“If an enemy were insulting me, I could endure it; if a foe were rising against me, I could hide. But, it is you a man like myself, my companion, my close friend, with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship at the house of God, as we walked about among the worshipers.” Psalm 55:12-14 (NIV)
Anyone who knows a smidgen of the Bible, knows that Jesus was betrayed by one of his closest friends, Judas. A man who was one of His disciples – they shared meals together, prayed together, traveled together and were as close as brothers.
Think of some of your closest friends. Hard to imagine that someone you love so dearly could betray you, right? You’re thinking, “Oh gosh, not Amanda, she is too sweet! She’s someone I trust with my life.”
Or perhaps you’re thinking about friends that have betrayed you in the past. The friend who you thought was helping you with a promotion, but in turn, swooped in and took it from under you. Your friend who you confided in about something personal that decided to gossip about you, yet rationalized it by saying they just wanted everybody to “pray about it.”
We could continue and never run out of a list of hurts and betrayals from our own friends, but we think you get the point. People, more importantly, the ones who are close to us can stab us in the back and, at the same time, say that it was nothing personal. Scary, right?!
So, what do we do and how do we guard our hearts, but still be open to people and new experiences?
“I trust in you; do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me. No one who hopes in you will ever be put to shame, but shame will come on those who are treacherous without cause.” Psalm 25:2-3 (NIV)
Simply put, we put all our trust in God and know that He will deliver us from whatever hurts and pain we may experience from man.
The next thing we should do is let it go. Learn to forgive the person or people who have hurt you. Forgiveness is the hardest thing and we know that it’s something we truly struggle with in our every day lives.
For example, let’s say we’re trying to meet up with a new friend that we seemed to hit it off with and for months and months they keep on giving the “I’m too busy” excuse or ignoring our texts. It’s really easy to start feeling offended and upset. It can be even harder to forgive them because it makes you feel unworthy by their standards.
In these situations, our hearts become hardened and we tend to hit below the belt since that person has hurt us the same way. We say mean things, lose our temper and excuse ourselves from having to be an example of God’s love towards that one person.
But, we have to learn how to forgive, even when our flesh is telling us that the person doesn’t deserve it. The Bible says,
“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6:14-15 (NIV)
Forgiveness sets us free from all the anger we keep inside (and sometimes outside). It allows us to be at peace and realize that we all sin and fall short of the glory of God.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” Romans 3:23-24 (NIV)
Finally, the last thing we need to do is not dwell on it. We’ve all been there where we say we forgive someone, but continuously bring it up whenever we’re angry and use it against the person that we supposedly had forgiven.
Once you forgive someone, you have to also move on. Don’t dwell on the past, instead take delight in God and His amazing grace. He’s the ultimate friend and partner; so, with Him, you are safe and don’t need to worry about feeling unworthy or unloved.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6 (NIV)
Questions over coffee:
- Where is God leading you to forgive? Who is someone that you need to forgive in order to move on?
- What steps will you take to let go of a hurt and remind yourself of God’s unfailing love?
- How can we be better friends to our own friends and make sure we don’t unintentionally hurt their feelings? How can we lift people up today instead of tear them down?