Frontman and bassist John Cooper told StereoTruth: "I am really excited about this song, which is probably the most overtly Christian song on the album. I think 'Forgiven' is a very hopeful song, and even though it's not the first time a song has been written on the subject, it strikes a balance between being very worship oriented and honest as well. This is a song about letting yourself or someone else down, but finding the power to not beat yourself up over it and to find closure with the person you hurt."
Cooper discussed this song in a 2010 radio interview with Power FM in Dallas, Texas: "I thought, about five years ago, that someday I want to write a song called 'Forgiven.' I just gotta wait for the right story. So then this time around I started working on the song and it was about running to other things before you run to God with your problems. When God says not to have any gods before Him, and we think, Okay, well what exactly does that mean? That means when you're having a bad day and you're running to all these other people or to all these other things in your life to meet fulfillment – that you have gods before the one God."
The concept of forgiveness has always been important to Cooper. He even has a large tattoo of the word 'Forgiven' on his left forearm.