When a Friend Betrays You

When a Friend Betrays You

These steps can help you cope with a friend's betrayal.You’re shocked. Livid. Devastated.

When a friend betrays you–takes something or someone precious to you, lies to you or about you, or rejects you without cause–you can become completely disoriented. Someone you loved and trusted has become your worst enemy. What should you do?

Stop asking why. Why would she do this? That’s what you want to know. It makes no sense. So you try to think about her past, her insecurities, and stress she may be under. But the answers you try to cobble together do not comfort you. She was jealous. She was duped. She didn’t realize how much it would hurt you. But it still hurts. The why question will just prolong your pain.

Stop blaming yourself. If you know you did something to provoke the betrayal, you’re not likely to be devastated. If you don’t know what you did to provoke it, you may wonder if you didn’t pay her enough attention, didn’t encourage her enough, or if you talked too much. Believing you are responsible can give you a false feeling of control. You think you can prevent this from happening again. The truth is, if you had done something unknowingly to offend your friend, it was her responsibility to tell you and not to take revenge. Blaming yourself just adds insult to injury.

Stop imagining your revenge. If only you had said just the right words when you discovered the betrayal. You could tell everyone she knows about it. Then she’d be sorry. You could do something–anything!– to make her regret what she has done. But like asking why and blaming yourself, imagining your revenge just makes you feel worse. You’re not a mean-spirited person. Don’t let your friend’s sin cause you to stumble.

Start praying. You have other friends who will react to the news of your friend’s betrayal the same way you did — with disbelief. But Proverbs 18:24 reassures us: 

One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Jesus will understand and will comfort you when nothing and no one else will. Cry out to the Lord with your heartache and ask Him to heal you.

Start meditating on Scripture. The Bible is not a dictionary–just a book of information. It is medicine for the soul. In the pages of Scripture we learn that Jesus knows the heartbreak of betrayal, too:

After saying these things, Jesus was troubled in his spirit, and testified, “Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” John 13:21

Reading Scriptures that concern betrayal will help you know that you’re not alone. Meditating on verses that affirm God’s faithful love can bring healing.

Start loving. It’s natural to want to protect yourself from being hurt again. But refusing to give and receive love is the most hurtful. You can become bitter and depressed, leading people who would normally love you to keep their distance. The love that is lavished on us by our Savior can and should provoke us to love others:

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. Romans 13:8

Don’t deprive yourself and others of the joy of friendship because of one person.

These steps will lead you to peace, healing, and even forgiveness in time.

Do you have other suggestions for those coping with betrayal?

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Does PMS Mean Pardon My Sin?

Does PMS Mean Pardon My Sin?

Pms

Since having my last child almost six years ago, I have had increasingly severe bouts of PMS. This means that I have had more and more of what an O Magazine writer once called "rusty fork moments." Specifically, the writer said that when she was suffering from PMS, she imagined taking a rusty fork and jabbing it into the forehead of her beloved husband. 

That article made me laugh because I could relate. But there is very little that is funny about PMS. PMS, accepted as a real phenomenon by all but never-married male doctors, can provoke women to:

  • Cry over just about anything
  • Feel her life is suddenly miserable though nothing has changed
  • Overeat
  • Forego daily responsibilities
  • Use foul language
  • Scream or otherwise pitch an angry fit
  • Violence (or just fantasies or threats of it)

Of course, I've never done any of those things during PMS. 😉 As I've tried various fixes for my PMS to no avail, one thing I haven't considered: could PMS just be an excuse for my sin? 

Now, don't get me wrong. PMS isn't all in our heads. There are significant physical changes taking place that seem to take me from being Dr. Mel to making my Mr. want to hide. PMS is a very real challenge in my life. But isn't it like any other temptation? After all, many alcoholics have a genetic predisposition to crave alcohol more than the average Jane. We don't expect Christians with that predisposition to give in to the temptation to drunkenness. Why should it be okay when my hormones are compelling me to pitch a fit, to give in?

I wondered what would happen if I started seeing PMS as a temptation to sin rather than an excuse for it. Even though I consider PMS a real challenge, it's more easily overcome than so many others. I know when the challenge is coming! So many temptations aren't predictable. The Bible advises us to be ready for temptation, so here is my plan of attack:

  • Pray for the strength to resist the temptation to be unkind
  • Get enough sleep, especially at that vulnerable time of the month
  • Keep junk food out of the house during that week
  • Chew gum rather than chewing someone out
  • Keep up my exercise routine
  • Plan fun activities, preferably with people who make me laugh

I don't know if my repentance about giving in to the temptation of PMS will lead God to answer my prayers for relief, but I can't imagine He will answer those prayers if I continue to insist that PMS means Pardon My Sin.

Mark 14:38
Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

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