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July 6, 2011 / joelmalm

The Upside of Betrayal

Betray: to be unfaithful in guarding, maintaining, or fulfilling; to disappoint the hopes or expectations of; be disloyal to.

Judas betrayed Jesus.  Jesus saw it coming, but since he was fully human I’m certain knowing in advance didn’t take away the sting.  In fact, since he saw it coming it makes Jesus’ forgiveness even more amazing.

Jesus hung out with a guy for three years that he knew was going to betray him.  We don’t know how far into the friendship Jesus knew the betrayal would go down, but since he was perfectly connected with God I’d bet it was pretty early on.

Yesterday I was talking to my counselor friend Catherine about the subject of forgiveness.  She said you know you’ve truly forgiven when the feelings you get about any hurtful thing done against you brings a deep sense of peace, rather than anger or gut wrenching agony.

When you look back at Jesus’ life, anyone who has accepted his sacrifice on the cross can’t help but feel a deep sense of peace.  His betrayal brought life.

It got me thinking.  We aren’t Jesus.  But since “the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead lives in you (Romans 8:11),” is it possible that life can still come through betrayal?   I’m pretty convinced it is.  It doesn’t make the sting any less when it happens, but it’s reassuring to realize that when we choose to forgive those who “trespass against us” we free up God’s life-giving power to heal and bring peace in our life and the lives of others.  That thought gives me some serious peace.


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