… He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies. John 8:44 (NLT)
I remembered going to sleep that night with a smile of hope. I’d drifted off with the kind words I’d heard whispered to me just moments before. I wanted to believe it would get better.
A better that would last.
I got up to ready myself for work and as I remembered the hope of the night before, I turned to smile at my husband. What greeted me was an angry silence. Once again, a silence that would remain for the next several days.
What had I done?
This scenario is a peek into my life as a very young woman who had married an unhealthy man. I had great big gaping holes in my soul that was drawn to making someone love me who was incapable of it.
But in my mind, heart, and soul, it was all my fault – my inadequacy. He betrayed me, emotionally abusing me, but I was the one who walked away feeling the guilt.
Somehow I wasn’t enough to deserve a good husband.
If only I could be better, he could love me more.
Guilt is the masterful tool of the enemy to shred every last thread of our worth into bundles of broken hope.
He whirls it about our minds like a tornado, and through the intensity of wind and debris, the light of truth is hidden because our focus has been stolen by Satan.Guilt is the masterful tool of the enemy to shred every last thread of our worth into bundles of broken hope… Click To Tweet
My story is not one I speak of often. It was one of shame for many years. But as God urged me to dig deeper into this topic of betrayal, I knew I was ready to share it as testimony to the power of a great big God with a great big redeeming love.
You see, I whirled about in that darkness of the enemy’s guilt for two years and then the day arrived. The day God reached in and pulled me out. That day is forever etched in my mind. A strength rose up within me that I was unaware I possessed.
It was only a step,
but it was the first step in the right direction.
I wish I could tell you that with that one step, I saw all the lies of guilt for what they were. But it took years. The enemy continued his efforts as he used even the dearest of people around me to trap me into feelings of guilt and condemnation. You see, the majority of the world saw only the friendly handsome man who smiled at most gatherings, so it was easy for them to whisper behind my back. How could they understand what I had tried my best to cover up?
With the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, that fateful dilemma is resolved. Those who enter into Christ’s being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud. A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death. Romans 8:1-2 (MSG)
Eventually I got to a place of grasping the value of my worth, recognizing the difference between guilt and conviction, and discerning healthy versus unhealthy.
I took my focus back from Satan and placed it firmly on the light of Christ.
I thank God for that. And I thank Him for continuing His faithfulness to me even when I stumble because I forget to put my armor firmly in place each day.
Here is what else I know.
I know He is there waiting to free others from the same ugly grip of erroneous guilt.
Your story may be similar to mine or your story of betrayal might be quite different. But whether it comes from a family member or a new acquaintance, betrayal is a tool the enemy uses to harm you. He packs it full of lies and one of those lies tells you that you are guilty when you are not.
Look at these 3 well-known Biblical accounts of betrayal.
Remember when God granted Abraham’s request to save his nephew’s family from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah? Lot (Abraham’s nephew) and his family were given instructions to run and not look back. Lot’s wife betrayed his instructions – God’s instructions. She looked back and instantly became a pillar of salt. How did Lot feel? Did he question his role in the situation? Did he wonder where he had gone wrong as a husband? As a protector? Did he think that maybe had he been convincing enough or loving enough, she wouldn’t have looked back and she wouldn’t have died? (Genesis 19)
How about Joseph? Was it his fault that his brothers desired to see him gone? Dead? Was the jealousy that grew in their hearts dependent upon Joseph’s actions? His brothers threw him into a pit to be left for dead because they couldn’t take the fact that he was their father’s favorite. One brother suggested they sell him into slavery. As Joseph watched all this unfolding, did he wonder if had he been a kinder or a better brother, would his brothers not have done this? Would they then have cared for him as brothers should? (Genesis 37)
And Jesus. As one of his inner circle betrayed Him with the kiss of death, he experienced deep betrayal. Judas chose money over relationship. What did he have in his heart? Jesus lived a blameless and sinless life. He had no fault, but yet betrayal was a huge element of his life. (John 18)
The betrayal is in the hands of the betrayer, sweet friends. It is not ours to own and it does not place guilt on our shoulders. The enemy wants us to believe the fault is ours and that we deserved the betrayal, but this is the enemy’s favorite way to use his masterful lies.
There is nothing you can do better or more of to change the mind of a betrayer. It is not about you. It is all about them.
So step away and say these truths with me:
Friends, as the debris of your betrayals settle, you will see the light of truth shine through this storm.
Have hope and let His truth transform you.
Dear Jesus, You call us by name. You know even our innermost parts, our every thought, and the condition of our hearts. You know the truth of every situation we are in just as You know the truth behind the betrayal we face. You are the author of truth and where You exist lies cannot remain. Lord, in this moment I ask You to break through the lies we believe. Shine Your light of truth through them. Shatter those lies in the Name of Jesus, making them powerless. Fill our hearts with Your truth so that beyond the shadow of a doubt we can let go of any ownership of the lies of guilt we held onto from our encounter with betrayal. Your Word tells us that there is no condemnation in You, but there is instead freedom. This is truth and we claim this right now. In the Name of Jesus we pray. Amen
This was the first week of the series titled “7 Truths to Remember About Betrayal”. I hope you enjoyed it and found encouragement, hope, and love as a welcome and needed respite. You can find the series outline in last week’s post . I hope you come back next week as I seek God on the topic of Betrayal and Identity!
Also, here is some EXCITING news! I created a mini e-book titled 7 Truths to Remember About Betrayal: A Companion Journal. This journal goes hand-in-hand with each post in this series. It is an opportunity for you reflect upon your own story of betrayal. Included are scriptures, journaling space, and prayers. The best part? It is free to each of my subscribers.
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