Betrayal and Treachery- Killing A Relationship The Fast Way
BETRAYAL & TREACHERY-
KILLING A RELATIONSHIP THE FAST WAY
BY Rev. Renee
Not every ruined relationship dies a slow and agonizing death of ongoing abuse, relentless criticism, continual manipulation, or stubborn iron-fisted control. Such relationships can take years, if not decades, to be permanently damaged, usually because of our life-long patience and tolerance of mistreatment, until we finally say “enough is enough!”
But other relationships are murdered the fast way- by betrayal and treachery. The surest way to destroy any relationship, including relationships which have always been good, is to destroy the trust. I don’t usually have many requirements for my relationships, but loyalty is number one. I give unswerving loyalty to my friends, and that’s what I expect in return. Call me crazy, but once someone I loved and trusted stabs me in the back, the honeymoon is pretty much over.
One problem caused by the treachery of a loved one is that you thought you knew this person, and now you see you didn’t know her at all. You thought she was wonderful- now disillusionment sets in- and in a big way. Not only does your relative have a character flaw- she has a major one- probably THE major one. She can’t be trusted. She has no loyalty. She has no honor or integrity. She is a traitor- a Benedict Arnold, a Brutus to your Caesar, you very own personal Judas.
The Scriptures are full of stories of betrayal, the terrible harm it causes, and the scorn reserved for such wicked people. The Lord will see to it that each traitor is punished, as he always has throughout history. IF A MAN PAYS BACK EVIL FOR GOOD, EVIL WILL NEVER LEAVE HIS HOUSE…Proverbs 17:13.
Even our wonderful Father is not immune from the sting of disloyalty. Almost the entire Old Testament is one, long, disheartening account of the Jews betraying the Lord by turning from him and worshipping false gods over and over again. No matter how good the Lord was to them, no matter how much he provided for them, or how many times he helped them or saved them from their enemies, they had no gratitude, and betrayed him again and again. And again and again, the Lord was vexed greatly and punished the children of
Traitors are acknowledged as a special kind of low-life all over the world, worthy only of scorn and contempt. Traitors were put to death in the Bible (Esther -23, 7:9-10). Most countries reserve the death penalty for traitors- right along with murderers. And no one has a shred of sympathy for them. For the most part, citizens don’t bat an eye at putting traitors to death- they know it is the only way to insure the safety of everyone else.
After Judas betrayed Jesus, his own conscience bothered him so much that he tried to undo the damage he had done (Matthew 27:3-5). Unfortunately, that will rarely be the case with our traitors. They will lie, deny, twist what really happened, minimize their actions, try to convince us that we misunderstood, or that their treachery was justified in some way, but they will almost never be accountable, apologize, and do whatever they can to restore our trust in them.
Sometimes they are embarrassed that they were caught and figure denial is their best bet to still be able to save face. Sometimes they realize that damaged or destroyed trust takes years of time and effort to repair, and they don’t want to be bothered. Because restoring trust is a long and daunting task, and also sometimes because their pride stands in the way, they just don’t want to go through the effort of proving themselves. But proving themselves over time is the only way we will ever be able to trust them again. It just adds insult to injury when we realize they don’t care enough about us to even try and rebuild our trust.
Our first reaction to disloyalty or treachery will be complete shock. We may find ourselves having trouble believing that someone we love actually repaid our love with a betrayal. It is almost impossible to comprehend that a person we were loyal to and stuck up for all our lives is totally disloyal to us. But after the shock wears off, we are left with the feeling that the relationship is damaged beyond repair and will never be the same because there is no more trust. And that may very well be the case, depending on the steps the traitor is willing to take to restore that lost trust. Unfortunately, in most cases, once the trust has been destroyed, the relationship will never be the same.
Treachery hurts in a deep and profound way because we always thought we could relax and be ourselves around our family. We thought we could share anything and everything with them. We never realized we had to be on guard around certain relatives, and now that we do realize it, we may find ourselves preferring to avoid them rather than have to censor our interactions with them and the information we allow them to have.
