Betrayal comes in many forms. Merriam-Webster defines betrayal as the “violation of a person’s trust or confidence, of a moral standard.” The word betrayal is a word we are throwing around in the public arena these days as we discuss expectations based on vows, promises, and resulting consequences arising from actions of leadership. The anger and hurt generated is not unlike when a man tells a woman he loves her as often, whether spoken or notm is the question of commitment to relationship and expectations hidden in the heart. When we buy an expensive item, often it comes with a warranty because there is an expectation of quality and failure brings a sense of betrayal. Deep guilt and hurt may follow anytime word are not followed by actions consistent with our expectations.
Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve disciples, one of the “friends” of Jesus, has agreed to point out Jesus to the mob that follow him to the Garden – by kissing Jesus. (Mark 14: 43-49) An act of intimacy becomes an act of betrayal. So painful! Later Peter will betray Jesus because of fear, denying he knows Jesus. One is a deliberate deception and the other is cowardly deception. Both result in the break of relationship and guilt for the person. Trust is broken. Moral expectations are violated. Failure.
Most of us would deny a plotted betrayal of a relationship. But perhaps we cringe remembering the “Mom, you’re late…again!” comment of our children when we were late for the agreed upon time for meeting. We might remember having to put off paying a bill because funds were short – next month we will fulfill our promise to pay. Of course there is that tidbit of gossip we just could not resist sharing. In many ways we often fall short of the moral standards we set for ourselves and hurt someone we care about. We side with the “mob” and not with the friend. We want to be a person of integrity and a faithful friend but…
Perhaps our devotional today is not very cozy emotionally as our conscience is pricked remembering ours and other’s failures in our life. If something comes to mind, now is a good time to confess and seek forgiveness. Because we fail our expectations does not necessarily mean we will always fail nor that we are a failure. But failure, here in the form of betrayal, does call us to repentance and renewal to become our better selves with Christ’s help. Lord, may we be faithful in our relationships with your help, always seeking the good of the other. Amen.