We know forgiveness is a big part of letting go of hurt. Yet, actually learning to overlook others’ wrongdoings against us is far easier said than done. However, I believe these 11 best Christian books on forgiveness do a great job at teaching us how to forgive someone who may have deeply hurt us.
May you free yourself by reading them!
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My list of best Christian books on forgiveness
1. Total Forgiveness
The Bible tells us that God forgives us for our sins. But how about our own willingness to forgive others? Well, as humans, that’s much trickier – but it is possible!
Christian author R. T. Kendall explains how many people are trapped by bitterness and anger as they struggle to let the past go. However, via examining Scripture, he reveals a better way to live – a path that promises greater peace and freedom.
This entails practicing total forgiveness towards others. Here, Kendall challenges us to look within ourselves as we pull out the roots of hidden and hardened areas of our hearts. In addition, he teaches us how subtle resentments can over time build into a mountain of unforgiveness. This mountain in effect obstructs our own spiritual growth with Jesus.
In short, I think Total Forgiveness is one of the best Christian books on forgiveness. Of course, what you read won’t always be an easy pill to swallow. However, this process is all part of learning how to forgive someone who may have deeply wounded you.
- Paperback, Focus: Holding grudges, pointing a finger, remembering pain,
- God wants you to lay it aside
- R. T. Kendall (Author)
Of course, forgiving others is just half of the journey. Trying to let go of our own past mistakes is just as important. Kendall also addresses this aspect of forgiveness in How to Forgive Ourselves Totally.
2. How to Forgive… When You Don’t Feel Like It
Let’s be honest. We aren’t always in the mood to forgive others. This is especially so when it comes to people who have caused us great, seemingly unforgivable grievances. However, I believe June Hunt does a tremendous job at teaching us how to overcome such roadblocks.
Hunt raises many tough questions. What if we’re feeling too hurt to forgive? How can we forgive a person who isn’t even sorry to begin with? These are tough issues to contend with. However, Hunt boldly addresses all of them and more by sharing her own experiences – and those of people she has professionally counselled.
In short, I regard How to Forgive… When We Don’t Feel Like It as one of the best Christian books on forgiveness available. Hunt writes with great compassion and solid Biblical understanding, as she persuades us to choose freedom over bondage.
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3. Radical Forgiveness
Forgiveness is a bedrock of the Christian faith. Yet, again, we often face situations where actually forgiving someone proves harder than expected.
To this end, Brian Zahnd juxtaposes many real-world tragedies with a Biblical understanding of forgiveness. He also tries to respond to tough questions, including “Should we always forgive others?”, “Is there a limit to forgiveness?”, and much more.
Above all, Zahnd’s book nourishes the habit of true reconciliation as we fight to heal broken relationships. He reminds us that Christians are all called upon to follow Jesus’ example. This can feel like a heavy cross to bear. However, learning to do so is crucial to enriching our spiritual walk with God.
4. The Freedom and Power of Forgiveness
It’s become quite trendy in modern times to forgive ourselves (i.e. self-forgiveness). However, learning how to forgive someone else is another story. In this regard, Pastor John MacArthur begins by first looking at the Biblical principle of atonement, and its connection with forgiveness.
Akin to other Christian books on forgiveness, MacArthur doesn’t shy away from raising hard queries. I especially appreciate his potent discussion on trying to forgive people who repeatedly do us wrong. Amid such frustrating situations, MacArthur challenges us to rise above the immediacy of anger and frustration – which only harm us.
In short, I think The Freedom and Power of Forgiveness does exactly what the title says. It’ll unlock your greater potential to break the bonds of unforgiveness that hold your spirit down.
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5. When You’ve Been Wronged
In our minds, justice doesn’t always unfold the way it’s ‘supposed’ to. There may be people who harshly reject you – or perhaps you’ve been betrayed many times, with little to no ‘payback’.
What then? Well, Erwin Lutzer invites us to make a major decision in our lives. Either we allow anger to imprison us in bitterness, killing our joy with resentment. Or, alternatively, we choose forgiveness.
I love how Lutzer cuts right to the chase, revealing the many benefits of learning to let go. In addition, he shows us how to better handle exceptionally difficult people (whom he refers to as ‘spear throwers’ and ‘destroyers’) as we strive to avoid or minimize conflict.
