We can be shaken to the very fiber of our being when wounded like that and many people never recover from the hurt. I’m going to lay out three practical steps you can take to lessen the pain and begin the healing process.
The course of human history is replete with many who have seen the fruits of treachery from those that they trusted. Julius Caesar, in Shakespeare’s classic, was confounded by Brutus’ turning against him and proclaimed in wonderment, “”Et tu, Brute?”, just before he fell dead from a dagger thrust.
Whether Caesar actually uttered those words is immaterial; his emotional angst was captured and has endured since Shakespeare’s time.
King David, in the Old Testament, was betrayed by people he trusted also. He was a man after God’s own heart who frequently wore his emotions on his sleeve. Many of the Psalms reflect his deep introspection and personal struggles that always ended up at God’s throne for him to hear and respond to. The Lord saw fit to incorporate them into the Bible in Psalm 55 so we can learn from them today. View Psalm 55 (NIV) online.
In verse 13 David tells us who betrayed him:
“But it is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend.”
In the verses that follow, he says that the offender was one who walked with him in the temple. He laments, as we all do, that we expect our foes to come against us (v.12), but the torment for him is great when the offender is someone close to him. Is there any wounding more painful than that from a Christian brother or sister?
How did he respond?
1. He begins by acknowledging it to himself and also before God.
He did not try to deny or hide his emotional pain. He was distraught, anguished and fearful. His initial inclination was to flee to the desert (v. 2-8).
2. He pours out his heart God about the situation.
“As for me, I call to God, and the Lord saves me. Evening, morning and noon, I cry out in distress,’and he hears my voice.” (v.16-17).
3. He releases the whole situation to God.
In v. 22, he purposes to cast his cares and concerns upon God who will sustain him. He also releases the offender over to the Lord (v.23) and declares that, as for him, he will trust in God alone.
David did the right thing. Rather than complaining to others about his betrayal, he took all of his hurt and wounding before the Lord. During his time with Him, after he had gotten everything off his chest, he was able to release the entire situation.
He knew that God would take care of his enemies, make provision for his emotional healing and also protect him from his enemies.
Each of these actions resulted from conscious choices that David made. He had a relationship with God that allowed him to trust in Him for all these situations to come to pass.
The call for us today is no different. When you are betrayed, you can take all of your pain and hurt before Jesus. He too suffered betrayal and can relate to your pain at every level. The bible then charges us to take thoughts captive, extend forgiveness, renew our mind and trust the Lord (Isaiah 26:4) if we want to walk in peace.
Are you up to the challenge? If you need help, seek it! Pastors, mature friends and Christian counselors are available to help you walk through the anguish; don’t let the wound fester!
Want more? Here’s an Audio Podcast and YouTube video on the same topic: