Betrayal is something that is difficult for any of us to deal with. Often, it is those who are closest to us who betray us, and it can feel terrible. If you have been betrayed, you know the pain, hurt, and distrust that now has filled your heart.
It is hard to let go and move on after a betrayal, but if we don’t move past the betrayal, it will only hurt us. It is at times such as these when we need to know how to biblically deal with betrayal.
“Sometimes before it gets better, the darkness gets bigger. The person that you’d take a bullet for is behind the trigger” (“Miss Missing You,” Fall Out Boy).
Being betrayed hurts us, and it can permanently affect how we see the person who betrayed us. If you are reading this article, it is likely that you have been betrayed, and you want to know how to deal with it in a biblically correct way.
First, you need to recognize that all of your feelings and emotions are valid. All of the pain, hurt, and distrust you are feeling are valid. Never beat yourself up over feeling these emotions because they are normal emotions to feel after being betrayed by someone.
Being betrayed by someone close to you can also give you trust issues in the future, and it can significantly impact your relationships with others in the future.
After you have validated your feelings, turn to God in prayer. Tell Him how you are feeling after the betrayal, and ask Him to give you the peace that only He can provide. Jesus knows exactly what it is like to be betrayed.
The Lord was betrayed by Judas, who was one of His 12 disciples. Jesus knew Judas was going to betray Him, yet Jesus always treated Judas kindly. After Judas betrayed Jesus, we notice that Jesus doesn’t retaliate.
Since Jesus is God in the flesh, He could have done anything. He could have struck Judas dead at that moment or made him fall down in unbearable agony, but He didn’t.
In fact, never are we told that Jesus pronounces anything negative against Judas. Judas later feels remorse over what he has done, and he hangs himself (Matthew 27).
Just as Jesus didn’t try to “get even” or hurt Judas, neither should we. Instead, we need to repay cursing with blessing. Rather than trying to hurt the person who betrayed us, we should pray for them.
When praying for them, it is okay to tell God again about the pain they caused us, but we shouldn’t pray for anything negative to happen to them. God won’t answer prayers such as these.
We need to pray for them and ask God to help them not do these things again in the future. While they have permanently broken our trust, we should pray that they can build more lasting relationships with others by stopping the bad habit of betrayal.
Betrayal can tear down an entire relationship in a matter of minutes, and it is something that someone needs to stay away from throughout their life. Just as it is not good to be betrayed, we should never betray others.
Part of being a good friend, partner, or spouse is not betraying those close to us. If a person betrays someone, their trust is broken, and that trust may never be repaired.
As a not-too-serious example, my grandma used to feel betrayed by her parents because they told her Santa Claus was real when she was little, only to be told when she was a bit older that he wasn’t real.
For many people, this might not seem like a big deal, but for my grandma, it was a huge deal. She felt betrayed by her parents because they had lied to her. Due to the betrayal that she felt, she never told my mom Santa was real in order not to betray her.
While this is a more lighthearted example of betrayal, there are more heavy examples of betrayal that could be shown. Betrayal in the sense that a friend broke your trust when you trusted them with something important or a partner betrays you by being unfaithful to you.
All of these things can break our trust and change our relationship with the person who betrayed us. This can be extremely devastating and traumatic because this person was someone close to us, someone we trusted, and someone we thought we could count on.
Even though being betrayed is something terrible and something I hope nobody would have to go through, we have to prepare ourselves in the event that betrayal will happen. If we get betrayed, we need to respond in a biblical manner by following Jesus’ example when Judas betrayed him.
Rather than seeking out revenge or getting even with Judas, the Lord turned the other cheek and trusted all judgment to the Father. In the same way, we need to forgive the person that betrayed us and not seek out any harm to them.
When we forgive them, it doesn’t mean what they did is okay. Rather, what it means is that we are giving the situation over to God. We are choosing not to allow the situation to eat us alive — we are choosing to trust God with the outcome.
It can be hard to do this; however, this is the first step to moving past the betrayal. If this step takes you some time, know that it is okay. It is okay to grieve and to take your time as you are recovering from the betrayal.
Your relationship with the person who betrayed you may never be repaired; however, you don’t have to spend your life hating the person. God doesn’t want us to hate anyone, including those who hurt us.
We are to love all people because this is what the Lord commands (John 15:12-13). You can love this person and still not like them for what they did to you. Choose to forgive and give the situation over to God. It does you no good to allow betrayal to ruin your entire life.
If you allow betrayal to fill your entire heart and soul, it will only consume you. It will take up your entire life, and you will never be able to move past the hurt. It is best to forgive and move forward in your life.
Granted, you may never have the same relationship with the person who betrayed you as you did before, but you don’t need to hold yourself back from making new friends or building new relationships.
What Does This Mean?
Staying in a state of betrayal will only lead you to depression and a state of mistrust for all people. The person who betrayed you broke your trust, but not everyone will do this. There will be people who value your trust and won’t break it with you.
If you are walking through a season of betrayal today, give it over to God. True healing cannot be found apart from giving it over to the Lord.
It can be hard, and it will be a long process, yet you can always count on God. As you heal and move forward, God will be walking beside you every step of the way (Psalm 23). Some days might be better than others but try your best to focus on the Lord in this season.
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Vivian Bricker loves Jesus, studying the Word of God, and helping others in their walk with Christ. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master’s degree in Christian Ministry with a deep academic emphasis in theology. Her favorite things to do are spending time with her family and friends, reading, and spending time outside. When she is not writing, she is embarking on other adventures.
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