How do you forgive someone you trusted who turns and betrays you? It can be one of the most painful of all our experiences in life. Jesus knows that! Several years ago, a trusted ministry colleague betrayed me. He was someone I had hired. He was someone who worked closely beside me on a daily basis. I trusted him. He’d been in my “inner ring.” We did ministry at the highest levels together. Eventually, however, I learned that he had poisoned several leaders around me, and was even telling lies about me. It was very painful. To this day he has never repented or asked forgiveness. The question I had was, “How do I go forgive someone who does something like this? Should I even try?”

It might help to listen to the wisdom of someone who experienced incredible betrayal–Jesus. He was utterly abandoned and betrayed by His friends. In fact, betrayed by an insider! Betrayed by those around Him. Betrayed and handed over to a kangaroo court who lied about Him, and managed to sentence Him to a brutal execution. Talk about the ultimate frame job! How could things be any worse than that!? And yet, this is the same man who says, “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you” (Matthew 6:14). Then Jesus added this, “But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your sins.”

Forgiveness is a decision to let a wrong go. It may take time. It is NOT easy! Forgiving someone has to begin with a simple prayer, “Lord, I’ve been terribly wronged, and I want to forgive this person, but I need a lot of help. Please help me.” Forgiving betrayal is a decision to let go of the seething anger and bitterness. To not dwell on it anymore. It is one of the most courageous decisions a person can make. And…it will not be easy by any stretch of the imagination!

Be open and honest with Jesus. He already knows what’s going on inside of you. Let Him help you take those very important first steps in letting the wrong go, and making a decision to start the process of forgiving. A lot is riding on your decision. You have everything to gain, and absolutely nothing to lose! Start the healing process today!

by Jay Childs, Senior Pastor
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