to say he was sorry and I would be able to tell him I’d forgiven him long ago. How foolish I was.

As a creative and romantic soul, it seems poetic that a story would end this way. He never did say he was sorry, and I learned the second most important lesson.

I learned that you don’t need to hear the words “I’m sorry!” to forgive. Forgiveness doesn’t excuse the crime. It is the force that breaks the chain that binds you to the pain.

Courtesy: Chanti Nevan

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4. An Inspiring Short Story About Forgiveness And Pride

The Story of An Arrogant King And A Wise Beggar

There are so many people in this world who always consider themselves better than others, but a day definitely comes in their lives when they realize how wrong they were. This story draws our attention to this blatant fact. Once upon a time, there was a rich, powerful, and intelligent King. But what was most noticeable about him was his arrogance.

Such was his pride that he felt no one was a worthy rival with whom to share his favorite pastime, chess. So the King sent a message across the land, stating that he would give a tenth of his fortune to whoever could prove to be worthy of playing against him.

In return, if the King considered that person to be unworthy, he would have their head chopped off. Many risked their lives to challenge the proud King. Rich or poor, stupid or intelligent, the King always found them to be unworthy.

They weren’t good players, they couldn’t match his command of the game. As time passed, one reckless challenger after another was done away with. The King felt satisfied that there was no one in the whole land capable of taking him on.

Years later, a poor beggar came to the palace, intending to play against the King. People had tried to dissuade the beggar, trying to save him from a certain death. But it was no good, and he came before the King.

When the king saw the beggar’s ragged appearance, he couldn’t believe that it had even crossed the man’s mind that he could be a worthy rival.

“What makes you think you deserve to play against someone like myself, slave?” said the King, irritated, and calling for the executioner.

“That I forgive you for what you’re about to do. Would you be capable of that?” the beggar calmly answered.

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How The Beggar Taught The King A Great Lesson

The King was stunned. He would never have expected anything like that. But the more he thought about it, the more the man’s words made sense. If he were condemned to death the beggar would be right and would have shown himself to be the better man due to his capacity to forgive.

And if the beggar was not executed, he would come away with both his life and a reputation for being a worthy adversary… Without having yet moved a piece, the King knew he had already lost the match.

“How did you manage to beat me without even playing? Whether I play with you or not, everyone will have seen my lack of dignity,” said the King, beaten.

“You are mistaken, your Majesty. Everyone is already aware of your infamy; it is not people who are unworthy, it is their deeds. For years your actions have shown how disgraceful and unjust you have become, judging the worth of others at a whim.”

The King understood how dishonorable he had become, and he became remorseful for his crimes and his arrogance. He looked into the beggar’s eyes. The King saw such wisdom and dignity in those eyes that, without saying a word, he handed the beggar his crown.

He swapped clothes with him and made him the new King. Dressed in the beggar’s rags, and with eyes full of tears, his last command as King was to be imprisoned forever in the deepest dungeon, as a penance for all his crimes.

However, the new King was so just and so wise that only a few years later he set the old King free. His sincere repentance had become the best accompaniment to his great intelligence, and from his hands came the best-ever laws for that long-suffering Kingdom.

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Amazing Stories of Forgiveness That Will Inspire Your Children

5. A Beautiful Story on Forgiveness For Kids & Toddlers

This is a real-life story on forgiveness which is related to the life of famous Sikh king Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Once upon a time, Maharaja Ranjit Singh was on a tour with his Ministers, including his royal security and others. He was taking rest, under the shade of the mongo tree in the mango garden with his team.

While conversing with his courtiers, a stone suddenly hit him directly on the forehead. Immediately he started bleeding. The king had no idea who threw the stone at him, but he did know that he was experiencing intolerable pain.

The royal security forces left right away to find the person who threw the stone at the king. On searching they found that an old woman was plucking mangoes from a tree. They asked if she had thrown any stones recently.

“Yes,” she replied. “I threw a stone at the mango tree.”

