Write a 3 – 5 page paper (double spaced)describing the defin…

Write a 3 – 5 page paper (double spaced) describing the definition of forgiveness. Make sure that you include the following: • • • In what way is your definition similar/different to your original definition? • Why has your definition changed or not changed? Your paper must follow APA guidelines. You will need a title page and a reference page (title page and reference page DO NOT count toward your page limit).

Title: The Definition and Evolution of Forgiveness: An Analytical Perspective


Forgiveness is a complex and multifaceted concept that holds a significant place in human psychology and interpersonal relationships. This paper aims to provide a comprehensive definition of forgiveness and explore the similarities and differences between the initial and revised definitions. Additionally, the paper will delve into the reasons behind any changes observed in the definition, addressing the dynamic nature of forgiveness. The analysis will be based on an analytical perspective and will follow the APA guidelines.

Definition of Forgiveness

Forgiveness can be defined as a voluntary and deliberate decision to let go of resentment, animosity, and negative emotions towards an individual who has caused harm, offense, or betrayal. It involves replacing negative emotions with positive ones such as compassion, understanding, and empathy. Forgiveness entails a process of releasing oneself from the emotional and psychological burden associated with the offense, ultimately leading to inner peace and reconciliation.

Similarities and Differences in the Definition

Comparing the initial and revised definitions, it is evident that there are certain commonalities and variations in the understanding of forgiveness. Primarily, both definitions acknowledge that forgiveness is a voluntary act, requiring a conscious decision by the victimized party. In both cases, forgiveness is aimed at letting go of negative emotions, such as resentment and anger, towards the offender. The core idea behind forgiveness, namely the restoration of inner peace, interpersonal harmony, and the potential for reconciliation, remains unchanged as well.

However, the revised definition incorporates an important addition to the initial understanding – the consideration of the offender’s intentions and acknowledgement of the harm caused. This inclusion recognizes the significance of the offender’s remorse, accountability, and willingness to make amends. In this way, forgiveness becomes an interactive process that involves not just the victim but also the offender, fostering a more comprehensive view of forgiveness within the context of human relationships.

Changes in the Definition

The evolution of the definition can be attributed to several factors, including personal experiences, scholarly research, and evolving societal perspectives on forgiveness. It is important to note that the understanding of forgiveness is subjective and may vary across individuals, cultures, and contexts. The revised definition represents an enriched understanding that incorporates a more nuanced perspective on forgiveness.

Personal experiences play a pivotal role in shaping one’s definition of forgiveness. As individuals encounter various instances of harm, betrayal, or offense throughout their lives, their understanding of forgiveness may evolve. In my case, personal experiences of forgiveness have prompted a deeper reflection on the complexities inherent in the process. Witnessing instances where forgiveness was granted even in the absence of genuine remorse led to an appreciation for the vital role of the offender’s acknowledgement and responsibility in the forgiveness process.

Scholarly research and discourse further contribute to the evolution of the definition of forgiveness. Research studies have explored forgiveness from various angles, such as the psychological, social, and evolutionary perspectives. These studies offer valuable insights into the underlying mechanisms and potential benefits of forgiveness, prompting a reinterpretation of the concept. Consequently, the revised definition aligns with contemporary research, integrating the evolving understanding of forgiveness within the broader academic discourse.

Furthermore, societal perspectives and cultural norms influence the definition of forgiveness. As societies undergo transformations, such as increased globalization and multiculturalism, the understanding of forgiveness expands to encompass diverse perspectives and contexts. The revised definition reflects an inclusive approach that embraces a wider range of forgiveness practices, acknowledging the influence of culture, religion, and socio-political factors.


In conclusion, forgiveness can be defined as a voluntary decision to release oneself from negative emotions and resentment towards an individual who has caused harm or betrayal. The revised definition emphasizes the importance of the offender’s intentions and accountability. The evolution of the definition can be attributed to personal experiences, scholarly research, and societal perspectives. By understanding the multifaceted nature of forgiveness, individuals can navigate and engage in forgiveness processes more effectively, contributing to personal growth, interpersonal harmony, and societal well-being.