When You Are Betrayed By a Friend

photo credit: Day 2- Rome. The Scala Santa (Holy Stairs) via photopin (license)
photo credit: Day 2- Rome. The Scala Santa (Holy Stairs) via photopin (license)

Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. Proverbs 27:6

While He was still speaking, behold, a crowd came, and the one called Judas, one of the twelve, was preceding them; and he approached Jesus to kiss Him.

Luke 22:47

I sat in the office, legs crossed, leaning forward as I shared my latest idea with my trusted friend.  He and I were working in the same field and though he had offered me a position when he opened his own fitness facility, I had accepted another offer elsewhere at the time. I never suspected I had to carefully guard the idea I excitedly shared with this person, after all, we were friends, right?

The next week, I stopped by his place of business, as we often chatted about industry issues and trends over coffee. It was then I noticed the boxes of freshly printed flyers. On the flyers without even a slight variation were the words I had shared the week before in the same room. The trusted friend had beat my boss to using my idea and exact wording for HIS advertising! He shrugged it off as “just business”, without as much as an apology.

It was one of the most painful lessons of my life.

I have often contemplated the relationship between Jesus and Judas. That Jesus allowed one who He knew would initiate the ultimate betrayal of all time into His circle challenges me still, befuddles my finite mind.

But, Jesus lived what He preached:

But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. “For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?… Matthew 5:45-46

I long to be like Jesus and sometimes I am closer than I was before and sometimes the gap feels wider than ever. Often I am left realizing I resemble Peter in the courtyard denying the name I claim, by my actions, thoughts and choices.

How do we respond when others wrong and deceive us? What is our course of action when we are betrayed? What do we do when someone accuses us falsely or slanders us?

How can we bring this timeless wisdom into our present day?

The answer to all of these questions is the same. The answer is in Jesus Christ. Knowing His life, actions, responses, words. Knowing this Jesus and the Word of God that He himself revealed is the answer.

I’d like to say that nothing like this ever happened to me again. But, it’s not true. I have had a number of instances when I have been betrayed by someone I trusted. I have had people befriend me for the wrong reasons, and turn on me as soon as they got what they wanted. I have been sucker punched and surprised more than once in my career and relationships. I have dealt with fair weather friends and seemingly psychotic bosses. I have also failed and disappointed others, no doubt about it.

We live in a world of expectations spoken and unspoken. We step on toes, unintentionally at times. We get hurt, we hurt others.

The one constant pursuit that has delivered me through every single circumstance, every failure and each accomplishment as well, is my study of God’s Word and my relationship with Jesus Christ. Many things in my life have changed over the years. Many circumstances have come and gone. But my relationship with the One True Living God perseveres. It grows more passionate, not less so as the years go on. I am more in love with my Savior today than I was yesterday, however I can say with great conviction, this love is based on a more accurate picture of who He is now than my early days.

My mind and thoughts have been conformed to His. Early on, I sort of expected the opposite: God should give me what I want because I acknowledge Him. I did not say that- but I know I believed it. I know I also believed that somehow my Christianity was like a good luck charm, the kind you rub and then only good things come your way. After studying the life of the One I follow, as revealed in Scripture, I realized how misguided and twisted my perception of Christianity actually was.

Mature faith is one that acknowledges Him and is less focused on self and circumstances. It recognizes the One who claims to be the Beginning and the End and is content to be in the middle between His love and faithfulness, knowing that is the safest place, regardless of circumstances.

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow. Indeed, because He lives, I can face anything at all.

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25

*Journal Prompt & Possibilities:

1. Think about a time you have been betrayed, write about it and allow some time for prayer asking God to give you insight about the circumstances. Seek to give and receive grace. Seek to find something good from the experience (be it personal growth, or a new direction). Life lessons are not usually pain  free. See if you can frame the experience in a positive light, somehow- even if it challenges you or seems difficult or impossible.

2. Write about a time you disappointed another. Ask the Lord to allow you to see from the perspective of the other person. Seek to give and receive grace. Seek to find something good from the experience. From difficult circumstances a seed of something positive may come…ask the Lord for eyes of faith to see.

