Experiencing betrayal in our lives is unfortunate but it is going to happen. People are always going to disappoint us, let us down, and betray our trust. It hurts…especially when it is someone we care about. But we all go through it at one time or another. It could be a spouse, a friend, a co-worker and even a child. Human beings by nature are just going to let us down. Sometimes it is something minor that we can get past easily and at other times the betrayal can be so deep and severe that we wonder how we will ever get past the heartbreak. Because no matter whom it is that betrays our trust, it WILL hurt.
When betrayal happens to you, you need to take the time to heal. Part of that healing is forgiveness. Forgiving the person who causes you pain may seem impossible, especially when the hurt is so fresh. But forgiveness is for your benefit. The longer you hold on to anger and un-forgiveness, the more you are going to keep reliving it over and over and over and the more you do this, the angrier you get and the more hurt you feel. It is a vicious cycle that keeps playing out in your life. You may say ‘but I don’t feel like I can forgive them!’ You may not feel it but make a conscious DECISION to forgive. The feelings will come later.
Forgiveness does not mean you have to continue in relationship with that person. It could be a friend who has betrayed you so badly that you just don’t see any way you can trust them again. It may not be the first time that person has hurt you and you just can’t continue a close friendship with them. It could be that you just need to let that person go from your life and that is ok! You can forgive them and let them go. You can love them and forgive them and not hang out with them. Forgiveness does not mean be a doormat and let them continue to walk all over you. It does not mean you ‘accept’ what they did and are saying it is ok. Forgiveness is not a place of weakness! It is a place of strength. Forgive even if they never apologize or admit any wrongdoing. Forgive for YOU not for them!
If you fail to forgive and let it go the only person who is losing sleep at night is YOU! You forgive so that YOU can have peace. You forgive so YOU can move on. It is something you choose to do and not a feeling you have. Ask God to help you to forgive if you don’t know how to do it. Ask God to help you move on. Jesus knows how we feel during these times. He Himself was betrayed by a friend, by someone whom he loved. The Bible says in John 13:21 that Jesus was “…troubled in spirit….”, when He spoke about the fact that one of his friends would betray him. He knew how it felt to have someone close to you turn against you. He knows the pain you feel all too well. He was not only turned over and sold out by one of His closest friends, but he was also denied by another multiple times. Peter denied even knowing him! So go to Him and ask Him to help you learn to forgive. You may say “How can I forgive someone who doesn’t even feel like what they did was wrong??” Let Him deal with the other person! Let Him do a work in them. It may be that they never feel they did anything wrong. But the condition of their spirit is not your concern. The condition of yours and your own peace is! So for your own sake, forgive and heal.
Diane Ferreira is a wife and mother living in South Florida. She has been actively involved in various ministries for over 15 years. She has dreamed of being a writer since she was old enough to read, and is now living that dream by writing her first novel. In addition to writing, Diane works for a Fortune 500 company and has owned several businesses. She is also a successful public speaker and personal coach.