Focus: What do you do when a friend betrays you?
Being “stabbed in the back” is no fun. The fact of the matter is that whenever we have a relationship with someone, we become vulnerable to betrayal. As we let people closer into our lives, not only is it easier for them to hurts us, but it can be more painful, and it can take longer to recover from betrayal. Since there is always the risk of betrayal in relationships, it is important to examine how we handle those situations.
- When was the last time that you felt betrayed by a friend?
- How did you deal with that betrayal and the pain that followed?
- How is your view of friendship affected after you’ve been hurt like that?
- What is God’s plan for us in the midst of betrayal?
This week as we learn from the life of Joseph in Genesis chapter 40, we see him deal with betrayal from someone he hoped to be his friend. As he interprets the cupbearer’s dream, he asks in return to be remembered and released from prison…
“Within three days Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore you to your position and
you will put Pharaoh’s cup in his hand, just as you used to do when you were his cupbearer.
But when all goes well with you, remember me and show me kindness; mention me to
Pharaoh and get me out of this prison…He restored the chief cupbearer to his position,
so that he once again put the cup into Pharaoh’s hand…the chief cupbearer, however,
did not remember Joseph; he forgot him.” -Genesis 40:13-14, 21, 23
In the aftermath of the cupbearer’s betrayal, Joseph had two years to stew over what had happened to him, but he didn’t let it consume him. There are two easy reactions to betrayal:
- Get revenge so that the other person will feel the same pain you feel.
- Build walls in your relationships so you won’t get hurt again.
Both of these feel right and necessary at the time, but God’s plan is different. We are designed to live within community, and relationships are necessary. So, how can you honor God when responding to betrayal? What did Joseph do? Read Genesis 40-41 to find out.