Our Judas has seen us when we were vulnerable, at our lowest or weakest moments, and we were always okay with that because we assumed she loved us and supported us. We thought our secrets and our innermost thoughts were safe with her. We thought we could TRUST her.
But now we know differently, and suddenly it becomes dangerous to appear weak or vulnerable in front of her. We can no longer share our hearts with her. It is risky to let her know what we are really thinking or feeling. We know we can no longer relax and be ourselves in her presence. For the first time in our lives, we realize we have to be CAREFUL around this person, and can no longer be completely open and honest. This puts a serious crimp in our relationship. In this way, her betrayal and dishonesty in misleading us into believing she was someone she isn’t, now forces us into a position of being dishonest with her as well- about our feelings, our lives, or anything else we need to keep from her in order to protect ourselves.
Through her betrayal, a person whom we once thought of as a safe haven for us, has now become dangerous. All of a sudden, we need to protect ourselves and our loved ones from her, because she is no longer safe, but a threat to our well-being. Nothing shakes your confidence in someone more than finding out you can’t trust him. The first time you realize your relative would actually do you harm if the opportunity presented itself, and indeed, may have already done you irreparable harm, is a real eye-opener.
If our Judas is sincerely remorseful and willing to devote the time it will take to rebuild our trust, there is a possibility for forgiveness and a restored relationship down the line. But if there is no accountability and repentance, the wounds inflicted upon us will take much longer to heal, and may have far-reaching effects on our ability to trust others.
Most of us find it far too exhausting and draining to be constantly on guard around someone whom we know to be untrustworthy, deceitful, or dishonorable. My personal opinion is that such people are dangerous and will always be dangerous, and that the only way to be safe is to stay as far away from them as possible. This is precisely the type of situation referred to in the Bible, when we are taught to have nothing to do with someone who will not repent after being rebuked. (Titus 3:10, Matthew 18:15-17, 2 Timothy 3:4-5 ). The Lord instructs us to protect ourselves from those who would do us harm.
Betrayal comes in many forms, and in all shapes and sizes. Here are some examples of treachery and disloyalty that we ourselves have experienced, or heard about from our sisters:
BADMOUTHING YOU OR GOSSIPING ABOUT YOU TO OTHERS
LYING ABOUT YOU
LYING TO YOU, DECEIVING YOU, MISLEADING YOU.
REVEALING A SECRET
ONE PARENT NOT PROTECTING YOU FROM THE ABUSE OF THE OTHER PARENT
ONE SIBLING HAVING AN AFFAIR WITH THE OTHER SIBLING’S SPOUSE
TURNING SOMEONE AGAINST YOU, OR TRYING TO TURN SOMEONE AGAINST YOU
SABOTAGING A JOB
SABOTAGING ANOTHER RELATIONSHIP FOR YOU
TAKING AN ENEMY’S SIDE AGAINST YOU
USING SOMETHING SHE KNOWS ABOUT YOU, OR A PAST HURT YOU HAVE TOLD HER ABOUT, AGAINST YOU.
REVEALING PERSONAL INFORMATION
STEALING FROM YOU (MONEY OR MATERIAL POSSESSIONS, BUT ALSO FRIENDS, HUSBANDS, BOYFRIENDS, ETC.)
DELIBERATELY HURTING YOU
COMPLAINING ABOUT YOU TO OTHERS
GIVING INFORMATION ABOUT YOU TO A RIVAL OR AN ENEMY, PASSING ON ANY INFORMATION TO ANYONE THAT SHE KNOWS DOES NOT GET ALONG WITH YOU.
SNEAKING BEHIND YOUR BACK TO DO ANYTHING EXCEPT THROW YOU A SURPRISE PARTY
ANY KIND OF EMOTIONAL BLACKMAIL, SUCH AS SHUNNING OR DISOWNING YOU, OR THREATENING TO, BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT DOING WHAT SHE WANTS YOU TO DO.
MEDDLING IN ANY SITUATION IN YOUR LIFE WITHOUT YOUR PERMISSION- OR WORSE, WITHOUT YOUR KNOWLEDGE.
TRYING TO INFLUENCE YOU TO DO ANYTHING THAT WOULD BE TO YOUR DETRIMENT.
