How should I respond when I'm betrayed?

God’s Way of Responding to Betrayal

One of the most difficult things we will ever face is how we respond when we are betrayed. So how are we supposed to respond when someone betrays us by walking out on us, lies about us, or gossips about us?

The common response is to return evil for evil, and to get really bitter and resentful. It is normal to feel anger and sadness, but to stay angry and bitter is poisonous. Staying angry and bitter will not change the fact that the other person has hurt you and it certainly won’t punish them. So how are we supposed to respond?

The good news is that God has already given us instructions for how to respond to betrayal. God says, “Bless those who persecute you; bless and curse not.”  He also says, “When your enemy’s hungry, feed him. When your enemy’s thirsty, give him a drink. Don’t be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:20-21) It’s very counterintuitive and it’s very difficult, but it works.

So here’s the game-changer. Every day, begin the journey of praying for the person who hurt you. Choose to forgive them and ask God to bless their life and bring them to Christ. When you do this, God will melt the hardness in your heart. He will do a deep work in you so that at some point your pain and resentment will be replaced by the peace of the Holy Spirit.

It is a difficult process, but you can enter into it expecting God to show up. Jesus, the one who died on the cross and was betrayed by his closest friends, understands our feelings of betrayal intimately. Lean on Him and He will give you strength.