Spiritual Tools - Tool: Forgive

M.C. Esher-Sphere

Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.

    Luke 23:34

Forgive us our debts,
As we also have forgiven our debtors

    Matthew 6:12

"The standard definition of forgiveness makes clear that its main purpose is the re-establishment or resumption of a relationship ruptured by wrongdoing...Forgiving those who wrong us often helps us move beyond strong negative emotions which, if allowed to fester, could harm us psychologically and physically."

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

I forgive, not merely because another deserves to be forgiven, but because I deserve to be a forgiving person.

Note: I came to realize in writing this piece that "forgiveness" is a Spiritual Principle but to "forgive" is a Spiritual Tool. This entry focuses on how I create the change of heart necessary to forgive. See the Spiritual Principle called Forgiveness, for an understanding of the nature of the forgiveness principle.

The message from the Cross is powerful, “Forgive them for they know not what they do.”
What does that really mean? Here is one possible interpretation.

(Click on the small + sign to expand each section)



  1. Forgiveness is typically defined as the process of concluding resentment, indignation or anger as a result of a perceived offense, difference or mistake, and/or ceasing to demand punishment or restitution.

  2. The Oxford English Dictionary defines forgiveness as 'to grant free pardon and to give up all claim on account of an offense or debt'.

  3. Forgiveness is defined as the release of resentment and claims of retribution toward an undeserving offender…., we observed considerable evidence that forgiveness is fundamentally linked to the basic processes of psychological well-being and physical health.
    Assessment of Forgiveness: Psychometric, Interpersonal, & Psychophysiological Correlates,
    Warren Jones (with Kathleen Lawler), University of Tennessee, 2001


A. C. Deane

A. C. Deane - Lord's Prayer: Forgiveness