TRYING TO FORCE, PRESSURE, OR MANIPULATE YOU TO DO ANYTHING YOU DON’T WANT TO DO, OR ARE UNCOMFORTABLE ABOUT.
INSTIGATING YOU TO FIGHT WITH OR LEAVE SOMEONE YOU LOVE, OR TO LEAVE A JOB YOU LOVE, A CAREER YOU LOVE, A HOME YOU LOVE, ETC.
EXPECTING YOU TO LIE, COVER-UP, OR GO AGAINST YOUR CONSCIENCE
DISCREDITING YOU WHEN YOU SPEAK THE TRUTH ABOUT ANYTHING, INCLUDING SOMEONE ELSE’S EVIL OR ABUSIVE BEHAVIOR
DISRESPECTING YOUR PRIVACY, SNOOPING, ETC.
SPYING ON YOU FOR SOMEONE ELSE, PROBING FOR INFORMATION WHICH
PRESSURING YOU OR EXPECTING YOU TO TOLERATE ABUSE
BEHAVING IN ANY WAY THAT IS AGAINST YOUR BEST INTERESTS
ENDANGERING YOU, YOUR CHILDREN, OR YOUR LOVED ONES, OR EXPOSING ANY OF YOU TO AN EVIL PERSON.
BEING DISHONEST WITH YOU
HIDING SOMETHING FROM YOU.
FALSELY ACCUSING YOU
EXPLOITING OR USING YOU
BEFRIENDING YOUR ENEMIES, OR MAKING A POINT OF BEFRIENDING YOUR EX-FRIENDS OR EX-LOVERS.
INSISTING ON KEEPING IN TOUCH WITH PEOPLE WHO ARE NO LONGER SPEAKING TO YOU, AND WITH WHOM SHE HAS NO CONNECTION OTHER THAN KNOWING THEM THROUGH YOU.
SACRIFICING YOU FOR HER OWN SELFISH PURPOSES, SUCH AS EXPOSING YOU TO AN ABUSIVE PERSON SHE CHOOSES TO STAY WITH. WE KNOW SEVERAL CASES OF MOTHERS WHO ARE STILL MARRIED, DECADES LATER, TO HUSBANDS WHO RAPED THEIR CHILDREN.
DEFENDING ONE WHO HAS DONE HARM TO YOU.
MINIMIZING YOUR FEELINGS OR CRITICIZING YOU FOR NOT “GETTING OVER IT” IMMEDIATELY WHEN SHE OR SOMEONE ELSE HAS HURT YOU.
NOT SUPPORTING YOU WHEN A WRONG HAS BEEN DONE TO YOU.
Here’s an interesting one- COPYING EVERYTHING YOU DO, INCLUDING FLIRTING WITH YOUR BOYFRIEND, OR TRYING TO MAKE YOUR FRIENDS HER FRIENDS BY CALLING THEM WITHOUT INCLUDING YOU- AS IF SHE WAS TRYING TO TAKE OVER YOUR WHOLE LIFE.
These are just some examples of back-stabbing behavior. There are many, many more examples out there.
Sister, if you have been stabbed in the back by one you love, the first step, as always, is to rebuke . If your Judas is remorseful, makes amends, and changes her ways, over time you may be able to trust her again. Take all the time you need, and let her pay the Natural Consequences* of her behavior by proving herself to you. Don’t give away your trust cheaply- and don’t trust her again until she has proven she can be trusted. If she does not repent and continues to be untrustworthy, do whatever you have to do to protect yourself and your loved ones from her. The best way to insure your safety with a Judas is to have nothing further to do with her (Titus , 2 Timothy 3:4-5). If you continue to allow someone who cannot be trusted to be in your life, you will constantly be giving her new ammunition with which to do you harm.
