If a person seeks revenge instead of following the steps of forgiving and then that person reports great inner relief, could it be said that this is a form of forgiving? I say that because the revenge and forgiving both lead to the same end of feeling better.
Actually, no. Revenge-seeking and forgiving are entirely different. Even if they lead to a similar inner conclusion, we have to remember that the outward conclusion is radically different for revenge and forgiving. In getting revenge, the person may receive retaliation from the other, in which case the “feel good” scenario melts away. In forgiving, the person who gives love may receive love back. Even if this does not happen, at least the other person’s quest for retaliation may not be present any longer. We cannot confuse revenge and forgiving by focusing on outcomes only. As one final thought, the “feel good” experience in revenge might be very short-lived. Revenge does not necessarily lead to a cure for resentment, but only a temporary reprieve from it.
For additional information, see Forgiveness Defined.