Betrayal and Disappointment -Others


The journey of faith will bring you through some difficult “valleys.” Feeling betrayed and disappointed in others is one of the more painful seasons. To love or be concerned for others is to be vulnerable. As we open our hearts to share with others we “lower our guard” and the other person(s) may or may not respond in kind. Join me as I share insights from Dan B. Allender’s The Healing Path: How the Hurts in your Past Can Lead You to A More Abundant Life. Quotes are shared for the purpose of discussion, commentary, and spiritual encouragement. I strongly encourage all readers of this post to purchase Dr. Allender’s book title as listed above as it will be a valuable resource on your path to healing.

Podcast reading of this page

The Command and Resulting Trials

One of the defining traits of the Christ follower is love for others! Jesus commands us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. Basically, Jesus is telling us to show the same care for others that we show for ourselves. Loving others means serving, giving, and having empathy, kindness, and compassion even when the other person(s) isn’t capable/willing of returning. The early Christians were known for their radical love and devotion to Christ. Remember that to follow Christ means that we become like Him! Consider Philippians 2! God’s love and divine justice required Him to severely punish His Only Son! The example of love and justice is the cross.

I believe that love and grace go together. When we realize the depth of God’s love, mercy, and grace to us, then we eagerly desire to love and forgive others as an “outflow” of what God is doing in our lives. However, when others neglect, abuse, or fail to return our grace/love then we find ourselves in a trial!

Do we react with anger? Is all anger bad? Righteous anger is part of God’s Nature. God hates sin and evil, in fact He hates it so much He created hell to separate it from Himself. God’s Wrath came upon Jesus so that we might be saved from what we deserve: eternal separation from God. Paul reminds us that by nature we are objects of God’s Wrath.

So my question for you is your anger righteous or unrighteous? Righteous anger seeks to restore and reconcile what is broken. Unrighteous anger seeks to totally destroy and cut off. Daily, I remind myself that God is the only Righteous Judge and Avenger. Paul teaches in Romans that we are to avoid revenge and striking back at others even when they wrong us. You would probably agree that this is easier written and read than lived out in daily life.

How we go astray

“All human relationships, even our most intimate alliances, are temporary and incomplete. When we demand that another person provide safety, certainty, and fulfillment of our deepest desires, we turn from God to an idol for the fulfillment of our needs.”

Dan Allender, The Healing Path pg. 53

Looking to others, career, education, etc. for fulfillment is a trespass against God. As fallen humans living in a material world, we are attracted to what we can immediately see and touch/experience. We turn people ( or careers/other things) into idols. We thus set them in a position whereupon failure is the outcome. Only God can fully satisfy our deepest desires and that will only come when we enter into eternity. Why doesn’t God immediately satisfy the thirst that He has created within us? Perhaps because that’s how He draws us even closer. God made us for Himself! God made us to live for His Glory and in His Presence.

Do we love others because we deeply desire that they will love us in return? Why do we do what we do? Do we act and do well hoping for some reward or to get something back, or do we do good because it pleases our Heavenly Father? What is our motive(s) for what we do?

“When we turn from God, we inevitably demand of others the very things we miss in our relationship with God. If we don’t know his deep care and protection, then we will insist another human being provide what we lack.”

Dan Allender, The Healing Path pg 53

Drawing close and depending upon God is the our only source for True, Abundant Life. John chapter 10 teaches this wonderful truth. For more on abundant life see below:

When I find myself becoming disappointed with people or life, God leads me to the following questions:

  1. What am I seeking first? Am I placing anyone or anything ahead of seeking His Kingdom and righteousness first?
  2. Where am I seeking joy, peace, and comfort? Am I looking to my job, finances, health, or relationships to find peace and contentment? If so then I am seeking an idol instead of my Creator and Savior.
  3. Why is my heart discontented? Pray through Psalm 103.
  4. Am I depending on anyone or anything for purpose, meaning, etc.?

The Remedy

First, we need to recognize the source of our disappointment with others/life. The experience of discouragement/disappointment is a warning that something is not right. Just as physical pain warns us of injury likewise emotional upset and suffering. We need to look deeper into our souls–guided by God’s Word and Holy Spirit. Ask God for discernment and wisdom. God reveals areas of idolatry in our lives. God calls us all to repent. Repentance is a process that is ongoing. Simply explained: we are to seek God’s Truth and respond to Holy Spirit’s prompting. When we realize we are walking/living apart from God then we must immediately stop and turn back!

Second, we must look to Christ for joy, hope, and peace in the difficult seasons. Remember that God disciplines and refines those He Redeems and Loves! Ultimately, our disappointments with others in life should cause us to desire for God’s Second Coming and Eternity with Him where there is no sin in our lives or others! Having been hurt by others should make us more kind, understanding, and gentle in our dealings with others.

Remember the example of our Gentle Savior! He was betrayed by his disciples, murdered by His own people, mocked, and tortured to death. If we want to be like Him, then we expect to be mistreated as He endured. God’s love, justice, and righteousness demanded a Perfect Sacrifice. Jesus was truly innocent and the Only Perfect Person, who left the glories of heaven to die for us!

Third, the world and joy with temporal things are false friends. Things and people will only fail us, because only God is Complete and Perfect. Even the best friend/loving parent/partner will disappoint us. We are all fallen. We get hurt and we hurt others. Thankfully, God redeemed our failures on the cross. By His wounds, we are healed! So we should be in the business of working to heal others’ wounds!

Writing this article has been a painful process for me. Writing from the heart isn’t easy, especially when one is deeply disappointed in various aspects of one’s life. Yet, the disappointment is a mercy “gift” from God in that it encourages me to trust Him more and daily seek His grace for myself and others. Anything or anyone who leads us to depend and thirst for God is a blessing. I write this article to encourage you, not to complain about how others have treated me. Nor am I criticizing or accusing any person or group of individuals.

We have a choice in life. We can be numb and uncaring or risk the sorrows of caring for others. May God give us grace, courage, discernment, and hope as we seek to love others and lead them to our Savior! We shall long for the brighter, fair shores of God’s Country wherein all sorrows and pains shall cease. All things will be made anew, all hurts and troubles redeemed!

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Just a pilgrim walking each day with Jesus and hoping to encourage others along the path.

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