betrayed by a friend
Caring, without immediately trusting those who betray us, is in the spirit of being “shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves” (Matthew 10:16).
How are you responding to someone who has betrayed you? What is required for true forgiveness to be requested and accepted?
One of the most heart-wrenching scenes in the movie Braveheart occurs when William Wallace realizes his countryman, Robert the Bruce, has betrayed him by secretly aligning with the English at the Battle of Falkirk. Wallace, who has expended great effort fighting for Scotland’s freedom, is so overcome by grief that he physically collapses on the battlefield—even with English soldiers bearing down on his position.
Few things cut as deep as betrayal. Listen to David describe the treachery he once experienced at the hands of a close companion:
“It is not an enemy who taunts me—I could bear that. It is not my foes who so arrogantly insult me—I could have hidden from them. Instead, it is you—my equal, my companion and close friend. What good fellowship we once enjoyed as we walked together to the house of God” (Psalm 55:12-14).
Working through a major violation of trust is difficult. Forgiveness doesn’t mean we immediately forget what happened and trust the person who betrayed us. That person may not yet be worthy of any deep level of trust.
Even though it may be premature to trust, Christians are still called to care about the welfare of those who betray us. We’re called not to lose sight of the fact that the person still matters. They have legitimate temporary and eternal needs—even if they haven’t admitted the harm they’ve done to us. Caring will help us refrain from totally rejecting them—making it impossible for the individual to ever again regain our trust.
Caring about another person doesn’t mean we have to be gullible. It’s still our duty to exercise common sense and to consider carefully what the person says and does. We’re to use godly discernment in the way we handle betrayal—not wishful thinking.
NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Proverbs 5:1-23
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