I perhaps identify with the descriptors brokenhearted and crushed in spirit more now than I ever have. Even when I went through the valley of depression, I didn’t describe myself as “crushed in spirit.”
The weight of the past year has been heavy but the betrayal of another left me feeling both brokenhearted and crushed in spirit.
“It crushes me to think someone would attribute such malicious motives to me that couldn’t be further from the truth, AND to never approach me about her concerns or give me an opportunity to try to make things right, but rather, just sever the relationship,” I explained in between sobs to a friend as she listened. This friend didn’t know the person or the situation, just that I was pinned under the weight of untrue allegations and my heart was heavy with grief.
Being accused of untrue allegations, and being betrayed by those whom you aligned yourself with and would want to restore relationship was almost unthinkable, and yet, it was all I could think about for days.
All I ever wanted was for others to see Jesus, and yet, somehow the motives of my heart were being questioned and I was being blamed for something I never did. And, no opportunity for discussion or reconciliation was being offered. The grave was sealed.
As I searched my heart, and asked God to do the same, I thought of times when I had had a judgmental heart.
Hadn’t I formed decisions about people that were premature and based on first impressions, not giving me a chance to learn their true heart?
Hadn’t I jumped to conclusions in discussions with my husband and my children, being more concerned about my own feelings than the underlying rational that had driven them to their decisions in the situation in question?
Hadn’t I judged myself to be unworthy, a failure, or unforgivable on numerous occasions, which was in direct opposition to what God says about me? When I’ve done that, I’ve basically judged God to be a liar. And I judged the work on the cross to be insufficient to cover my sin.
Perhaps it was no coincidence that this happened the week before Easter, which is always a contemplative time for me anyway. Jesus’ whole time on earth was a sacrifice: He gave up all of heaven to live on earth in human form to live as an example for us, not just to die as the penalty for our sin, but to teach us how to cope.
I thought of the many times Jesus was wrongly accused: by Satan, by Pharisees, by rulers and men who just didn’t or who refused to understand. Even Jesus was betrayed by those whom He called friend. Those betrayals led to the nails in his cross and his grave being sealed.
As I reflect on the sacrifices of my Savior, I realize He could not have been resurrected if He had not died first. Even in this most horrific of situations, God’s promises are true: He works all things together for our good for those who love Him and have been called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).
In wrestling with my pain over unjust accusations and the betrayal of another, I know that I cannot control what happened, but I can choose how I will respond. I am thankful that Jesus gave us a perfect example.
Tip 1. I must be willing to ask God to search my heart and show me anything I must confess and repent of, so that I can be right with God first. In this way, we die to self, just as Jesus did.
“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24)
“You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:5)
Tip 2. The next thing to do is to forgive the other person. It doesn’t mean that we forget what was done, but we no longer harbor resentment for the action, and we turn it over to God to be the judge and jury.
“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” (Matthew 6:14)
“But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions.” (Mark 11:26)
Tip 3. When you’ve tried to speak with them and make amends but they just don’t listen, it’s time to move on. You may have the kindest heart and the best of intentions, but there will still be those who only see your weaknesses and flaws.
“If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet.” (Matthew 10:14)
Tip 4. Continue to be yourself, do what God has called you to do, and don’t let the harsh judgments of others change you. As Jesus said, turn the other cheek. In a world that is hard, be gentle. Let others know you are His by your love, even in the hard places. When you’ve done what you can do, it’s time to leave it to God to deal with.
“If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,” says the Lord.” (Romans 12:18-19)
Tip 5. Because of pain, or shame, or embarrassment, you might be tempted to withdraw, but don’t. That’s what the enemy wants. Instead, surround yourself with those who know and love you best, who will build you up.
“And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:25)
Tip 6. Let Him heal the hurt in you. You can’t afford to let a seed of bitterness or resentment take root in you. It only hurts you, not them. Their actions speak more about them than they do about you. But the pain is real. Acknowledge it, and ask Him to heal it.
“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18).
Tip 7. Then in the future, you will be in a position of greater compassion, and you will be able to comfort others who go through similar hurts. Be generous with compassion.
