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Lessons to Learn From Betrayal

Betrayal is one of the worst experiences anyone can endure, but we can learn from the experience and learn to be more compassionate in the process.

If you have teenage girls or were ever one yourself, you likely know what it is like to be betrayed, either by a best friend, a boyfriend or even a sibling.  It is one of the most painful experiences in life when the person you once ran to for comfort instead becomes the cause of your pain.

Often, in these immature rifts, too, comes the suffering of being “replaced.”  Teenage girls are particularly apt at latching onto the next person who walks by and elevating them to the status of “insta-bestie” if they feel that it will further their cause.  This new and instant faux friendship is usually followed up by a plethora of Facebook and Instagram photos, documenting their newfound comradery, but mostly for the purpose of hurting the one who is being left out.  If you think about it, though, this is at least somewhat flattering, so know that you mean enough to a person for them to try to hard to replace you.  This meme says it all for me:

As frustrating as it is to go through these awkward and difficult times, it doesn’t have to be a total loss.  There is always something to be learned.  Do you need to be more careful when choosing friends?  Did you do anything to provoke the rift or betrayal?  Is there anyone else in your circle who may be suffering the same feelings?  Finally, regardless of outcome, we must forgive and move on for our own emotional health.

Obviously, it is important to examine the types of friends you choose.  Did you choose your friends wisely in the first place?  Proverbs 13:20 says:

Do your closest friends often talk negatively about others? If so, you can guarantee that they also talk about you, too.  If they lie about others, they will also lie about you.  A person who is dishonest is dishonest “across the board” and will not make exception for you. 

If your friends are basically trustworthy, kind and reasonable, examine yourself to see if there is anything you may have done to have caused the break in your friendship.  Galatians 6:3,4 says “For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one examine his own work…”  If perhaps you have though too much of yourself and have become overbearing, bossy, mean or inconsiderate, ask forgiveness and make amends as much as possible.  Outside of this, there is little to be done, other than to cover the situation in prayer.

If you are unable to resolve the issues witn your former friend, look around for others who are likely suffering from the same problems in one way or another.  It has been said that:

You are not the only one who has been betrayed, even in your own circle of friends, and Jesus Christ himself suffered the worst betrayal of all time.  Use this experience to better identify with Christ and with those around you.
If you have not yet done so, forgive those who have betrayed you, no matter what.  This is for your own emotional and spiritual health.  I love this quote about forgiveness:You will find new (and hopefully more loyal friends) if you set high standards for yourself and for others.  In the meantime, allow God to become the joy of your life, for he never leaves or betrays.  Don’t grieve forever, but look to  brighter future and apply the lessons learned today.

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