Betrayal comes in many forms. It can come in the form of gossip, slander, refusal to celebrate your successes, lying about you, division, manipulation or attacks against your value or worth.
When betrayed by a family member, a friend or confidant, you now have a decision to make. You can continue on the road you’ve walked with them or you can decide to walk in another direction.
You can determine to let it upset you, stop you or even destroy you. Or you can determine to use the adversity for personal growth and development. You can use the experience to help someone else in the same dilemma. You can use the situation to honor God and honor people.
Let’s Establish the Foundation
- Remember, we do not wrestle against flesh and blood.
"For our fight is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, and against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places" (Eph. 6:12).
Your friend or family member is not your enemy. Satan is. He uses betrayal, trickery and division to further his work and his kingdom. He uses it to strip away relationships that should be in harmony and love. He uses it to weaken your family structure, your church, your organization and weaken bonds that were set in place by God. Know who the real enemy is.
- Remember, we do not let the flesh rule our actions.
"For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh. These are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please" (Gal. 5:17).
"For you are still worldly. Since there is envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not worldly and behaving as mere men?" (1 Cor. 3:3).
Actions made out of fleshly desires are destructive. Never act out of your flesh. Act out of your spirit. Refuse the hurt and pain that is meant to cause you to react. Set down and pray.
Ask God how to best handle the offense. Ask God how to move forward in the situation. Ask God to intervene and judge. He will. Be sure you are on the right side of the bad situation and watch God do the miraculous for you. It may take a while, but He does bring hidden things into the light for everyone to see.
- Determine where you stand.
Now I ask you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak in agreement and that there be no divisions among you. But be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brothers, by those who are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. Now this is what I mean: Every one of you is saying, "I am of Paul," or "I am of Apollos," or "I am of Cephas," or "I am of Christ."
Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? (1 Cor. 1:10-13).
Satan stands firmly on division. God stands firmly on unity. Which side are you standing on? Scripture is clear: Division is of Satan, and unity is of God.
When the natural order of things is disrupted because of envy, jealousy or strife, God is well aware. He is watching. He is weighing actions. He is Judge of the righteous and the wicked and judgment begins with the household of God. Always choose unity.
- Recognize the enemy.
"The thief does not come, except to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly" (John 10:10).
Satan steals. He is the author of every betrayal. He is the author behind every hurt. He is the father of all of the lies believed and told. When people believe the lies spoken about you, or they accept the deception, they are in a sense, being led of the devil. Yes, even Christians can walk in deception, even Christians can be used as a tool of the devil.
That being said, they are not who you battle. Satan is. Fight fire with fire. The fire of God’s Word will burn through every deceptive trick or scheme of the devil. Truth will always prevail.
- Strife and division stirred up in families, friendships or churches displeases God and is a serious sin.
"Now the works of the flesh are revealed, which are these: adultery, sexual immorality, impurity, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, strife, jealousy, rage, selfishness, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you, as I previously warned you, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God" (Gal. 5:19-21).
Discord is no little thing. If someone has sown discord against you, remember, God is on your side. Remember that man does not have the final word. Remember that God is not mocked, and He knows the hidden sins of the heart. Remember, He has given a firm admonishment in His Word. Let God handle it. He will do a much better job than you can.
- Remember this. Their embitterment is not your issue; it’s theirs.
"[Keep] watching diligently so that no one falls short of the grace of God, lest any root of bitterness spring up to cause trouble, and many become defiled by it" (Heb. 12:15).
When someone has betrayed you, they have acted out of their own insecurities. They have acted out of their fears. They have acted out of their own hurts. A mature, godly person would never intentionally hurt, but a wounded child in the faith would, and so would an unbeliever. They may even seem mature to the world, but God knows the heart. The betrayal is rooted in bitterness, and we know that bitterness poisons and defiles. Refuse to fall into the same trap.
- Refuse to participate in things that God hates.
"These six things the Lord hates, yes, seven are an abomination to him: a proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked imaginations, feet that are swift in running to mischief, a false witness who speaks lies, and he who sows discord among brethren" (Prov. 6:16-19).
Review your checklist. Do you have a haughty eye or lying tongue? Do you have hands that have shed innocent blood or a heart that devises wicked plans? Do you run to evil, bear false witness or sow discord? Beware. The written Word of God clearly conveys how God feels about those sinful things. Additionally, we are assured that God does not ignore sin, but judges it.
What do I do now?
