Finding Healing: Dealing With the Pain of Betrayal

Phil Jensen


Jesus_Judad_betrayalEditor’s Note: Some of you may know to whom this article refers to – I ask that you keep that knowledge to yourself as my purpose in writing this is not to shame the individual or seek revenge.

Life as you know it is moving along in the normal fashion with its ups and downs, good days and bad days – nothing out of the ordinary. Then it happens; like a lightening bolt out of nowhere, you find out someone betrayed you in some way. It is an ugly, awful, and painful feeling. What to do, how does one handle this?

I was a part of a Facebook ministry; this ministry had several pages and many groups as well as a web site etc. I enjoyed my time there and the people I interacted with as well. The head of this ministry and I were (so I thought) good friends and had been for a while. We rarely disagreed and when we did, we always worked it out without much of a problem.

Rick Kriebel 2016


After a while I did not spend as much time there as I should have and had even offered to resign – which was not accepted, would never be accepted, I was told. One week I was told by this person that my friendship was of more value than anything else – the very next week I noticed I was unceremoniously booted from the ministry, removed as a member of all the groups (I had been an admin), and unfriended. All this with no explanation whatsoever.

I can only say I was shell-shocked. What had I done to deserve this? I wondered if I had said or done something to really set this person off. I was I admit also pretty angry, and more then a little hurt by this action. I had valued this person’s friendship and enjoyed chatting on occasion when we could. Then out of the blue I’m cut off and cast out like the enemy.

Betrayal and Other Wounds: Finding Healing

Woodrow Wilcox


When I had found out that I was suddenly persona non-grata, my knee-jerk reaction was a desire to lash out at the person responsible, I did not thank God.

My advice: your first reaction after someone seriously wounds you–don’t do it. Lashing out with angry words might give you temporary satisfaction, but it will not give you lasting peace. Nor is doing so in any way biblical, in fact we are told to be slow to anger (James 1:19), to not sin when angry and give no opportunity to the devil as well as not to let any corrupting talk come out of our
mouths – Ephesians 4:25-31.

After being deeply wounded we need to give ourselves time to process; did I help cause this action in any way by something I did? How should this situation be handled? What can be done to heal the breech? What is the best way to respond? Most importantly, thinking it through gives us time to calm down and be more rational; responding in the heat of the moment is almost never a good idea. If possible, find someone you can trust and talk about it. The decision on what to do or say is still yours to make, but talking can help you see more clearly, as well as release pent up emotion.

The biggest thing in any conflict is forgiveness. If we can forgive the other person for whatever happened, then we can give a much more appropriate response to the issue. Remember that forgiveness is for you, not the other person.  Forgiveness frees you from the anger and other negative emotions. If it is a complex or deep issue, forgiveness right away may not be possible before having to deal with the situation. All the more reason to not respond in the heat of the moment but rather give yourself some time to cool off. Another good way to respond or prepare to respond is to write down what you want to say; you can change your written words, but you cannot take back words you have already spoken…

If you can sit down and discuss this with the person that hurt you and resolve things between the two of you, this is best. If not, forgive him or her and put it behind you, being prepared to continue forgiving if and when negative thoughts come back to you.

Sometimes the best option is to walk away from the relationship.  Forgiveness is the only way to heal from emotional wounds of any kind; however forgiveness does not mean being a doormat.

If the offending person is a family member or spouse, then we need to be willing to work hard to resolve whatever happened.  We only get one family.

One last thought: try to understand why the other person did what they did; see it through their eyes. This may help you to forgive the other person, or at the very least help you to deal with your own emotions.



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