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Choosing the best Christian songs about forgiveness is like choosing the saddest blues song. Blues is supposed to be sad, so aren’t all the songs sad? Likewise, the bulk of the Christian faith revolves around forgiveness; either God’s forgiveness, or forgiving those who have wronged us.

But we’ve compiled a list of great songs about the subject, and you’ll forgive us if we left off your favorite.

“Flawless” by MercyMe

“Flawless” by MercyMe

Song Year: 2014

This number-one hit for MercyMe— a band that’s chugged along for years— made as much of a splash for its video as it did for its substance and its chart performance. The band starts the video in white suits but splashed with paint.

As the video progresses, the clock gets turned back, and the paint disappears, a metaphor for God’s forgiveness for all our flaws.

“Forgiven” by Crowder

Song Year: 2016

David Crowder bring a gritty trucker vibe to Christian music, and we love it. He writes powerful songs and infuses his arrangements with folk and Americana flavors.

He also does a great job with lyrics and rarely pulls punches. He starts “Forgiven” by acknowledging that, via his sins, he is directly responsible for the death of Christ on the cross. Despite this, he knows he can still find forgiveness. It’s a powerful message made more impactful by Crowder’s urgent and earnest delivery.

“Forgiveness” by TobyMac feat. Lecrae

“Forgiveness” by TobyMac feat

Song Year: 2012

TobyMac was part of a curious 1980s experiment: a Christian rap group. For people who believed that the medium was the message, it was weird. After all, rap was supposed to be about street life and hard times, so how could a Christian message be part of that? But DC Talk had great success until the trio called it quits in 2000.

TobyMac went on to a successful solo career, part of which was 2012’s “Forgiveness.” The lyrics point to the fact that we’ve all screwed up, but forgiveness is an option, no matter what those screw-ups entail.

“Redeemed” by Big Daddy Weave

Song Year: 2012

Alabama native Mike Weaver fronts Big Daddy Weave and brings a soulful voice to the band’s sound. In “Redeemed,” he pairs his voice with a swelling string section and an insistent piano line to create a moving piece of music.

The lyrics tick off the narrator’s flaws but offer hope: through God’s love, that old life ends with the forgiveness and redemption available through the sacrifice of Christ. Stains from a lifetime of sins are erased, and he becomes a new man.

“Forgiven” by Sanctus Real

Song Year: 2010

Sanctus Real’s second top-ten hit, “Forgiven,” has a banjo and a glockenspiel. If for no other reason than the combination’s novelty, the song gets some credit.

It looks at the insecurities we have and blames them on our inability to let go of past mistakes at the foot of the devil.

No matter what makes us dwell on things long forgotten by everyone else, most of us tend to do it. “Forgiven” is a reminder that forgiveness voids all that junk from the past.

“Where Forgiveness Is” by Sidewalk Prophets

Song Year: 2020

The lyrics on top of the laid-back groove of “Where Forgiveness Is” focus on the freedom available to anyone who receives— truly receives— forgiveness. It’s one thing to tell yourself that you are not your mistakes or that your problems are not your identity.

But to truly live free of those things from your past that drag you down— that’s true freedom. Sidewalk Prophets postulate that you can have that freedom via forgiveness.

“O God Forgive Us” by For King & Country feat. KB

Song Year: 2014

Luke and Joel Smallbone are Australian natives who came to Nashville with big plans. Luckily for them and their fans, things worked out.

Many of their songs contain thoughtful lyrics that don’t offer trite, cookie-cutter cliches, and “O God Forgive Us” is one of those. It doesn’t spend a lot of time talking about how great life would be if you’d just love Jesus. Instead, it focuses on the need for forgiveness and the difficulty of accepting it sometimes.

“At the Cross (Love Ran Red)” by Chris Tomlin

At the Cross (Love Ran Red)” by Chris Tomlin

Song Year: 2014

Chris Tomlin continues to find new ways to get God’s message of love across without repeating himself.

“At the Cross (Love Ran Red)” focuses entirely on the act of crucifixion that Jesus endured and why he did it. Tomlin’s lyrics focus on the narrator’s awe in the face of that ultimate sacrifice. The forgiveness made available to us through this act washes him (and all of us) clean with God’s love.

“Love Came Down” by Kari Jobe

Song Year: 2012

Kari Jobe brings a light voice to a dark subject in “Love Came Down” as she sings about how heavy her heart can get. Love comes to change her life and rescue her from the poor choices we all tend to make.

While the word “forgiveness” doesn’t appear in the song, Jobe sings about all God has done for her. Most Christians will aver that the number-one item on that list is forgiveness.

“Forgiveness Rushes In” by KXC

Song Year: 2018

“Forgiveness Rushes In” uses moving water as a metaphor in this plaintive song. As the forgiving power of God flows into one’s life as a river fills a valley, the problems of the past become just that— past.

The narrator, singing directly to God, spends lyrical capital to specify that her history (that is, her past sins) is nothing in the face of forgiveness and the future that forgiveness opens up for her.

“I Forgive You” by Kellie Pickler

Song Year: 2013

In “I Forgive You,” Kellie Pickler sings about the emotional pain she carries due to past trauma and realizing the power of forgiveness.

By forgiving those who have wronged us, we end up freeing ourselves. It doesn’t mean forgetting, nor does it mean being a doormat patiently waiting for the next time that person hurts you. But letting go of anger and resentment through forgiveness can free up a lot of emotional energy.

“That’s How You Forgive” by Shane & Shane

“That’s How You Forgive” by Shane & Shane

Song Year: 2013

There’s a country-bro vibe in places to “That’s How You Forgive,” but that doesn’t mean this one is about partying or fishing with buddies and beer.

Instead, it lays out the story of Christ’s forgiveness available to us. He went to the cross to die in our place, and the song’s narrator points out that this is the quintessential lesson on how you can go about forgiving someone.

“Come to the Cross” by Michael W. Smith

Song Year: 2006

“Come to the Cross” is another song about forgiveness that never actually uses the word. But Michael W. Smith can do a lot with a few words and a few chords.

He’s been like a blue-chip stock in Christian music since the 1980s in that he might not have a huge, world-conquering hit every year, but he always dependably creates quality music with thoughtful lyrics, and Christians freaking love this guy.

“Forgiveness” by Matthew West

Song Year: 2012

Matthew West learned of a woman whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver. Rather than call for vengeance, she somehow figured out how to forgive the man who took her daughter from her, even going to prison to meet with him.

West asked himself if he could do the same thing and realized he probably couldn’t. That level of forgiveness seems otherworldly. The lyrics echo that it must be that— not of this world.

“The Lord’s Prayer (It’s Yours)” by Matt Maher

“The Lord's Prayer (It’s Yours)” by Matt Maher

Song Year: 2022

Matt Maher is another Christian artist who has had a huge impact on 21st-century worship music. In “The Lord’s Prayer (It’s Yours),” he takes the traditional Lord’s Prayer and modernizes its language.

All the “thees” and “thous” can get in the way of understanding Bible verses, so it’s nice to have a version of the prayer in something approaching current vernacular.

While Jesus only mentions forgiveness in one part of the prayer, Maher uses that section as a recurring chorus so that forgiveness becomes the song’s theme.

Top Christian Songs About Forgiveness, Final Thoughts

Christian songs about forgiveness abound, some from classic artists, some from brand-new faces. But that’s one of the central messages of the Christian faith, so it’s no surprise that we have a large collection of them to choose from. These represent a cross-section of styles and approaches to the subject.

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