They asked her, “Did you throw any stone at the king?” The woman’s face showed how terrified she was, so the guard forcefully told her that she would be punished. The woman was arrested and presented before the Maharaja Ranjit Singh.

She trembled with immense fear and prayed that they would not kill her. After seeing the blood flow down the King’s face, she became more upset and felt hopeless. “What will happen to me?” she thought.

Maharaja Ranjit Singh, very calmly asked her, “Did you throw the stone at me?”

She replied, “Your majesty, I threw the stone at the mango tree.”

“Why?” Maharaja Ranjit Singh asked.

She replied weeping, “Your majesty, my child has been starving for two days. I was collecting food for him but could not find any. I hoped that when I threw the stone at the mango tree, a mango would fall so that I could feed my son.”

The woman bowed down before the king begging pardon for her mistake. Maharaja Ranjit Singh was a kind-hearted king. He understood that by mistake the stone hit his forehead and that was her unknowing mistake.

He forgave her mistake and ordered his security personnel not to punish her in any way. Instead of harsh punishment, Ranjit Singh gave her food and enough money so that she could also raise her child well.

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6. A Cute Short Story on Forgiveness For Children

A kindergarten teacher had decided to let her class play a game. The teacher told each child in the class to bring along a plastic bag containing a few potatoes. Each potato will be given the name of a person that the child hates. The number of potatoes that a child will put in his/her plastic bag will depend on the number of people he/she hates.

So when the day came, every child brought some potatoes with the names of the people he/she hated. Some had 2 potatoes; some had 3 while some had up to 5 potatoes. The teacher then told the children to carry with them the potatoes in the plastic bag wherever they go (even to the toilet) for 1 week.

Days after days passed by, and the children started to complain due to the unpleasant smell let out by the rotten potatoes. Besides, those having 5 potatoes also had to carry heavier bags. After one week, the children were relieved because the game had finally ended.

The teacher asked: “How did you feel while carrying the potatoes with you for one week?” The children let out their frustrations and started complaining about the trouble that they had to go through having to carry the heavy and smelly potatoes wherever they went.

Then the teacher told them the hidden meaning behind the game. The teacher said: “This is exactly the situation when you carry your hatred for somebody inside your heart. The stench of hatred will contaminate your heart and you will carry it with you wherever you go.

If you cannot tolerate the smell of rotten potatoes for just one week, can you imagine what is it like to have the stench of hatred in your heart for your lifetime?”

Moral of the story: Throw away any hatred for anyone from your heart so that you will not carry sins for a lifetime. Forgiving others is the best attitude to take!

Courtesy: Gian Chand Pinjani
The Moments of Calm Facebook Page, 2/7/2012

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7. A Heart-touching Story That Shows Why Forgiveness Is So Vital

An Inspiring Story on Forgiveness For Those Who Seek Revenge

This is a short but inspiring story on forgiveness. I personally know a family whose entire life changed in an instant. Two brothers lived in this family, the younger one was my friend. My friend’s elder brother was always known to be exceptionally gifted and was a very bright boy from a young age.

When he was in high school he was nearly at the top of the class. He was sure to be accepted into one of the most prestigious universities in South Korea, Seoul University. It’s extremely difficult to get into this prestigious university.

It can be gauged from the fact that many people commit suicide every year after doing their entrance exams. He was fiercely ambitious, kind, brilliantly intelligent, and had his whole life ahead of him until a tragedy struck one day.

When he was around 17 years old, he was being lectured by his personal tutor. The personal tutor was a young man who was just a few years older than him. He had been tutoring him for some time during the most grueling time of the young boy’s life.

The boy was preparing for the university exams. The family doesn’t know exactly how it happened but it is suspected that the boy and the tutor were just joking around when the tutor ended up hitting the young boy on the head with a ruler.

It was very quick and done in a flash, not very hard or aggressive in the slightest but in an instant, the boy fell to the floor and was rushed to the hospital. What happened to him was so severe that the family said he nearly died and was hospitalized for a long time.

