I trusted my best friend like family and he has betrayed me. He has done it before too. I have so much anger inside and have imaginary outbursts with him about not practising what he preaches – he is a Christian too! I wish him the depths of hell when I see his pretences. Now I cannot trust anyone. How can trust be rebuilt if its broken so cruelly?
Betrayal is one of life’s bitterest pains – sometimes almost physically daunting in its intensity.
The Bible lists several instances of betrayal. Joseph’s own brothers sold him as a slave, just because he was naïve enough to share with them God’s visions for him (Genesis 37) Jeremiah preached to glorify God. But, he was ostracised by those who did not realise the call over his life and finally his dearest friends sought his downfall (Jeremiah 20:10) The Psalmist lost his ‘companion, equal and closest friend with whom he kept pleasant company’. The one who worshipped with him, had now joined his enemy ranks (Psalm 55) Job’s ‘friends’ thought he deserved more correction for what he did or did not do. “My close friends detest me. Those I loved have turned against me”. (Job 19:19) I wonder if the betrayers ever realise how much agony they cause the ones they bore of and wound.
Jesus was betrayed twice – by Judas and by Peter. Only one repented. All of us have faced it. Being rejected and maligned by people very dear to us – by parents, spouses, children, best friends, authority and Christian leaders; sometime even by persons we trusted closely with every secret, struggle and victory in our day-to-day lives.
People often share to me about the pain of treachery within the families and within the church. Jesus tells us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us (Matthew 5:44). So you don’t have to stop loving them, but you must not allow them to ignore, be rude, gossip, recruits others to the cause of abusing you behind your back – thus sin against their souls and against you.
First, be still and talk to God. We shouldn’t wish people we love – anything evil – because of what they did to us or otherwise. Imaginary conversations are just that – imaginary. We never really know what another person is thinking or going through. It’s your best friend, right? We don’t wish loved ones to hell; don’t wish your best friend any evil, pray it’s all resolved on earth – as earth is the testing ground for heaven! Let all your anguish out to JESUS, cry and then FORGIVE. Rebuke any spirits of strife that is coming against you and this one and all your relationships. Pray especially for the bone of contention and the people who could have caused strife between you both because of malice or jealousy. Speak the Word of God over your situation. If you can, keep making efforts to communicate openly to your friend. Be honest, but kind. If he has made clear he does not want you in his life, stay away. You sadly have no choice. But make sure efforts come from your side. Often, the rude continue being rude and the pushovers continue being pushed over and often even walked over. It takes incredible strength to treat people who have betrayed you, with love and respect.
Pray before you tackle betrayers – their bloated egos will never let them apologise. Pray that the Lord will help the other person to take responsibility for their attitude and for the pain they have caused and then respond appropriately. Let them clearly know how you feel, so you aren’t being taken advantage of, over and over. Work on relationships – they make life worthwhile; if you keep burning bridges, you would never have one to walk on.
Recognise the true enemy – it is never your spouse, best friend or relative – it is the devil who comes to ‘steal, kill and destroy’. Sadly, even devout Christians don’t recognise the enemy – its satan who sees the potential in godly relationships and good friendships and comes against them.
But we have one assurance – JESUS – the eternal friend, will never leave us or forsake us. Don’t let another human being ever wipe your smile away or put down the God in you.
Get strong in HIM and tackle this in faith. God never promised us that weapons would not be formed against us, but He promised that no weapon formed against us shall prosper. That includes satan’s cheap shots against your friendships too. You can do all things through Christ who gives you strength. Amen and chin up!
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