Ephesians 4:32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
Betrayal: the action of betraying one's country, a group, or a person; treachery
The most common forms of betrayal are harmful disclosures of confidential information, disloyalty, infidelity, dishonesty. They can be traumatic and cause considerable distress. The effects of betrayal include shock, loss, grief, morbid pre-occupation, damaged self-esteem, self-doubting, anger. ~PubMed
Betrayal can easily be described as ‘a violation of trust.’
I can’t think of a more heinous non-violent act than betrayal. Betrayal is one of those experiences that often happens without notice or provocation. Sometimes betrayal is in response to something we do or have said to others, which can prompt the act of betrayal toward us.
So, what I have learned about betrayal is simple … everyone experiences it at some point in their lifetime. When it happens between family members or close friends, it usually is painful and unreasonable. Betrayal has to have some close elements of relationship in order to qualify for betrayal. Someone who just ignores you or chooses not to be in relationship with you, is not betrayal. So, the bottom line to having been betrayed is the result of being in relationship with others.
Some of the most difficult times in my life have been when I experienced betrayal. I’m guessing you can relate. Friendships that end out of nowhere, lies that have been told about you, agreements that are dismissed without explanation, workplaces that no longer have need of you, children who turn on their families, and marriages that end due to unfaithfulness. All of these are good examples of how we experience betrayal.
All betrayal, or the violation of trust, is tragic but probably the most devastating violation of trust is when we feel we have been betrayed by God or by the Church. One of the common complaints by older Believers is, “I can’t find a Church anymore.” The main reason? Betrayal. It’s the betrayal of a Message that should teach the Whole Bible and not just pieces of a modern agenda of acceptance, love, and social justice. I have felt that way in my life, and it has been hard to overcome my disappointment. Most of my Christian life, I have been told God has my back. He won’t allow the fowler to hunt your life, and you are under His Protection. Scripture that Teaches us such Principles as God is our Protector, can sometimes fall under question when we find ourselves being hunted.
Psalm 91:3 Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare and from the deadly pestilence.
The fowler is a hunter, like a roaring lion that seeks to devour.
1 Peter 5:8 Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.
Betrayal as it Concerns God?
God is always looking out for us, even when we don’t feel like he is. Perhaps our first stage of overcoming our feelings of betrayal from God, is to ask for His Forgiveness in our hour of doubt. Remember, there may be silence from God for a season and there are reasons for it … but it is not betrayal.
Betrayal is a snare, a trap that makes you vulnerable to disappointment, bitterness, resentment, and even hatred. If you live with the bitterness of betrayal for the rest of your life will keep you imprisoned to the past and rob you of the freedom of living your life today.
Forgiveness is the key that unlocks the door of resentment and the handcuffs of hatred. It is a power that breaks the chains of bitterness and the shackles of selfishness. ~Corrie Ten Boom
That is why forgiveness is such a needed message for today. Jesus taught us to Forgive as we have been Forgiven. It is a great reminder that our sins are not remembered by God, so how can we in good conscience not forgive the sins of others?
Betrayal can be as simple as change.
I am convinced that today the Gospel presentations are driven by generational changes in the pulpit. I have noticed when new leaders emerge in the pulpit, the presentation is different. One such obvious change? We have gone from the expositional preaching to a theme-based series about living a Christian life. Nothing wrong with change as long as the Message itself does not change. The emphasis must remain on what Christ does for us … instead of what we can do for ourselves. I have said for years that much of the preaching today is more like Dr. Phil giving counsel, than the Holy Spirit teaching us along the lines of:
2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.
The changes in the Church will be generational and those changes can seem like betrayal, but it may only be God using a different method to reach a new crop of Believers. However, if we no longer teach what is right and wrong morally from our pulpits it can present another problem. In my generation, I looked for the thundering Voices of the Prophets crying out for the course correction of Repentance, Forgiveness, and Dedication. I also looked for teaching on Prophecy and the Great Day of His Return.
If the changes in our Churches are only cosmetic, we might be okay. If they are structural, we probably are in trouble. Perhaps we are seeing the Prediction of what Jesus said concerning the Days before His Return … that it would be like the days of Noah. Those days were days filled with no concern for God, and people were totally unaware of their times … until it started to rain. It is a great day to practice the Gift of Discernment.
Keeping Life Honest and Truthful … Larry Kutzler