A Friend’s Betrayal


“If an enemy were insulting me, I could endure it; if a foe were raising himself against me, I could hide from him. But it is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend, with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship as we walked with the throng at the house of God.” Psalm 55:12-14

Betrayal from a friend is crushing. It is confusing. Someone whom you thought was with you no matter what left when the going got rough. Your spouse was unfaithful. A close friend betrayed a confidence you had entrusted to him or her. An ex-employee stole your best client after agreeing to a two-year non-compete. Money is a leading cause for betrayal. Your friend left you “holding the bag” for more money. They sold out your friendship for wealth. They valued stuff more than they valued you. Judas betrayed Jesus for money.   

This is universal and has been happening a long time, yet it still hurts. There is deep pain because a trust has been violated. You trusted this person with your family, with your money and with significant responsibilities at work. Even more significantly you trusted them with the secrets of your heart. You bore your soul to them unrestrained and unashamed. And they did the same. There was an authentic trust and loyalty both ways, or so it seemed. You dreamed together, vacationed together and worked together.

So what happened? It was probably a process. It probably did not happen overnight. And be careful how you define betrayal. Just because someone disengages from a relationship doesn’t mean they are a traitor. It may be God’s will for a change and a time for both parties to move on. That being said, there is something viler than human betrayal.

The worst offense is to betray Jesus. You once walked with Him in sweet fellowship. He was truly your best friend. But, over time, the relationship grew cool and distant. It “lost steam.” Gradually you drifted over to the dark side. The allure of the world led you to separate from God. You may have become disillusioned because of bad things happening to good people. You may have become weary of trying to be a Christian. Or, other so-called Christians may have let you down and caused you to say, “If that is the way a Christian lives then I do not want to have anything to do with the church.”

Betrayal of Christ can come in many forms and happen for a variety of reasons. The good news is that you can repent from leaving Jesus and come back over from the enemy lines. You may have sold yourself to the enemy, but now you have awakened to reality.  You do not have to stay in that perpetual state of guilt and confusion. You can come back home. The same Jesus you have betrayed is the same Jesus who will welcome you home. You can turn from the spiritual scraps the enemy has fed you in their prison camps and be set free to feast back with God at His table of grace. God is waiting for you to receive His love and acceptance. Jesus is empathic. He loves you right where you are.

He has not given up on you, so don’t give up on Him. Betrayal cannot be the final word. Forgiveness and reconciliation is God’s will, and you may need to do the same for someone else. Follow Christ’s example by forgiving your betrayer and welcoming them back into your life. Ask them for forgiveness of your offenses, and trust God with the healing. Over time God can knit your hearts back together. Betrayal is ugly, but reconciliation is beautiful. Be beautiful!

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