Betrayal: How to Be Healed and Trust Again
Being betrayed is an experience that no one obviously desires and enjoys. It is painful. The deeper the level of trust one has bestowed upon the betrayer prior to the betrayal, the more painful the act of betraying becomes.
How does one get healed from such a terrible experience?
I have felt the sting of betrayal many times in my life inside and outside the church. Sadly, anybody can break the trust that you give to people. But this doesn't mean you shouldn't trust anybody anymore.
Christ Himself faced the bitter pain of betrayal. Judas sold Him for money, and the others abandoned Him. Despite that, He was willing to forgive. In fact, He went beyond letting go of the hurt: He moved on and entrusted His ministry to His followers who abandoned Him.
If Christ can move on from the betrayals He faced, we can, too, with His help.
Are you suffering from the pain caused by the betrayal of a friend, loved one, or fellow Christian? Here are three ways to be healed and live a life free from the pain of betrayal.
1. Forgive Your Offender
Truth be told, the pain that you feel can only be released if you release forgiveness. Offences act like corks that stop wine from flowing out of the bottle. Forgiveness acts like corkscrews that effectively pull out the cork so that wine could be enjoyed. But corkscrews alone can't take the cork out – you have to squeeze the corkscrew in, then pull the cork out with it.
In other words, forgiveness is your choice. God commands us to forgive those who offend us, but it's ultimately our choice to forgive. Take note that God will never forgive those who don't forgive. His forgiveness will set you free.
2. Receive Christ's Healing
Christ Himself was betrayed on so many fronts for so many times. The normal man who would experience His pain would probably end up hiding inside a cave for fear of trusting another man again. Still, Christ was able to forgive, and in such a terrific way.
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Isaiah 53:5 tells us that by Christ's stripes, we are healed. He was striped or wounded for all our offences, both ours and our offenders'. Christ received the punishment for all our acts of betrayal, and the betrayals others did to us. He suffered for it all so that God could free us. Why not honour what He did?
Christ's pain heals us. When we realise that our sins are acts of betrayals against Him, we realise that we're not the only ones betrayed. And when we realise that Christ died for us to be forgiven, it's easier for us to forgive.
3. Move On
Stop dwelling on the betrayal you've been through. There's no point rehearsing the whole story in your mind, hoping to get something out of it. No, you should just let it go and move on.
God never stops doing new things. Our pain doesn't freeze the clock for God. Rather, our pain freezes our clocks and leaves us hanging at the time we were offended. Let it go!
In Isaiah 43:18-19 God tells us, "Stop dwelling on past events and brooding over times gone by; I am doing something new; it's springing up — can't you see it?"
Move on, my friend. You may have been betrayed yesterday, but that doesn't mean God is done with you. He's not, and until the day you go home to heaven in Christ, God will keep doing new things in your life.
Friends, the enemy wants us wallowing in the pain of betrayals, but we should not. We should forgive, receive Christ's healing, and move on to God's purposes for our lives. Through it all, we should learn to wise up and never let the same things happen to us over and over again.