29th April 2021
...can be long living...
'He who shared my bread has turned against me.'
I don't think there anything worse than
being betrayed by a friend whom we trusted.
I'm sure it has happened to most of us
at some times in our lives.
A wife betrayed by her husband - or vice versa.
An employee passed over for a promotion by
an employer who had promised it.
A secret between friends brought to light
for all to see.
A promise made to a child so
easily broken by a parent.
How do we deal with that inevitable betrayal
that will affect us in our everyday lives?
The pain of betrayal is intense
and can be long living.
Sometimes the emotional pain is far worse
than physical pain.
We often respond to abandonment or betrayal in anger,
by dwelling on the circumstances.
We often seek to get even or make our betrayers
suffer intensely for how they've wronged us.
However, that is not the way we,
as Christians are told to respond;
and Jesus showed us the way.
Jesus certainly felt the sting of betrayal
from some of His closest friends,
including Judas and the apostle Peter,
who publicly denied him three times (Luke 22).
Jesus responded to this betrayal by
focusing on healing - and reclaiming -
that relationship (John 21).
And though his internal struggle with
Judas' betrayal is not recorded,
we can assume that it was very difficult
for him emotionally, being fully human,
he would have been saddened and upset.
We know that he instructed Judas to do
what he'd set his mind to.
He didn't stop him or throw a fit.
We also know that Jesus
responded to Judas graciously.
The first step to recovering from betrayal
is to look at ourselves,
rather than blame the other person.
"Why do you look at the speck that is
in your brother's eye,
but do not notice the log that is in
your own eye?" Matthew 7:3
Can we ask ourselves 'what was my part of this?'
That isn't easy!
We need to let God show us if there's any part
of the situation that we contributed to
and what do we need to learn from this.
If it's going to be a transformational
event for us, what part needs to be transformed?
Instead of lashing out,
we ask ourselves a more godly question which is,
'what does this teach me about me?"
Another necessary step in recovering from betrayal is
often overlooked is letting ourselves
be sad about the pain.
It's important that we let God
be with us in our grieving.
Before we can move on,
we have to actually acknowledge the grief
and deal with the grief.
We let ourselves be sad, claim our hurt,
and then start to ask,
'Where do we go from here? What's next?'"
One thing we know,
we can leave the vengeance to God who says:
"I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you."
When an individual decides to spread hate
and discontent throughout their circle,
that hate and discontent is earth shattering
for those who are directly feeling it.
When an individual decides to spread love
and forgiveness throughout their circle,
that love and forgiveness is ground breaking
to those who are directly feeling it.
Remember no action is too small.
Ultimately, every action can change the world.
Jesus could never be accused of being a pushover,
but he framed his response to Peter's and Judas'
betrayal with kindness love and, for Peter,
reconciliation - and calls us to do the same. Song with lyrics https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HixCQUirJxg
It may be interesting to watch,
or just listen to a song
'Forgive Our Sins As We Forgive'
via the link shown below.