“He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” (2 Corinthians 1:4)
He came to be close to us, to walk with us in the hard times in life. He was a walking, talking, breathing example to us for how to cope with the devastating encounters we face. When others reject us, He promises to never leave us and never forsake us. Turn to Him, the one who is close to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.
When have you experienced Him near in your times of need? I’d love to hear in the comments below.
Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
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A short brief about Hope Prevails.
Insights from a Doctor’s Personal Journey through Depression
Dr. Michelle Bengtson
Speaking from personal and professional experience, a neuropsychologist unpacks what depression is, shows how it affects us spiritually, and offers hope for living the abundant life.
Neuropsychologist Offers Hope to Those Struggling with Depression
-By 2020, depression will be our greatest epidemic worldwide
- An estimated 350 million people worldwide suffer from some form of depression
- As with the bestselling My Stroke of Insight, the author experienced the same condition she treats
- Helpful features include personal stories, biblical truths, prayers, and music recommendations
In Hope Prevails, Dr. Bengtson writes with deep compassion and empathy, blending her extensive training and faith, to offer readers a hope that is grounded in God’s love and grace. She helps readers understand what depression is, how it affects them spiritually, and what, by God’s grace, it cannot do. The result is a treatment plan that addresses the whole person—not just chemical imbalances in the brain.
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Your 7 steps give all of us who have experienced betrayal a framework and steps to walk out our pain. Simple, but so useful. xo
Carmen, my heart aches for anyone who has endured the pain of betrayal. Praying He meets us each there and binds up the wounds for our good and His glory!
I really struggle with this concept, the information was helpful, but still not easy to put into practice.
No Lynn, it’s not easy to put into practice, but it’s not easy to live with bitterness and resentment either.
I absolutely love this post. We can’t control what happens to us, but we can control our response. Favorite tip: Continue to be yourself, do what God has called you to do, and don’t let the harsh judgments of others change you. Beautiful! Thank you for writing! Visiting from #mommymoments
I just read yesterday about the blood of Jesus keeping you from all spiritual accusation. I once had trouble discerning that and blamed myself for things not going right, I have also experienced dealing with those who won’t hear your words and I know it is best to move forward in your life.
I needed this today…. Just when things seem to be perfect.. betrayal strikes.. .I know who sent it ( Satan) and where it comes from, but to just accept an apology( I do forgive) but it is easier said than done because it is not a first time event, but more like too many to count…I can’t just walk away from the relationship, but sometimes the pain it to much to stay… I know we all make mistakes and choose wrong choices in life , but when someone doesn’t learn from it and does it again and again and continues to hurt you.and knowing what they do before they do it will only break your heart.. Then WHAT… ? I choose to forgive because I have to be obedient to God, but then what- Struggling today~? Michelle This was as I said What I needed today.. love you my friend~
Your comments on this matter of the sting of betrayal gave me great encouragement. I have been estranged from my youngest sister for over five years. I tried to bridge the gap in communication, but due to the distance of over 2000 miles, my letters, texts and calls were ignored. The final blow came after my mother died. I helped plan the funeral, gave a memorial address and helped with flowers, costs and expenses. The travel expenses and my emotional involvement were shouldered with no restraint as I wanted to be a part of this experience with my sisters. I found it hard to realize that my youngest sister was remote and gave no notice to my pain and hardship. She even accused me of dishonoring the memory of my parents. I never could get her to tell my why she stated this. Her comment was she wanted nothing to do with me and my other sister. I have sent only cards after that, expressing my concern and asking for forgiveness as I didn’t know what I had done to make her respond to me in this matter.
I will be flying back in May to see my sister and her family. I sent a card to my youngest sister asking that we meet for lunch to catch up on what happened in our lives. I am not sure if she will flip me off or just let me dangle, From your article, it seems after putting forth efforts to connect and no reciprocity is received, I should quite trying per tip#3
My heart breaks that this family member is cutting me off in such an obvious manner. She even told me not to contact her children and to leave them alone. It is strange to have her become so distant. She is 6 years younger than I, but I always thought we had a strong bond. She did have the job of caring for Mom during her last 5 years and was given the Power of Attorney over my mom’s assets. She did a good job of that, but I imagine she feels she deserves more due to her time and energy spent in caring for Mom. I was too far away and my next sister has health issues and was unable to do more than visit Mom. I hate seeing our family torn apart. May I find resolution to continue to grow in Christ and let God work in her heart. Thank you for this timely message!
