Updated: Jan 10, 2020
I’m no stranger to betrayal. Have you read my ex horror story? Yeah... the fact that I’m not on death row is proof that there is a God.
If you’ve been betrayed before, then you’ve probably spend a lot of time trying to figure out why it all happened. Sometimes it’s easier to resort to “That’s just how they are.” But the first thing that needs to be understood is that people don’t betray others simply because they’re bad people. It’s never that simple.
Granted, they may truly be a bad person, but they didn’t begin life that way.
It's a tricky thing trying of make sense of why people do what they do because there are things about their lives that we may never know about. People don't wake up in the morning, stretch, and brainstorm how to ruin someone's day, even though it may seem like it.
Our actions always reflect the conditions of our hearts, so when someone betrays another it's because of the hurt and damage, and maybe even the insecurities, that are flowing from their heart. Just imagine what must have happened to make them that way.
Like it or not, we all have a responsibility to treat people in a way that will cause them to change the narrative about what they know about people and relationships so far. This is especially true if you are a Christian; our purpose is to reflect the love of Christ to everyone and no opportunity can be wasted. You can’t be out here making the Lord look bad.
However, that doesn’t mean that we have to be okay with receiving whatever mistreatment people choose to deal out either. We also shouldn’t close ourselves off from allowing others to get close to us because of what we’ve experience through betrayal.
Going through tough situations like this should, instead, work to sharpen our ability to recognize and communicate what our boundaries are. Every person is not out to get you and if you treat them like they are, then you’re no better than the person that betrayed you. Acting like that would be operating from pain and we all know that hurting people can only hurt people.
Don’t allow their damage to damage you. They treated you that way because they were anticipating hurt from you. Not necessarily because of who they believe you are personally, but simply because of what they've experienced in the past.
And every time you respond to them out of anger or frustration, it only solidifies what they already believe: that you were going to hurt them anyway.
This is what I mean by changing the narrative: Show them kindness and respect, even if they don’t deserve it. Blow their minds with how you respond, even if you choose to never speak to them again.
If you can't muster up kindness (because I know some people are experts at pushing buttons), then just remember that silence and action are always most effective.
Show them that you care about the condition of their heart, but that you require respect and loyalty. Be the person that changes the way they interact with others even if you choose to remove them from your life.
Never treat someone according to their behavior because you never know the pain they may be operating from. You never want to be that person who adds to their pain because that comment you make out of frustration or the way you end the situation may be what makes them give up on relationships, love, or even life.
It should always be your goal to treat others the way Christ has treated you: with never-ending grace and mercy, knowing that He WILL love you from a distance if you step out of line. When I think of how Christ has loved me through self-hate, depression, and my bad attitude and behaviors, it makes it so much easier to offer that to others because I know what it’s like being on both sides.
Draw power from the fact that your betrayal story, whatever it may be, has shown you exactly what your next relationships won't consist of, because you’re going to make sure if it. Don't waste what you’ve been through by becoming hard-hearted or fearful towards relationships.
I don’t even regret all that went through with my ex. I’m actually grateful for it. And that was only ONE situation of betrayal in my life, but I’m glad that it all happened! All of it! And I can make that statement with confidence and truly mean it because I chose to allow it to teach me. You can never regret something you learn from.
Bitterness. Resentment. Anger. Unforgiveness. Now those are things to regret. And while you’re dealing with these things, the person that caused them will go on about their lives and probably never give it a second thought.
You can’t control how they chose to treat you, but you can control how you respond. The enemy meant for this situation to break you. But God is going to use it to elevate you! Always remember...