We all have been there. It’s a scar that brands the soul. It changes the way we interact in that relationship, permanently.
Betrayal takes many forms, it might be in gossip, a secret, abandonment, and even rejection.
It’s a tricky beast. Once you have been betrayed it sets you out on high alert, because your heart just can’t take the pain of losing trust in someone you love so dearly.
Did you notice I didn’t write love in a past tense?
That’s right, the ones that leave us marred, are those that are not only people we used to love, instead, we still do and always will.
I could list several stories where I have been betrayed. It would be tales of great abandonment and rejection but honestly, I love those people too much to even recant the details.
I could also list when I have been the one that betrayed my loved one. Like many other stories, it would start with a, “I never meant to..”
Most times it was not deliberate, in fact, many times I know it was purely unintentional, but the offense was cast and the more I tried to right the wrong, the more damage occurred.
It goes both ways. I think there are many times where when we just stepped out at the wrong time and to the other person it was rejection.
It’s hard living in a world where offense runs prevalent. Betrayal is often gossiped about but rarely confronted, which breeds contempt.
Why do we do this to others and ourselves?
My greatest betrayals haven’t been what was said about me, rather it was more what wasn’t said. It’s that wounded elephant in the room that is so painfully obvious that everyone is afraid to send it stampeding.
We cringe at the thought of hurting the ones we love, but sometimes things happen that we just have no way of preparing for and we say or do things that we can’t take back.
This leads me to one of the most infamous betrayers of all time, Judas.
He was one of the twelve disciples and counted in the inner circle of Jesus. He broke bread with Jesus and listened to His words with great intent. Jesus loved him and called him friend and brother.We never hear about all of the good things he did, just his betrayal.
I always wondered what made him betray his mentor, his savior, the one he loved? While we all know it had to happen in some way shape or form, I can’t help but wonder did he grow jealous?
Did he feel abandoned, insecure, or rejected in some way that just got the best of him?
It’s easy to be angry at Judas when we read the story of his betrayal of Jesus. But how often have we done the same?
Maybe we haven’t lead our loved one to physical death or sold them for thirty pieces of silver. Instead, maybe it was the death of a relationship or we sold out our friendship for something we thought would be better?
Maybe we smiled and hugged the person then secretly inside we burned with anger at something we had allowed to penetrate our heart?
Luke 22:3 (NIV) gets straight to the point:
“Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve.”
It doesn’t say Judas did it on his own, it says Satan entered.
How often have we allowed Satan to enter our hearts when our feelings and thoughts overwhelm us?
Or let’s flip it.
Could these betrayals be a blessing in disguise? Could they help prepare us for our walk in life and teach us remorse, compassion, and controlling our tongue? Or how to withstand the horror as we helplessly watch our reputations become tarnished, with grace and forgiveness?
Maybe it could help us when we are standing in the face of the storm of rejection and abandonment and holding fast to trusting that G-d will reveal truth here on earth? Or maybe we will have to wait for our vindication to come when we stand face to face with our savior?
When we feel betrayed, more times than not we want to lash out for justice or shut down for self-preservation. I have been challenged to see rejection as beneficial. Without the betrayal of Judas, Peter’s denial, or the disciples (his inner circle) of Jesus that feel asleep when he asked them to pray in his hour of need, Jesus might never have been able to do what he came to do, to save us from ourselves and death.
He too felt rejected, abandoned, unworthy, and scarred.
The Bible says to not let the sun go down on our anger, I see why. It just festers and boils with each passing minute and we feel empowered by the anger instead of seeing it for the toxicity that it really is.
Each time that I have been betrayed I have had a part of me die to realize that person isn’t who I thought they were or that I thought I should be.
The truth is, after each betrayal we have a choice. Do we forgive as G-d does and release grace that we so desperately ask for?
Or do we harbor bitterness and hold to what we feel is right, when secretly it is suffocating our very spirit?
It’s a battle we wage at some point or another. To make the right choice often really hurts.
Whereas the wrong choice feels so good, while slowly destroying everything in its path.
What if we take that pain that was meant for evil and choose to bless instead of cursing?
These simple words transform the way we live each day.
We all will be afflicted by betrayals in our lives. Some worse and harder to forgive than others. How we respond to these rejections can alter the way we interact with others for the rest of our lives.
The very things that were meant to break us, when we allow G-d to heal and strengthen to become the person He knows we can be. We can’t do it on our own, but with G-d anything is possible.
Let us lived as Jesus instructed us to and pray for those who hurt us. May we lay down our hurts and keep on showing the love that we all desire.
Today is a fresh start, let us begin…
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