Trust is the glue that holds relationships together. It builds a sense of safety and security. When I trust someone, I don’t worry about what they will or won’t say or do. I can relax in the knowledge that they are dependable. Trust creates confidence.
When trust is broken, it can be devastating. It leaves us reeling with disappointment and feeling disillusioned. It can rock our view of families, whole sections of society and even churches. If one or two teachers mislead us, all too easily we mistrust educators in general. Likewise, if a church leader or pastor lets you down, you can end up suspicious of all ministers.
Betrayal is possibly the worst kind of broken trust. It is when we are forsaken by someone we believed in. It is a violation of confidence and often involves unfaithfulness. It changes our view of people and the world around us. When we are betrayed, utter disbelief shatters something on the inside. And all too often, it changes us.
Several years ago, some leaders we trusted nearly split our church. My husband Paul and I were devastated. As the dust settled weeks later, Paul asked me how I was. I clearly remember my reply:
“I feel like I have been marched to the front of our church, stripped to my underwear and paraded on the platform in front of the people.” That’s what betrayal can feel like. It makes us want to retreat and build walls to protect ourselves.
The uncomfortable truth is that we will all probably experience betrayal’s pain at some point or other. In fact, Jesus warned that it is inevitable:
“Now brother will betray brother… and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents…” Mark 13:12
I don’t know what you have gone through or who has let you down. I do know that you have probably experienced broken trust many times in your lifetime. And it may have affected the way you relate to people.
King David was betrayed throughout his life. He felt forsaken by his parents, he was belittled by his brothers and even his own son tried to overthrow him as king. Just as he was recovering from the shock and sadness of Absalom’s attack, one of David’s leaders rose up against him. It is these words that touch my heart the most:
“So every man of Israel deserted David…” 2 Samuel 20:2
The very people that David had given his life to lead deserted him again. Short-lived peace turned to battle and he had to fight for his kingdom. God was with him so it turned out alright in the end but along the way, David’s heart was broken.
Winded and wounded
It’s not always about the outcome. Sometimes the knocks en route leave us winded and wounded. So if we are all going to encounter betrayal, what should we do about it? The enemy wants us to become guarded and wary as a result of life’s difficulties. God wants us to grow more like Him.
Pouring out pain
So how can we come out the other side better and not bitter? Let’s look again at David. Throughout the psalms, we hear him pouring out the sadness in his soul before the Lord:
“Reproach has broken my heart and I am full of heaviness” Psalm 69:20
David always went to the Lord and gave Him his pain. You and I need to do the same. Betrayal hurts. That’s why we need the Healer. Let’s learn to go to God with our hurts as soon as they happen.
After I shared my pain with my husband, I got into the presence of the Lord and told Him that I hurt. I cried in His presence as He released His healing love. I left my prayer closet refreshed. The road ahead was not going to be easy but I was ready to serve again.
There is something else that David did. Again and again he declared to the Lord, “I put my trust in you.” When folk forsook him and his co-leaders let him down, he got his heart healed and then chose to trust again.
Trust is a choice. We must learn from the past but it’s better to grow in wisdom than wariness. Once your heart is healed, I encourage you to declare, “Lord, I put my trust in You!” When we trust God, we can trust others, safe in the knowledge that our lives are in His hands.
If you want to be free from the pain of the past so that you can fulfil your purpose, I encourage you to order my book 30 Day Detox for your Soul from Amazon. Also, come to Healed for Life, our transformational event that helps get you ready for your destiny. See jonaughton.com for details.