This is the next videocast in the Radically Redemptive Relationships series. We talk about betrayal, but the truth is that we can’t put words to it.  We were made to never be betrayed, and so we don’t manage it well. We rage at God, we hurt others, and ourselves.  Betrayal is the exact opposite of what we were created to do, “Love God and our neighbors as we love ourselves.”

I just got out of the hospital today, after being there since Tuesday (which is 3 months in hospital time).  Nothing happen quickly there. My body betrayed me as I became severely dehydrated after a bout with the flu and ended up putting a lot of significant organs at risk. Such a little thing – a few days of vomiting, and my body betrayed me. But really, I betrayed it. That’s the way it is with most of us – when the pain, confusion, and woundedness becomes unbearable, we answer betrayal with betrayal. As my friend Erik Guzman writes in his new book, Abusing Alcohol . . . and Grace:”

“True spirituality is simply desperation. We are all desperate to experience the transcendent, and when we don’t find that experience in dirt-under-our-fingernails reality, we look for it elsewhere.”


We are so bad a managing betrayal that we cannot see that we are the greatest betrayers of all. When I fib a little, don’t respond to a friend’s need, don’t give my children “space,” or gossip about the latest evangelical leader who has fallen from grace – I am the betrayer.When I cry out for justice or to not be hurt so much, I have to remember the line from that old song:

Justice is a barren place, and I’m a traitor-friend.

I often write and think about that darkest moment in history when Jesus was betrayed by everyone, and yet for the joy (me) set before Him he experienced inexplicable betrayal, leaving Him, as Frederich Buechner writes, “the God with the cauliflower ear and split lip” who exchanged His life with Barrabbas (a guilty man) because of what he wanted for me.

It is inexplicable to me that in the pain of betrayal He was thinking of what he wanted for me. On that cross, He whispered,

No condemnation,
I thirst for you.
It is finished.
Come home.

So today if you are feeling the heartache of betrayal or you feel the shame of being the betrayal, I hope this will encourage you:
Betrayal – When Nothing Makes Sense – https://youtu.be/hFoDB_aBjZY

And then listen to the words of Steffany Gretzinger in her song, “Come out of Hiding,”

“I loved you before you knew it was love
And I saw it all, still I chose the cross
And you were the one that i was thinking of
When I rose from the grave . . . .

That lyric!  I’d never thought of that before . . . that He wasn’t just thinking of me when He died, He was thinking of me when He arose again! It clear that God never indended any of us to be known as alcoholics, addicts, divorced, really good, poor, liars, really rich, sinner, or saint. He arose from the dead to say, “Sharon, for all of your life I only see who you have become in Christ – beloved.”

Although we weren’t made for betrayal, God is. Listen for His promise and plea today,

No need to be frightened
By intimacy, No just throw out your fear
And come running to me . . .

And all that hindered love will become part of  the story.”

A good story. Because God only writes good stories and He’s the One who knows what to do with betrayal.

We have all betrayed the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)