“And while He was still speaking, behold, Judas, one of the twelve, came accompanied by a large crowd with swords and clubs, who came from the chief priests and elders of the people.”Matthew 26:47
Whether from a trusted friend, a parent, a sweetheart, a business partner, or even a spouse, there is perhaps no greater insult to our human relationships than betrayal. When someone close to us proves themselves to be untrustworthy, our emotions are shattered and we are robbed of a sense of security.
Jesus was no stranger to betrayal. The story of His betrayal is described in Matthew 26:46-47 and in Mark 14:43-50. Both gospels share the story of the night Judas, a man Jesus had allowed into His most sacred and trusted inner circle, betrayed Him with a kiss of greeting and turned Him over to be crucified for a mere thirty pieces of silver.
Betrayal robs our inner security through the breaking of trust. After being betrayed, trusting again seems nearly impossible. Thankfully, God’s word does not leave us void of guidance and counsel on how to deal with betrayal and learn to trust again.
In Romans 12:14, the Apostle Paul writes, “Bless those who persecute you; bless and curse not.” And in Romans 12:20-21, Paul writes, “When your enemy’s hungry, feed him. When your enemy’s thirsty, give him a drink. Don’t be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
In these verses, Paul instructs us to pray for the person(s) who hurt us and to choose to forgive them, to do the very things that are most counter to our feelings, emotions, and desires! The process of forgiving a betrayer is not easy and is not necessarily intended to be. It may require significant amounts of prayer, counsel, and time.
Forgiving a betrayer does not mean ignoring or denying what happened to us. It means acknowledging that only God is truly trustworthy. We tell Him our pain and allow Him to handle those who would hurt us. Only by giving our pain to God can we truly overcome the heartache of betrayal!