How to Forgive Your Pastor
How to Forgive Your Pastor

In our spiritual journey, our pastors play a significant role as guides, mentors, and leaders. They offer guidance, preach the Word of God, and provide spiritual support. However, like any human being, pastors can make mistakes, hurt feelings, or even cause resentment. When this happens, finding a path towards forgiveness can be challenging. In this article, we’ll explore the process of how to forgive your pastor and release the burden of resentment.

How to Forgive Your Pastor and Let Go of Resentment

If you’re pastor hurts you – intentionally or accidently – it is only normal to feel anger and resentment. But holding on that resentment ultimately brings no benefit to your spiritual or emotional well-being. Instead, forgiveness offers a path towards healing, inner peace, and spiritual growth.

By choosing forgiveness, you release the burden of bitterness and open your heart to the transformative power of grace, mercy, and love. Embracing forgiveness allows you to move forward on your spiritual journey with a lighter heart and a deeper sense of compassion, both for yourself and others.

So here are some ways how to forgive your pastor and move on with your life.

1. Acknowledge Your Emotions (Hurt, Anger)

The first step towards forgiveness is acknowledging your emotions. It’s normal to feel hurt and anger when you’ve been wronged by someone you trust. Take time to sit with these feelings, recognizing their validity.

Example: If your pastor said something hurtful during a sermon or a personal conversation, reflect on how those words made you feel. Were you offended, hurt, or disappointed? By acknowledging your emotions, you can start the healing process.

2. Forgiveness Takes Time: Give Yourself Enough

Forgiveness is not an instant process. It’s okay to take your time to heal and forgive. Don’t rush the journey. Understand that it’s a process that can take days, weeks, or even years. Allow yourself the time needed to work through your emotions.

Example: Just as wounds take time to heal physically, emotional wounds require time for recovery. Give yourself the grace to heal at your own pace. Rushing forgiveness can lead to superficial resolutions that may not last.

3. Focus On Self-Care Activities

While on your path to forgiveness, prioritize self-care activities. Engaging in activities that bring you joy and relaxation can help ease the emotional pain. This might include spending time in nature, practicing a hobby, or simply taking a warm bath.

Example: Treat yourself to a spa day or immerse yourself in a good book. These activities can provide moments of respite from the emotional turmoil and help you regain your inner peace.

4. Journal Your Thoughts and Feelings

Journaling can be a powerful tool for self-reflection and healing. Write down your thoughts and feelings about the situation with your pastor. Journaling allows you to gain clarity and insight into your emotions.

Example: In your journal, you might explore the specific events or conversations that triggered your hurt and anger. Writing about these experiences can help you process your emotions and identify patterns of thought.

5. Seek Support from Trusted Individuals

Share your feelings with trusted friends, family members, or fellow church members. Seeking support from others who understand your pain can be comforting. They can provide a listening ear and offer valuable perspectives.

Example: Reach out to a friend who attends the same church or a family member who can lend a sympathetic ear. Sometimes, simply talking about your feelings can be a cathartic experience.

6. Practice Empathy Towards Your Pastor

Remember that pastors are also human beings who make mistakes. Try to empathize with your pastor’s perspective. Understanding their humanity can make forgiveness more attainable.

Example: Consider the pressures and responsibilities that come with being a pastor. They may have been going through a difficult time or unintentionally said something hurtful. Empathy can open the door to forgiveness.

7. Set Healthy Boundaries if Needed

If your pastor’s actions or words repeatedly harm you, consider setting healthy boundaries. This may involve limiting your interaction with them or seeking guidance from church leadership on how to address the issue.

Example: If your pastor’s actions have caused you significant pain, it’s crucial to prioritize your emotional well-being. Setting boundaries can protect you from further harm and allow you to heal.

8. Educate Yourself About Forgiveness

Knowledge is empowering. Educate yourself about forgiveness through biblical teachings, books, or online resources. Understanding the spiritual and emotional aspects of forgiveness can be transformative.

Example: Dive into the Bible and explore passages about forgiveness, such as Matthew 6:14-15, which emphasizes the importance of forgiving others to receive forgiveness from God. Seek books or articles that offer guidance on the biblical perspective of forgiveness.

9. Engage In Mindfulness and Meditation

Mindfulness and meditation can help you stay present and calm during this challenging time. These practices promote emotional healing and self-awareness.

Example: Start with simple mindfulness exercises, like deep breathing or body scans, to ground yourself in the present moment. Meditation can provide clarity and reduce the intensity of your emotions.

10. Use this Experience for Personal Growth

Every difficult situation in life can be an opportunity for personal growth. Reflect on what you’ve learned from this experience and how it has shaped you as a person.

Example: Consider the qualities you’ve developed or strengthened through this journey, such as resilience, empathy, or patience. Use these newfound strengths to continue growing spiritually.

11. Try Forgiveness Exercises or Rituals

There are forgiveness exercises and rituals that can guide you through the forgiveness process. These may involve visualizations, writing forgiveness letters, or lighting candles in a symbolic act of letting go.

Example: Write a forgiveness letter to your pastor, even if you don’t plan to share it with them. Pour your feelings into this letter and express your willingness to forgive. This exercise can be incredibly cathartic.

12. Consider a Letting Go Ritual

A letting go ritual can be a profound way to release resentment. It could involve writing down your grievances on paper and then burning or burying them as a symbolic gesture of forgiveness and closure.

Example: Find a quiet space, light a candle, and read aloud what you’ve written about your pastor’s actions. As you burn or bury the paper, visualize yourself letting go of the resentment and making space for forgiveness.

13. Repeat Positive Affirmations

Affirmations can rewire your mindset towards forgiveness. Repeat positive statements such as “I am capable of forgiving my pastor” or “I choose to release resentment” to reinforce your commitment.

Example: Practice affirmations daily, especially during moments of doubt or frustration. Over time, these affirmations can shift your perspective and help you maintain a forgiving attitude.

14. Cultivate a Gratitude Practice

Cultivating gratitude can shift your focus from resentment to appreciation. Start each day by listing things you’re grateful for, even in the midst of pain and hurt.

Example: Begin your mornings by reflecting on the blessings in your life, the support you’ve received, or the lessons learned from this experience. Gratitude can help replace bitterness with a sense of abundance.

15. Seek Professional Help if Necessary

If your resentment and emotional pain persist, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. A therapist or counselor can provide guidance and strategies for forgiveness and emotional healing.

Example: If you find it difficult to move past your resentment, consider scheduling sessions with a qualified therapist who specializes in forgiveness and healing. They can offer tailored support to address your specific needs.


Forgiving your pastor can be a challenging but ultimately liberating process. It’s a journey that involves acknowledging your emotions, practicing self-care, seeking support, and embracing empathy. Remember that forgiveness is a gift you give yourself; it’s about freeing your heart from the burden of resentment.

By following these steps and leaning on your faith, you can learn how to forgive your pastor and find peace in your spiritual journey. Trust in God’s grace, mercy, love, and compassion to guide you on this transformative path of forgiveness.