“Betrayal is the only truth that stinks!” Agree!!! I haven’t done any recent surveys, but on the “Back 9” I think it is pretty safe to say, at some point, everyone experiences the “knife of betrayal”. I would describe the feeling of betrayal as extreme hurt, shock, anger, and a feeling of despair and loneliness. I think one of the hardest things as a mom is to watch your child or a young person experience betrayal for the first time. There is no “Advil”, “Tylenol”, “word” or “hug” that takes away or soothes the pain quickly. It is a slow recovery and something only time, prayer, and God can help you heal from.
For me, I turn to Scripture, using examples in the Bible to teach and comfort, when I have or someone else has experienced the “KNIFE”! The first story I think of in Scripture is the betrayal of Jesus by one of his disciples, Judas. Yes, Judas was considered a friend and follower of Jesus. Today he would be described as being in Jesus’ “inner circle”. He sold Jesus (who was innocent) out to the chief priests. Matthew 26:15, “‘What will you give me if I deliver him over to you?’ and they paid him thirty pieces of silver. And from that moment he sought an opportunity to BETRAY him.”
The sources of betrayal are usually “self-gain” or “jealousy” as found in the story of Joseph. After Joseph told of his dream to his brothers, they were jealous. Genesis 37:11, “And his brothers were jealous of him….” So jealous they conspired to kill him, but then decided to throw him into a pit. Then they decided to sell him as a slave and lie to their father to cover up the “betrayal”.
Horrible, unthinkable when you read about it, but yes, betrayal happens. The question is what to do when it does. Run to God!!! Pray and ask Him to help you deal with the pain and devastation and come to a place of forgiveness. It is only through the “SUPERNATURAL POWER” of God almighty that any human can overcome, heal, and forgive the “knife of betrayal”. I love the two examples that Scripture gives us to learn from–Jesus and Joseph! Jesus is the ultimate example of “forgiveness” after betrayal. He died the most horrific of all deaths and was an innocent man. He even restored Peter, another member of Jesus’ twelve (inner circle), who denied Jesus 3 times after His arrest.
What about the emotion that comes with betrayal? The Bible gives us a little of Joseph’s feelings only when it talks about how he “wept” when he saw his brothers after years of separation. Genesis 42:24, “Then he turned away from them and wept….” Years after the betrayal, Joseph felt the immense PAIN OF BETRAYAL. It teaches me that forgiveness of betrayal can be given, but the “pain” can be fresh and the wounds deep for years.
The betrayer suffers as well. Suffering to the point that in Judas’ case he threw the money back to the priests and hung himself. His act of betrayal led to Jesus being condemned to death. Betrayal indeed can devastate the betrayer. No one can control the “reaping and sowing” aspect of betrayal. There no doubt are consequences. Scripture clearly lays out the anguish that some of Joseph’s brothers lived with for years over their actions.
The consequences of betrayal of Jesus served to save the “world of sin” and the betrayal of Joseph, in the end, “saved his family” from starvation. Think about this, if you have been betrayed. God can use the betrayal in your life to do good. It doesn’t take away the pain. YOU have to turn to HIM (God) for help. Joseph’s life WAS NOT immune from further betrayal as seen by the actions of Potiphar’s wife. He had certainly learned from his most painful betrayal by his own family. Joseph, in the end, was restored to his father and his brothers.
The outcome of betrayal doesn’t always end like it did for Joseph and his family with restored relationships. It depends a lot on the context of the situation and the parties involved and their willingness to turn to God, whether they are the BETRAYED OR THE BETRAYER. Remember, Scripture clearly shows that the “betrayer” suffers too. (no pity for the betrayer) The betrayer often comes to the realization that when you betray someone you ULTIMATELY BETRAY YOURSELF as Judas realized.
Turn to God for help. Allow time for healing. God can heal and enable you to trust again. Hebrews 2:18, “ or because HE himself has SUFFERED when tempted, HE IS ABLE, to HELP those who are being tempted.” and in Psalms 18:2, “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my Deliverer, my God, my ROCK, in whom I take refuge, my SHIELD, and the horn of my salvation, my STRONGHOLD.” As we approach celebrating the day of Jesus’s resurrection, Easter, let’s look to the cross and know that any betrayal we experience when given to an almighty God can be turned into something beautiful for our benefit.
Betrayal CRUSHES THE SPIRIT, BUT TAKE HEART. PSALM 34:18, “THE LORD IS NEAR TO THE BROKENHEARTED AND SAVES THE CRUSHED IN SPIRIT.”