In short, When You’ve Been Wronged is, in my opinion, among the best Christian books on forgiveness. Its pages hold the secret to leading an abundant, Spirit-led life.
- Lutzer, Erwin W. (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 176 Pages - 07/01/2007 (Publication Date) - Moody Publishers (Publisher)
6. Forgiveness: Finding Peace Through Letting Go
Many of us have heard the wisdom of Proverbs 25:12. “If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink.” However, in the face of our real-life foes, saying this is far easier than actually doing it.
Here, Adam Hamilton’s book truly comes in handy. In Forgiveness, he explains how clinging onto anger can, in effect, consume our lives with even deeper pain. It also destroys our relationship with God.
By contrast, Hamilton shows us how Biblical forgiveness is, in actuality, a gift to ourselves – instead of a sacrifice. In particular, it is only by forgiving others than we can truly learn to fully receive God’s forgiveness of us.
Above all, I regard Forgiveness as one of the best Christian books on forgiveness around. The book is short – yet, carries big impact in the way we choose to let go of hurt in our lives.
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7. Free of Charge
Grounded in the theology of Paul and Martin Luther, scholar Miroslav Volf details how giving and forgiveness are essential parts of our Christian faith.
Of course, in a world that often glorifies revenge and gracelessness, learning to forgive can feel like a near-impossible task. However, Volf systematically outlines the immense spiritual benefits of letting go. He does this via an insightful mix of personal reflections and in-depth Biblical knowledge.
In short, I believe Free of Charge stands strong among the best Christian books about forgiveness. The book is ideal for fans of rigorous theology who wish to dive deep into the topic.
- Amazon Kindle Edition
- Volf, Miroslav (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
8. Forgiveness: Overcoming the Impossible
Author Matthew West sets out on a journey to compile some of the most inspiring real-life stories of forgiveness.
This book goes right into the heavy stuff. For example, I was truly moved by Renée’s great forgiveness towards the drunk driver who hit and killed her daughter. I can only imagine how difficult that must have been. Yet, her gut-wrenching story reminds us how, against the odds, learning to forgive is made possible by God’s divine grace.
There are fifty incredible stories in total that cover everything from marriage betrayals to addiction, abandonment to death. I’m sure most of us can identify with at least some of these situations, to some extent or another.
In short, if you’re looking for Christian books on forgiveness rooted in real-life accounts, look no further than Forgiveness: Overcoming the Impossible.
9. Choosing Forgiveness
Sometimes, we may be tempted to avoid certain people or issues that upset us – rather than choosing forgiveness. However, John and Paula Sandford describe how evasion may actually serve to only extend our sinful pride, thus distancing us from God.
I learnt how small conflicts, if left unaddressed, can insidiously lead to long-term resentment. In this regard, the Sandfords share pragmatic advice to help us walk the uphill road towards forgiveness. This is ultimately for our own benefit, since true spiritual growth requires it.
In short, Choosing Forgiveness shows us how to forgive someone who has hurt us greatly. To be sure, it’s a tough journey – but is most definitely needed to pursue a healthy Christian life.
- Sandford, John Loren (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 224 Pages - 06/05/2007 (Publication Date) - Charisma House (Publisher)
10. The Gift of Forgiveness
Written with beautiful grace and empathy, Schwarzenegger Pratt compiles more than twenty firsthand stories about forgiveness – including her own.
These diverse accounts capture the heart of our universal struggle to forgive others. For example, I can only imagine how tough it was for Elizabeth Smart to forgive her cruel captors. Her story, along with others’, really put our own battles with letting go into broader perspective.
In short, The Gift of Forgiveness upholds the true power of letting go – and the freedom it brings to our lives. I think this is easily one of the best Christian books on forgiveness released.
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11. Desperate Forgiveness
I think Desperate Forgiveness is especially useful for people trying to work through hard marriage issues. Overcoming adultery themselves, Al and Lisa Robertson reveal how mutual forgiveness was key to healing their own relationship.
In addition, the couple also share true stories from their friends who have been through similar situations. Above all, the book gives support to anyone struggling to forgive his / her spouse amid an affair. It’s about reclaiming lost trust, and forging stronger partnerships able to withstand the worst storms.
In short, in a world where divorce is fast becoming the norm, Desperate Forgiveness is a living testimony to the healing power of forgiveness.