3. Matthew 5: 45-46.  Write the scripture in your journal and ask the Lord to help you to apply this verse about loving your enemies to your own life. Hang on for that ride!

*This post is part of a series: Devotion Thoughts for Summer Days– a combination of faith based posts published between 2011-2013 (and some written fresh this Summer) revised with journaling prompts.

Thank you for joining me on the journey!


Linking with:

 Create with Joy

Counting My Blessings

Published by enthusiasticallydawn

Dawn Paoletta is the author of Journaling for Discovery and Delight. Her writing is included in several anthologies and her poems have been included in the Wickford Poetry and Art Exhibit and Books. Dawn is currently working on her next book. Inquiries at dawn.paoletta@gmail.com

16 thoughts on “When You Are Betrayed By a Friend

  1. Awesome post Dawn – especially love the journallng prompts at the end.
    Just shared on Twitter and hope you’ll share this at Friendship Friday!
    Have a lovely weekend! 🙂

    P.S. As I work through the pain of past betrayals in my own life, I’ve come to the recognition that these situations are truly helping me to understand firsthand more of who Jesus is – and what it means to follow Jesus and to become more Christ-like.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, my friend- it is a difficult one to endure but we know that our Lord has dealt with it and is able to guide us through. I will be sure and link…I have been a bit lacking in linking (that sounds funny) because of SUmmer and generally relaxed (ie. LAZY) schedule! THanks for your comment and reminder. I will get my butt in gear.


  2. Know what you mean Dawn – but this one is too important not to share! 🙂
    I know there are a lot of people who need to hear this message!
    (This will be a good Inspire Me Monday post too!)

    Have a lovely weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your insight is wonderful!! Being betrayed is so hurtful and takes so much time to recover from. There have been times when I thought I was past certain hurts and then just the mention of that persons name brings those feelings back to the surface and opens that wound again, making me seek the great physician even more!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is a pretty heavy post for such lazy days of summer! 😉 I have had my fair share of hurts. And I am sure I have hurt others. I’m a pretty open person but I looked up recently and realized I don’t have any close friends anymore. I have let the fear of risk cut me off…and recently I needed a friend and none could be found. So this is clearly something I need to work on…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry, Nicky! I know, I know…but it is good sometimes to be reflective during days where light and easygoing days allow us some breathing space…yet also keep us from isolating as in Winter.- where we might be more likely to get overly introspective without release. I understand as it is something I continue to work on…


  5. Hey Dawn,

    I came over on Blessings Counter, and I’m glad to find your site.

    What a good post about handling rejection! My pastor was just speaking recently about how calmly Jesus responded to Judas when he betrayed Him.

    Rejection is tough, and I appreciate your very practical words of encouragement and wisdom today~


  6. Dawn, thank you for sharing your post and your spiritual perspective! Being Betrayed is one of the hardest things to deal with and yet, Jesus knew it was going to happen and He loved Judas anyway – powerful -thank you for that reminder and challenge to look at my own life/relationships and see if I am being like Jesus. Stopping by from #blessingcounters


  7. That people, in their humanness, will ALWAYS disappoint, hurt, or betray us in someway at some point is one of the hardest lessons. That we do the same to others no matter how hard we try not to, is truth. How much better when we learn that God is the All-sufficient One, the only one who never, ever lets us down. That on Him we can depend….that when the ones we love and are surrounded by “get it right” it is just a bonus, a blessing, the cherry on top, to be enjoyed and be grateful for.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. So glad you are selling items on homeschoolclassifieds.com or I may have never found your blog! I have been reading post after post and find myself needing to savor each one! Thank you for the journaling prompts! I gave up blogging this year….right after I was betrayed by a friend! It felt too unsafe to put my thoughts out there. But this has stirred my heart to think more of how I responded and to reconsider. Thanks, Dawn!


    1. Melissa, God does work in amazing ways, doesn’t he? The only one who wants us to stop sharing our truths (which reflect His truth and presence in us) is the enemy. Truly, I struggle with so many things and God continues to use me…I am confident He will do the same with you, and all who are available, willing and obedient to follow Him…however imperfectly. Because His Grace and Truth is able to carry us. He is faithful. So glad we connected, too. Look forward to checking out your blog.


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