Not too long ago I found out someone I considered to be a close friend has been extremely ugly towards me behind my back. I know that sounds childish however apparently such things do occur in adulthood. I do choose my close friends wisely, but I try to be a genuine and authentic friend. I try to be a good friend to her. I pray for her. I check in on her. I care about her well being. But another friend of ours clued me into the fact that those feelings are not mutual. And went as far to warn me to approach our friendship with caution because she was not a friend to me behind my back.
And as much as I would love to say this discovery did not bother me, it really did. It hurt. It hurt similarly to how it hurts in childhood when you find out girls are gossiping behind your back. I haven’t really experienced this level of two-faced betrayal as an adult. I really thought this kind of behavior was something people outgrew. I’m not flawless and have certainly said unkind things behind someone’s back however it is rare for me to share something behind your back that I haven’t also said to your face. I don’t shy away from letting people know where they stand with me, or at least I try very hard to live by this practice. In general people know where they stand with me and I put distance between myself and people I don’t consider friends. Most of the time, the boundaries are clear for me.
As I let these feelings of hurt and betrayal fester in my heart, I decided I had to find a way to let go of the hurt and move past it. And I found my way through the Cross. Jesus experienced deep betrayal on the cross and HE KNEW all of it ahead of time. He knew Judas would betray Him. He knew Peter would deny Him. He knew they would crucify Him. And yet He was kind. He was loving. He was ministering. He took the time to fellowship and stay close to them. He asked God to forgive them for torturing and killing him while in the midst of them mocking him.
Jesus said, “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots. The people stood watching, and the ruler sneer at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.” The soldiers also came up and mocked him.
So in the Spirit of the cross, I decided I would continue praying and caring for this friend. I may guard my heart a little more but I would still demonstrate loving behavior. I would be true to the type of friend God has called me to be and not let the ugly behavior of someone else tempt my heart to harbor hurt and anger. Because Jesus knew and yet He was still kind and loving. He knew and He still went to the cross. There is plenty of ugliness in the world and what we need is more of the love demonstrated at the cross.
Betrayal, hurt and a Cross,
Note: The opinions and feelings expressed in this blog are solely that of the author and does not in any way reflect the opinions of or represent any employer, organization or academic affiliation to whom the author may be associated with currently or in the past.
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Just a few reflections about everything God is teaching me in this life...a journey deeper into His purpose for my life.