“BEWARE OF YOUR FRIENDS; DO NOT TRUST YOUR BROTHERS. FOR EVERY BROTHER IS A DECEIVER, AND EVERY FRIEND A SLANDERER. FRIEND DECEIVES FRIEND, AND NO ONE SPEAKS THE TRUTH. THEY HAVE TAUGHT THEIR TONGUES TO LIE; THEY WEARY THEMSELVES WITH SINNING. YOU LIVE IN THE MIDST OF DECEPTION; IN THEIR DECEIT THEY REFUSE TO ACKNOWLEDGE ME,” DECLARES THE LORD. THEREFORE THIS IS WHAT THE LORD ALMIGHTY SAYS: “SEE, I WILL REFINE AND TEST THEM, FOR WHAT ELSE CAN I DO BECAUSE OF THE SIN OF MY PEOPLE? THEIR TONGUE IS A DEADLY ARROW; IT SPEAKS WITH DECEIT. WITH HIS MOUTH EACH SPEAKS CORDIALLY TO HIS NEIGHBOR, BUT IN HIS HEART HE SETS A TRAP FOR HIM. SHOULD I NOT PUNISH THEM FOR THIS?” DECLARES THE LORD. “SHOULD I NOT AVENGE MYSELF ON A NATION SUCH A THIS?”…..Jeremiah 9:4-9.
YOUR BROTHERS, YOUR OWN FAMILY- EVEN THEY HAVE BETRAYED YOU; THEY HAVE RAISED A LOUD CRY AGAINST YOU. DO NOT TRUST THEM, THOUGH THEY SPEAK WELL OF YOU….Jeremiah 12:6
THE GODLY HAVE BEEN SWEPT FROM THE LAND; NOT ONE UPRIGHT MAN REMAINS. ALL MEN LIE IN WAIT TO SHED BLOOD; EACH HUNTS HIS BROTHER WITH A NET. BOTH HANDS ARE SKILLED IN DOING EVIL; THE RULER DEMANDS GIFTS, THE JUDGE ACCEPTS BRIBES, THE POWERFUL DICTATE WHAT THEY DESIRE- THEY ALL CONSPIRE TOGETHER. THE BEST OF THEM IS LIKE A BRIER, THE MOST UPRIGHT WORSE THAN A THORN HEDGE. THE DAY OF YOUR WATCHMEN HAS COME, THE DAY GOD VISITS YOU. NOW IS THE TIME OF THEIR CONFUSION. DO NOT TRUST A NEIGHBOR; PUT NO CONFIDENCE IN A FRIEND. EVEN WITH HER WHO LIES IN YOUR EMBRACE BE CAREFUL OF YOUR WORDS. FOR A SON DISHONORS HIS FATHER, A DAUGHTER RISES UP AGAINST HER MOTHER, A DAUGHTER-IN-LAW AGAINST HER MOTHER-IN-LAW- A MAN’S ENEMIES ARE THE MEMBERS OF HIS OWN HOUSEHOLD. BUT AS FOR ME, I WATCH IN HOPE FOR THE LORD, I WAIT FOR GOD MY SAVIOR; MY GOD WILL HEAR ME….Micah 7: 2-7
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The Lord specifically called Sister Renee to minister to Adult Children, not their parents, estranged siblings or friends, abusive or abused spouses, or victims of other types of abuse, although what we write here can often be meaningful for those folks as well. Because of this, our ministry and website have a narrow focus which we will not be changing. We simply can't cover everything. In addition, it is not our purpose to help you re-establish contact with someone who felt it was necessary to cut you off for the sake of their own well-being. We do not keep a list of resources for estranged parents or any other type of abuse and suggest if you are sincerely interested in making amends with an estranged relative, you do an internet search for a website or group that will be more relevant to you. If you cannot find a group or site that you can relate to, we suggest you start your own, and bless other people in your position as well as find support for your personal issues.
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Our articles are strictly our personal opinions and testimonies and are not intended to give or offer any advice. All who access this site do so with the understanding that we are NOT professional counselors and we strongly recommend that you discuss your individual situation with your pastor or therapist and pray for the Lord's guidance before acting on anything we write on this site. Unfortunately, the abuse we discuss is all too common, inflicted on countless victims by countless perpetrators. All names and identifying details in our articles have been changed to protect the innocent as well as the guilty. Any resemblance to a real person or persons whom you might know is strictly coincidental.