Jesus and My Emotions: Week #4- Betrayal- Guest Article
The word itself sounds just as brutal as the feeling. You know how certain words just automatically brings an image to mind? Well, when I hear the word “betrayal,” I see a person left alone on the floor with a knife stuck in their chest. Left to die. A person undeserving. A person who didn’t see it coming. A person outwitted by their eagerness to love and open themselves up to a world that can’t reciprocate such loyalty and care. Betrayal is deep. It’s a pain that pierces your soul. It’s an exchange of trust for brutality. It fractures loyalty in such a way that repair seems almost impossible.
However painful, there are lessons to be learned from betrayal. Working through my own experience with it, I’ve gained wisdom that otherwise I would not have.
1. Betrayal hurts because it always comes at the hands of someone you trust—someone you least expect it from. We expect our enemies to act recklessly toward us. We never expect it from our friends. We expect strangers to treat us with contempt; we never expect it from people who once feasted at our tables. This experience is not unique to you. All throughout history people have been betrayed. It didn’t start with you, and it won’t stop with you. Jesus was betrayed by someone who walked with him throughout his ministry. Someone who saw the powerful things he did—someone who saw him heal the sick, raise the dead, feed the 5000. Someone he broke bread with. Joseph was betrayed by his own flesh and blood. Can you imagine your own brothers plotting to kill you? Can you imagine being sold by people who should be biologically hardwired to love you? Betrayal is not a new phenomenon, so stop constantly asking “Why did this happen”? Instead, recognize that it can happen to not just you, but anyone. As long as human beings exist, unfortunately, betrayal will.
2. There’s always a lesson to be learned from instances of betrayal. Allow yourself time to mourn, but don’t let it leave without gaining something from the experience. What have you learned about yourself? What have you learned about the kind of people you want to be surrounded by? What have you learned about boundaries? Sit with your betrayal and garner wisdom from it. It will pass and time will heal, but you want to take that wisdom with you as you continue your journey throughout life.
3. Forgive and move on. Yes, sometimes people do things unintentionally that end up hurting us, but it’s their response to what they do that matters. If the person is unapologetic, then that’s really not someone you’d want in your life long-term, regardless. Maybe the betrayal was a gift. If that’s what came out of them, imagine what’s inside of them. Deep stuff. Forgive and move on with your life. There’s really no desire to stay there long-term. There’s really no desire to demand justice. There is an entire life to be lived ahead of you. There’s life after betrayal. Learn the lessons and love on. You resolve to be a better person. You resolve to not treat people the way you were handled.
Ultimately, if you’re dealing with feelings of betrayal, remember that betrayal has a price. God honors loyalty and faithfulness. It’s all throughout scripture. Vengeance isn’t ours to give though, God is the judge. God is a just judge. He never wants us to get our hands dirty or to be burdened by what another human deserves. Cast your cares on God and accept His peace and freedom instead. You can do this by simply shifting your focus. Instead of ruminating over what happened, focus on the good in your life. Instead of staying stuck in that place of disappointment, flip the script and focus on what you’re grateful for.
Betrayal is a vile thing. It is so important that we treat people how we would like to be treated. We must always remember that the seeds we sow will always bear fruit. Ensure that you live in such a way that the fruit you reap is sweet and juicy. Sow good seeds.
Guest Article Written By: Lashanté Stubbs
Connect with Lashanté on her Instagram account at "shantestubbs"