Forgiveness: The Arrow Analogy

I believe that when we are wounded by another person, it is like we are struck by an arrow shot from their quiver. Now, the arrow may have been intentionally let loose at you or may have been accidentally or inadvertantly shot at you. Regardless, you have been hit by the arrow and it is now stuck there. Ouch. If left there, it will cause further pain or infection or loss of blood and thus circulation. If the shooter realizes what he has done and its ramifications and is humble enough to apologize and you accept, he thus removes the arrow and both are restored to health, a little wiser maybe. Now if the shooter is not humble and may or may not even understand the wound inflicted, the arrow remains. It festers, it hurts, it becomes infected, it requires so much energy to keep it there that lethargy ensues and the one shot becomes immobilized, suspended there in time and attention, less and less useful to anyone else as time goes by. For an arrow stuck in your body becomes worse over time and not better as some have claimed. So, can anything be done? Yes, the shot one can choose to forgive the unrepentant shooter in maturity and humbleness and wisdom and so doing pulls the arrow out himself and allows healing salve onto the wound. The scar will remain but so will the growth of character and strength. Such is the way of forgiveness and wounds. The arrow is the hurt inflicted. Forgiving someone removes the hurt and frees you from a slow death of sorts. Freedom and good health comes from forgiveness, whether the shooter deserves it. The point is that forgiveness frees you from being captive to the pain. And when you forgive and the arrow is removed and disposed of, the hurter may come around and realize and be saved by it. Or your generous act of forgiveness will create a sense of guilt in him that will be a punishment for years to come. The arrow thus returns to its shooter to induce some response. God sees everything. He forgives freely and expects, no demands that we forgive. It is because He knows this arrow principle. It is the absolute best thing in the world for everyone involved for you to let it go and forgive. That doesn’t mean you stand in front of a drawn bow again but it means you understand that God is in control of the situation and is perfectly capable of handling it.


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