Have you been betrayed? It’s one of the most painful experiences of our lives and leadership because someone you least expected perpetrated betrayal, not an enemy.
Imagine if this could happen to you. How would you feel if someone you love or trust betrays you or your family?
In my life, I have seen so many who reacted with anger and resentment. But personally, although these are common reactions to betrayal, I didn’t see it as the healthiest responses.
Let me share what I learned in dealing with betrayal.
1. Face the Reality of Treachery.
Show me a truly successful man who wasn’t betrayed by someone, and I’ll tell you none.
The fact that betrayal is a reality of life means you have to expect the unexpected. It’s not a matter whether it will or not happen to you. It’s just a matter of when. You’ll be betrayed someday, somehow.
Have you seen those PUV stickers “God Knows Hudas Not Pay”? It’s a play of words on “who does” and “Hudas” as the variant name of Judas, the epitomized portrait of a traitor who betrayed Jesus.
No one is immune to betrayal. Even the most revered person in history, Jesus Christ, was betrayed. If it happened to him—and certainly Judas did pay the price—do you think it won’t occur to you?
2. Forgive, But Don’t Forget.
Many quote the phrase “Forgive and forget” as if it’s a biblical verse. But the truth is, it’s not! It’s like trampling forgiveness into an act of stupidity.
Forgiveness can be absolutely perfect. But it doesn’t mean you forget the lessons you’ve absorbed and makes yourself a perpetual victim to a notorious traitor.
The power of forgiveness prevails not when the offender asks for forgiveness, but when the offended chose to forgive the “unforgiven.” To forgive is to set oneself free from the bondage of hatred and resentment.
Real forgiveness takes place when you commit to stop feeling angry to the offender, thereby, setting yourself free. But it doesn’t mean you have to be naïve in repeatedly putting yourself at the conspirators’ scheme.
3. Focus on the Good Outcome.
Have you observed that when you face severe challenges, there are greater opportunities coming after it?
My wife and I noticed this pattern in our lives. Tough experiences open up greater opportunities.
This is where I don’t suggest reacting with anger to a betrayal. Hatred will only feed more fire—and traitors would love it.
As such, humility and hope are superior responses to betrayal. You remove the traitors’ power over you when you choose to act like Christ when Judas betrayed him.
Here, the message of God’s love on the cross was ushered through an act of betrayal.
Do you think the crucifixion would happen without Judas’ betrayal? It’s not to make Judas a hero. But learning from Jesus’ model, we find hope that goodness will still prevail above the sinister agenda of a spineless turncoat.
When you are betrayed, good things could work from that ugly experience. Find hope.
Glenn Plastina © 2017