“For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Mt. 6:14-15
A beloved friend and I stood in her kitchen. Actually, I stood. She stood on one foot. The other rested on a scooter because she had broken it. But this didn’t stop her from “standing” with a friend and sister in Christ, so to speak. She had called another beloved sister to stand in faith and love with us and placed that one on speaker phone so we could pray together. My heart was crushed. I had been betrayed by a group of people some of whom I had known for years. Lied to. Deceived. Nobody had initiated a call to apologize. The greatest consequence wasn’t my heart. It was someone innocent who was now suffering as a result. Not to mention my friends who were heartbroken with me. Betrayal hurts terribly, doesn’t it? What are we to do with betrayal? How are we to respond?
My friend began to pray. I listened. My ears perked up. Actually my heart did. My friend, pouring out her heart to the Lord for me and over the situation, and for the innocent one caught in it all, wasn’t talking about how I had been betrayed. She was telling the Lord about how He had been betrayed. Beyond description. Unfathomably. How the Savior of the world, Lord of all, had endured betrayal beyond what any of us can possibly imagine. Over and again. This same Lord would be the One who would heal me, heal us, help the innocent one, bring conviction to the ones who had done the betraying, and, most importantly, who offers a forever relationship with God instead of eternity in hell and the lake of fire to all those who repent of their sins and devote their lives to the Lord Jesus Christ with the commitment to learn to live according to God’s ways.
Are you as moved and humbled as I am? No matter how much it hurts when we are betrayed, what we endure is NOTHING compared with the betrayal Christ went through as He died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins and rose again to offer an everlasting relationship with God to all who will give their lives to Christ. This same Lord, risen from the dead, is the only One who can fully and wholly heal us of our hurts on this earth and who offers us the love, hope, grace, peace, strength, comfort, and endurance we need to persevere in our relationship with Him. And He is the One who gives us the love, mercy, grace, and forgiveness we are commanded to give to those who break our hearts by betraying us.
How must we respond to betrayal? Like Christ. Laying down our lives. Forsaking our wishes, wants, and ways. Denying self. Repenting of all we have allowed in our hearts in response to the betrayal that is displeasing to God. And by extending love and forgiveness to those who have hurt us.