How to deal with feelings of betrayal

Do your best to come to me quickly, for Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia.— 2 Timothy 4:9-10

No treachery is worse than betrayal by a family member or friend. Julius Caesar knew such treachery. Among the conspirators who assassinated the Roman leader on March 156, 44 BC, was Marcus Junius Brutus. Caesar not only trusted Brutus, but he favored him as a son.

According to Roman historians, Caesar first resisted the onslaught of his assassins. But when he saw Brutus among them with his dagger drawn, Caesar ceased to struggle and, pulling the top part of his robe over his face, asked the famous question, “You too, Brutus?”

Dealing with betrayal is never easy. The bitterness and anguish that betrayal creates can last for years, decades, and even a lifetime. The apostle Paul understood this well. One of his closest disciples, Demas, who traveled with him extensively, deserted him. And after his other disciples had gone to other areas to minister, Paul was left alone with the sadness of Demas’ betrayal.

Maybe today you’re feeling betrayed by someone you love. Well first, you should take comfort that others who have gone before you, including Jesus Himself, felt that feeling as well. But take heart also in the fact that God is a friend who sticks closer than a brother and will never leave you alone. In Christ, you’ll never be betrayed!

Prayer Challenge

Pray that God would reassure you of His goodness and His presence in times of loneliness and betrayal. Ask that He would give you the grace to forgive others who have betrayed you.

Questions for Thought

Why do you think betrayal hurts so much?

How does the assurance of Jesus’ steadfastness change the way you relate to others?