Find me a living soul who has escaped the grueling test of betrayal, and I will give you a soul that has yet begun to live.Betrayal in this fallen world hits us all too readily, be it from the hands of a mother, a father, a friend, a business partner, a son, a daughter, an extended family member, a pastor, a teacher, and on the list goes.
There is no way to circumvent the free flowing pain of betrayal, but it is not all negative, for it signifies goodness…the goodness of love and/or trust in this broken world. Without allowing love and trust one would never feel betrayed.
The test is this…How does one endure the cuts, the lacerations and jagged edges of betrayal yet not allow it to negatively and permanently change the soul into a cold, hard, untrusting being?
I have lived on the precipice, the edge where my decisions had the power to take me down the path of healing, or free fall off the cliff into a sea of hatred. The choice was mine to make, and I did not make the right one every day, but over time I made more right than wrong.
Here are three practical suggestions that will lead you toward healing and away from the free fall hatred zone.
1) Choose to forgive. You may not know what forgiveness looks like in the initial stage where anger burns hot, but to make the conscious decision to forgive is the beginning. Forgiveness does not mean absolution for the betrayer; it means freedom for your soul. Freedom from what you ask? Freedom from that all-consuming lust for hatred, malice, revenge, bitterness…all those negative emotions that steal all joy out of life.
2) Take control of thought processes. If the mind is allowed to dwell on the sin done (whatever the betrayal), the obsession of this will lead to sin. I know because I have lived in this place. When I let my thoughts simmer and stew on the evil done to me, anger flowed. When anger flowed, rage was born. When rage entered my world, that saying “hell has no fury like a woman scorned,” became life. Wow…not pretty, not Christian, not rational. Taking my thoughts captive as the Bible encourages was not easy, but it was the only sane solution. Philippians 4:8 encourages us to think upon whatever is good, pure, right…for good reason, because the opposite leads us in the direction of personal destruction.
I know a man who could not let the fact his wife left him for another man go...over time his rage induced actions, alcohol abuse, and revengeful tirades drove his friends and children away. He lost his job, his family, and his future because he chose to stay locked in the prison of his own self-destruction.
3) Pray for strength daily. A good day yesterday will not hold you through today. The pain of loss, grief, anger, unforgiveness flow all too freely after any type of betrayal. The ability to forgive, take control of your thought processes and choose the path of healing will not happen without power from God. When I prayed for strength, strength was given, but it was an everyday cry of my heart for a long time. Just as the Israelites wandering in the desert needed manna daily, I needed strength daily. Prayer works. God cares. Healing follows.