If you’ve been in a church long enough, you’ve probably witnessed some backstabbing. Heck, you might have been the person doing the stabbing, or you might have found the knife in your own back.
If you work for a church, you see even more of it. While I worked with my dad, I saw him consistently getting stabbed in the back from people he brought on board as pastors or other influencers. And I’ve been impressed seeing the way my dad deals with each one of the betrayals. Heck, one guy even ousted him from the church. That one was particularly tough for him to deal with. But he still showed me a great example.
Here are four things I’ve learned from the way he responded, and things I’ve learned from my own experiences getting stabbed in the back.
God’s mercy is endless.
God has mercy even for the backstabbers. If he can forgive someone who betrays someone else like that, surely he can forgive you. That might seem unfair, but I’m glad it’s the case. I have my own share of junk in my life that needs some severe mercy.
If it’s available for backstabbers like King David (2 Samuel 12:13), I know it’s available for me too.
Nothing disqualifies you.
A couple of the guys who have betrayed my dad are still in ministry. Not only that, they’re highly effective in ministry. God consistently uses scoundrels to do his work (usually after they’ve repented).
If stabbing someone in the back doesn’t disqualify you from the plans of God, surely you can’t be disqualified. God can still use you no matter your past.
Don’t put your hope in people.
One of the easiest things to do after getting betrayed is to put up guards and barriers to keep people from getting close to you. That’s the wrong response.
At the same time, though, there’s benefit in realizing that people will let you down. The only one who won’t let you down is God. So betrayals should ultimately lead us to putting our trust in God, not in people. If you do this, you’ll probably still get a few daggers in the back down the road. But it won’t rock your world so much that you feel destroyed.
Betrayal teaches you how to forgive.
Finally, the greatest opportunity available to you after a betrayal is learning how to forgive. If someone cuts you off while driving… Or if someone takes the last cookie that you were saving for yourself… Those things might make you mad. But they aren’t that difficult to forgive. So forgiving someone in those situations doesn’t really prove you’ve learned forgiveness.
When someone stabs you in the back, though…that’s where the lesson truly begins. It’s your chance to learn one of the most valuable lessons we can learn as human beings.
I’m of the opinion that every bad thing can bring about good results if we respond properly. Even betrayal. What are your thoughts? What lessons did you learn from the last betrayal you experienced?