What a great post!
Thanks for sharing it.
Thank you for sharing this article. This past Holy Week, I spent as my own personal “retreat”. My trust has been betrayed, (several times by the same person) and this last time really did me under. So, this last week I was finally able to “retreat” and spend good God time, journaling, praying, really working through the steps as you have mentioned above. Learning how to get rid of the internal hurt, the reactive person inside, is a very hard process. (A counselor in the past told me I have a form of PTSD due to the ongoing betrayal.) I have never been an impatient or unkind person. But now I am. TRUSTing God to heal and restore me to the person He created me to be. I really appreciated this article to verify I am on the right path. Thank you.
This hits close enough today to cause tears just reading it. Choosing to forgive, but knowing I can’t trust a particular person, or in my case group of people, again is a sobering thing. It hurts. It’s good that Easter came too, because I can remember that Jesus was betrayed a whole lot worse than I! Thanks for these great suggestions on how to deal with this sort of pain.
“I perhaps identify with the descriptors brokenhearted and crushed in spirit more now than I ever have. Even when I went through the valley of depression, I didn’t describe myself as “crushed in spirit.” The weight of the past year has been heavy but the betrayal of another left me feeling both brokenhearted and crushed in spirit.” Yes, yes, yes. SO needed this today. And I am so sorry for your pain. Thank you for sharing your words and wisdom at #SittingAmongFriends.
Move on. Hey! We are neighbors at Jennifer’s linkup today – happy to visit you! Always praying. Would love an update on Scott. xo
I know too well the sting of betrayal. It is through forgiveness and trust that the sting is removed. Thanks for helping us all keep HOPE alive! Praying God continues to bless and refresh your spirit. Stopping by via #ChasingCommunity
Wonderful post! I think Tip #1 sets the stage. He who has been forgiven much, loves much. It’s so much easier to forgive when we remember just how much we have been forgiven!
Esther | Chosen & Cherished
The hardest thing to do what the sting of betrayal comes it to let God be your defender and not try to build a posse …. WOW such a good post and so very many practical tips (7 to be exact) LOL I am so sad any of us need to know these 7 tips and to put them into practice, but the truth is, hurting people hurt people, so as we look to Jesus and lean on Him, the best place to start is to have him examine our hearts and and asking Him to show us what we need to change in ourselves…
As I said before, I am blessed to have you link up with #TuneInThursday today! Blessings
There’s nothing like betrayal. It invokes all sorts of emotions, one of the main ones being shame which you address in Tip #5: Because of pain, or shame, or embarrassment, you might be tempted to withdraw, but don’t. That’s what the enemy wants. Instead, surround yourself with those who know and love you best, who will build you up. It is easy to allow the enemy to creep in, especially when we are vulnerable. These are great tips for someone dealing with betrayal. I’m glad you linked up with Grace and Truth!
Such a hard topic, but you’ve shared 7 excellent ways to deal with betrayal and rejection. When we refuse to forgive, we hold ourselves in bondage. Blessings, Friend!
Being betrayed is such a horrible feeling. I know that feeling myself. But letting go of it is a much better feeling. Thanks for the tips for healing our hurts. It does help to know that Jesus went through the same things we go through and yet did not sin.
Such an encouraging post! Thank you so much for sharing this at Mommy Moments last week. It was the top viewed link and will be featured in the link up this weekend! Congratulations!
This was a great post. I have a very close family member that has pretty much cut all ties with me and I really struggle with this because I have no idea why. I love the 7 tips for coping I will be working on these,Thanks for sharing at LMM Link up to see you again this week.
Have a great week
Hi just wanted to let you know that I featured you at Literacy Musing Mondays Linkup as my favorite post.