Let Go of Your Resentment And Forgive Others

The worst part is yet to come…when he awoke, he was never the same again. He was not the same person but became permanently mentally challenged. He could barely walk, couldn’t speak properly, and was severely brain-damaged. His tutor was inconsolable when he saw what happened.

He was scared for his life. The poor tutor didn’t have any money so he was doing tutoring as a side job. He was worried that after being sued, his family would also be bankrupted for life. Most of all, he had to live with the guilt of ruining someone’s entire life over a single small hit with a ruler…

The tutor as well as his family were quite literally begging in tears for their forgiveness. The family said they had never seen people so distraught in their life. However, miraculously, the family decided to forgive him after some deliberation and did not press any charges against him.

They believed it to be an honest accident and that nothing else could be done to restore their beloved son to come back again. Still to this day over 50 years later, I heard his older brother never fully recovered and lives as a mental cripple relying on support to survive.

I heard the tutor come to visit him many times throughout his life to see how he was doing. I don’t think the tutor can ever fully forgive himself and was probably at risk of suicide after living with that constant regret. I know a lot of people who say Jehovah’s Witnesses are a cult.

While I also believe that, I do know they are fiercely loyal to their religion and the Bible. I think their faith in God and the teachings of forgiveness is what gave them the strength to let go of their resentment and forgive the man who destroyed their son’s life.

Courtesy: Kaelan


8. An Emotional Forgiveness Story From The Pages of History

This Story Is The Best Example of Forgiveness In History

How many of you know about Dr. Josef Mengele aka “the Angel of Death”? After joining the Nazi party, he was assigned to Auschwitz where he did genetic research on human subjects focusing mainly on twins. The twins Eva and Miriam are part of the Holocaust Twin Experiments.

Eva Mozes Kor is a survivor of that horrible event. In this video she speaks about her experiences during the experiment. She said people were selected to live or die at the concentration camp Auschwitz. After arriving at the camp, A Nazi noticed them as ‘the twins’.

Her mother was pulled away and they didn’t even get to say goodbye. It was the last time they saw their mother. Just like that, in 30 minutes, her family was gone and they were left crying. During the experiments, Nazis took extremely dangerous measures.

There were days when they would put her and the other twins naked in a room for up to eight hours a day. Then they measure every part of her body. They were given a few injections whose content is not known till now.

There were days when she became ill with high fevers, her arms and legs were swollen, and was not able to walk. In 1945, they were liberated by the Soviet army. Later her sister, Miriam, died due to some medical complications.

Eva came to know about a Nazi doctor, Dr.Munich who was present during the experiments during the Holocaust. He was the one who watched and signed the death certificates of those who were killed in gas chambers.

She called him and they met in 1993. She wanted him to sign a document about the gas chambers. She wanted to thank him for signing the document. But, she didn’t know how to thank a Nazi. So, she decided to forgive him.

How Did Eva Mozes Survive In A Holocaust Experiment

She wrote a letter of forgiveness from her to Dr. Munich but what I discovered for myself was life-changing. “I discovered that I had the power to forgive. No one could give me that power. No one would take it away. It was all mine to use any way I wished.”

After all, after everything she’s been through, she actually decided to forgive the doctor. She could find in herself the power to forgive him. She was 10 years old when she went to that concentration camp where it all started. She’s 83 now.

She’s a noted lecturer, author, and the founder of CANDLES (Children of Auschwitz Nazi Deadly Lab Experiments Survivors) Holocaust Museum & Educational Center. Indeed, this real story is one of the best examples of forgiveness in modern history.

We hope these forgiveness stories may help you find inspiration to live a more peaceful life. Let us allow ourselves the space to see clearly, in spite of our pain. That way, we can tend to our relationships with utmost love, care, and deep understanding.

Do you forgive easily? What’s your favorite forgiveness story? Please let us know in the comment section below!

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“Unforgiveness is the poison you drink every day, hoping that the other person will die.”

– Debbie Ford

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