What To Do When You’ve Been Betrayed
At some point, it happens to everyone. While minding our own business someone unsuspectingly betrays us. And just like that, we are left breathless in a fog of disbelief.
“Did this really happen?” we question, though we already know the answer. It did.
He said those words. She told that lie. It was posted on Facebook. That secret was shared. He took advantage of you.
We were betrayed.
Without asking life packed up our bags and moved us from the land of safety and trust to that of guarded uncertainty. We became shells of our former selves: now marred by what was done to us and who it was done by.
And though we try to move forward the sting of our betrayal seems to linger like a fowl odor. Have you been there? Are you there now? If you find yourself stuck, cemented in time by the pain unjustly inflicted on you, there is hope. Before you were born God modeled how to handle betrayal.
“Now Judas, who betrayed him, knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with his disciples. So Judas came to the garden, guiding a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and the Pharisees. They were carrying torches, lanterns and weapons.”
John 18: 2 – 3 (NIV)
Can you imagine pouring your life into someone you knew would be the catalyst for your death? Would you treat them any differently: roll your eyes; give them the silent treatment, or completely snap – just a little? I think I would.
But thankfully, Jesus consistently demonstrated a better way. Though He was privy to the condition of Judas’ heart from the onset of their relationship, he never distanced himself; He intentionally kept Judas in his inner circle.
He knew Judas would one day leverage their relationship for financial gain. In times of intimate prayer with the 12 Jesus knew Judas wasn’t fully surrendered. As he washed his feet He knew Judas was planning to sell him for 30 pieces of silver. Jesus gave Judas VIP seating for every teaching, supernatural healing, meal, and miracle even though He would betray Him.
Who does that? I wouldn’t. Would you?
What would compel the Savior to love his betrayer daily? I am convinced Jesus’ actions center around 3 principles we can apply to our own lives.
#1 He Was Submitted to the Father’s Will
Jesus was completely surrendered to the will of God. Though betrayal was difficult, He knew this path was hand picked for Him; only He could die for humanity. As a result he willingly endured betrayal in submission to God’s saving plan for mankind.
“My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. John 4: 34 (NIV)
So what about you? Could it be that God has a greater purpose for the betrayal you’ve experienced? Is it possible that there is a reason you’ve been wronged?
I think so.
God is not figuring things out as He goes. He has a plan and it includes every area of our lives including our betrayal.
#2 He Knew Vengeance Belonged to God
Getting even feels good – real good – in the moment. Inwardly we are justified and vindicated; our wrong is righted. In those moments, we find ourselves seduced by an innate desire to level the playing field.
We want them to pay now.
We want to stop hurting now.
We want justice now.
But only God can dish out true justice because only He is completely aware of a man’s sin. He knows everything. When we try to issue out our own punishments we place ourselves in God’s judgement seat.
This is a place we are not fit to occupy. In due time, God will judge our betrayer. Any attempt at revenge is futile and foolish.
#3 He Chose Love
Before it was cool to say love wins Jesus lived it. Ironically, living this win made Him look like a loser in the eyes of man. He was misunderstood, rejected, betrayed and ultimately killed for loving us. Who wants that life?
At first glance, not me. But when I look again I see how that love changed my life and I am compelled to offer it to others; even those who knowingly and unknowingly broke my heart.
This doesn’t mean you are buddy buddy or dismissive. It means we intentional work at living out 1 Corinthians 13: 4 – 8 (NIV).