Have a great week,
Thank you for this article, Michelle. My twin sister betrayed me three times. The first two times, I went to her after awhile and made amends. I “turned the other cheek” and went on as though nothing happened. I forgave her for hurting me but she never reciprocated. The 3rd time was about 5 years ago. The scriptures you give in your article are exactly what I have had to lean on the past 5 years. I was so crushed in spirit the first 2 times, that it was as though, immediately the Lord led me to these scriptures and I almost immediately had peace and that I was to “let go.” It has bothered me tremendously as I really miss her and I still hurt for the behavior she displayed in turning her children and their families as well as our families against me with such terrible lies. But, I have had to accept that it is what it is and it’s her choice. I have sent her birthday cards every year since and even took flowers by her house. I have dropped off little notes in her mailbox, but, she just still ignores me. Every year at our birthday (which was last Mon), I am reminded by one of our relatives that as a Christian I am expected to reach out and re-unite. I just can’t. I was hurt so bad all 3 times that I just can’t put myself in that position again. The main reason I decided I can’t as the enemy tried to make my life a playground by beating me up over it and I refuse to give him any real estate in my life. To find peace, “I had to let go.” I was so happy to hear you repeating the scriptures I have clung to. I know the Lord has released me from her as I truly believe He told me so. If she ever chooses to contact me and try to re-unite I will reach back but very cautiously. God Bless You, Michelle and all the others who are responding who have had to deal with such hurt over the years. It’s almost as painful as divorce or death. “It Hurts.”
Your situation is similar to mine as my youngest sister has been alienated from me for over 5 years. Her complaint was that I dishonored our parents, maybe due to the fact that I cleaned out my mom’s home after her death to get it ready to sell. I put aside all the items she wanted, giving away items too used for any salvageable use. She claims I gave away all my mom’s possessions. Her take on the matter is that I am greedy and only wanted the portion of the inheritance, because I inquired about the progress on her end as the executor of the estate. I, too, sent cards, texts and e-mails as I list over 2000 miles away. Fortunately I find resolution in “letting go” as the article suggested. It is better to pray for those who inflict emotional and verbal abuse instead of seeking to pacify their anger. I am sad to have this situation exist, but for my sanity and peace within, I need to let the Lord work on my sister. She is a Christian, but most likely not growing in grace. I pray you too find the joy and peace as you continue to send cards with no expectation of a response, but finding satisfaction that you are going on with life without any guilt or neediness for her to exploit your generosity of love and forgiveness.
This message brought back some memories of betrayal and false accusations. We had a group who we had worked with for over 10 years taking them to conferences and special Bible study groups who chose not to go the route we had planned for a trip but to do it another way. So we walked out of the meeting rejected and yet Father met us so quickly with His comfort and helped us realize He had another direction for us to go. It was amazing how He helped us heal and cope with the betrayal and also open a new door of ministry for us. We were released from one so we could step into another! I love your 7 Tips for Coping!! The scriptures and how to apply them were a great blessing and encouragement. Thank you Dr. Michelle for again having just the right help for me. Much love and appreciation for you!!
You sound a lot like my mother. Throughout the years she has echoed your 7 tips for coping with betrayal in her own words. Especially tip #2.
I have been betrayed many times by my husband. I have forgiven him every time. Except recently when he cheated on me with the same woman he cheated on me years ago. I am struggling with this because he is not learning. Which brings me to tip #3
Is it time to move on? After 37 years of marriage.
My heart is broken. I feel crushed. That’s why Psalm 34:18 makes so much sense. Not only am I coping with this loss but the loss of one of our sons in 2008. He was 18 years old football player 6’3” went out with his friends. They were in a car accident but he didn’t make it.
I am a Christian and my faith was shaken when I lost my son. However, that was just a bump on the road. In the midst of pain God was there and He got me through. I believe I will see him again.
My marriage is not a godly marriage. I am completely disillusioned. I feel I have been a good woman for nothing. I want to quit because I don’t know how to live with this pain.
Luz, my heart hurts so much for you. I have felt the sting of betrayal although never by a spouse, and I haven’t lost a son. That is grief upon grief. I pray you have, are, and will give yourself time to grieve everything you’ve lost from your son to your hopes and dreams. Jesus was well acquainted with grief and he wants to care for you through it. I can’t tell you what to do, but I pray the Holy Spirit will comfort and guide you.