1. God calls us to walk in love.
"Let brotherly love continue" (Heb. 13:1).
Love even when it hurts. Love those who love you. Love those who hate you. Love those who betray you. You will then become sons and daughters of the King, being more than children, but mature and proven.
"He gave some to be apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers, for the equipping of the saints, for the work of service, and for the building up of the body of Christ, until we all come into the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, into a complete man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ" (Eph. 4:11-13).
2. God calls us to live in harmony.
"Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight" (Rom. 12:16, ESV).
Living in harmony is a command of God. You must do your part. Do all that you can do to be at peace with everyone. The Bible tells us this in Romans 12:18. Learn to practice these things. Practice righteousness even if your flesh is screaming to do the opposite.
3. God calls us to be ministers of reconciliation.
"Therefore, if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature. Old things have passed away. Look, all things have become new. All this is from God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ and has given to us the ministry of reconciliation" (2 Cor. 5:17-18, MEV).
Reconcile first to God and then to man. Reconciliation is the way of God and as believers we are to walk in reconciliation. We live out the very principles that are written. We determine what is right or wrong based on the word, not on our feelings. Go first and to be reconciled.
- God calls us to forgive.
"Be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ also forgave you" (Eph. 4:32).
Forgive those who betray you. Forgiveness unties the chains of bondage. Unforgiveness makes you a victim of circumstance. Forgiveness frees you from the pain of circumstance. Forgiveness is a command and a blessing from the Lord:
- It will free you from negative emotions.
- It will free you from the hold others have over you.
- It will break the ties with a traumatic situation.
- It will allow you to feel joy again.
- It will restore your fellowship with God.
5. God calls us to keep our heart clean.
"Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life" (Prov. 4:23).
The psalmist David cried out to God, "Create in me a clean heart, oh God, and renew a right spirit within me." (Ps. 51:10). We can’t do it without God. We have to have His Spirit in us empowering us to hate evil and hold to what is good. We need His Spirit to wash us clean.
6. God calls us to not allow hatred in our heart.
"Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is in darkness even until now" (1 John 2:9).
If you allow hatred in your heart, you are in big trouble. Refuse it when it comes knocking. Push it out if it is already there. Come out of agreement with it and declare by faith that you will not walk in hatred. Instead, walk in love.
7. God calls us to be at peace with all men.
"If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men" (Rom. 12:18, NASB).
Every day, make a choice to be at peace with all men. That means you will do nothing that would hurt, harm or betray another. It means you will walk in an attitude of peace regardless of the situation. You then become the overcomer.
Actions to Take
—Throw out betrayal.
Just as you take out the garbage, take out the betrayal. Take it out. Write it down on a piece of paper and then literally throw it in the trash where it belongs. Wash yourself in the blood of Jesus through faith, through prayer, through Communion, and then rejoice in your freedom.
—Let go of people who have bad intentions toward you.
"And do not have fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness; instead, expose them" (Eph. 5:11).
People who have purposely hurt or betrayed you need not be in your life. Let them go. Just say in your heart, "Goodbye!" They do not deserve to be there. Let them go and free yourself from the evil, fruitless deeds of darkness.
—Admonish them and then have nothing more to do with them if they do not repent.
"Reject a divisive man after a first and second admonition, knowing that such a man is perverted and is sinning, being self-condemned" (Titus 3:10).
Admonish, then reject. Admonish, then reject. Admonish, then reject. Yes, it is written.
—Love them from afar.
Loving from afar means to try your best to stay away from them. Sometimes you can’t stay far away if they are family, but you can certainly control what you allow. Draw boundaries around the relationship. Be prayerful when dealing with them. Refuse to allow them to control your emotions or your actions. Do not give them that power over you.
Love your enemy. Bless your enemy. Pray for those who persecute you.
Do not fret because of evildoers, nor be jealous of those who do injustice. For they will quickly wither like the grass, and fade like the green herbs. Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and practice faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart (Ps. 37:1-4).
Robin Bertram is a Christian author and speaker, and the executive producer and former host of the nationally and internationally syndicated television show, Freedom Today. She has been a leader of media leaders for 25 years and has placed several Christian programs onto the national and international stage. She is the author of No Regrets, how loving deeply and living passionately can impact your legacy forever (Charisma House Publishing) and Hidden Treasures (Abingdon Press).
For more on this and other related topics, visit robinbertram.tv .Connect here on Facebook: @officialRobinBertram