Betrayal is defined as breaking or violating a contract, trust, or confidence, resulting in conflict, pain, and hurt within the relationship (Wikipedia). Live long enough, and you have been betrayed. As a species, we hurt each other, intentionally and unintentionally. The worst, however, is when someone defiantly and deliberately breaks their promise to you and stabs you in the back or throws you under the bus. Betrayal stings badly and can leave nasty scars if we don’t process it in a healthy way.
Have you seen the movie Creed III with Michael Jordan? I wrote a movie review when it first released, but after watching it again on DVD, I learned yet another lesson from the story. Jordan plays Adonis Creed, son of Apollo, and Jonathan Majors is his childhood friend, Damian Anderson. They met at foster care and were like brothers until one fateful night where Damian was thrown in prison for 18 years.
The movie begins when Damian is released from prison and looks Adonis up to reconnect. On the surface, everything seems normal. We soon see Damian’s real motives unfold, and the betrayal begins. You will have to see the movie for all the details, but the pain runs deep, and the consequences force Adonis to fight Damian in the boxing ring. Brother against brother.
Through flashbacks, you learn of the original betrayal of Adonis to Damian. Damian’s hurt was so deep, it was all he thought about for 18 years. He lived, breathed, and plotted his revenge. As I mentioned in my review, the movie is more thoughtful than previous Creed movies. This one goes beneath the surface, and boxing is a secondary player to the messages and lessons to learn. I liked it!
Our pastor recently gave a sermon on betrayal, using the story of Judas Iscariot as the example. Jesus’ betrayal was so great it cost Him His life! Betrayal, in essence, is man’s sin. Once the apple was eaten in the Garden of Eden, sin entered the world, and betrayal began. The Bible is full of illustrations of brothers betraying brothers for birth rights, and people betraying neighbors for food, land, or money. As long as sin resides on the earth, we will be betrayed. Friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors will hurt you.
How we process the betrayal is paramount because it will determine whether we are consumed by darkness or release it to allow love and joy in. Damian was filled with hatred. His betrayal made Adonis see red, and before you know it, they are both in the dark. The scene of their final battle in the ring together was handled in such a creative, powerful way. This scene is worth the cost of the ticket. They truly showed the emotional torment and angst that was once brotherly love.
The moral of story is nothing good comes from harboring our hurt and pain from betrayal. We may think we are punishing the other person by hating them, but the reality is, we are destroying our own soul. Bitterness takes roots, and it only leads to darkness.
I have an exercise where I encourage clients to write out their betrayals…the hurts, pain, and wounds caused by others…and then burn them up! Obviously, you will want to ensure you have a safe place to do so without causing a forest fire! As you watch the ashes float and flitter away, let the angst and turmoil go. Release the anger, hate, and bitterness. God will absorb your pain, just as He did on the cross.
But just like His gift of crucifixion, we must accept it. He doesn’t force Himself upon us. Turn your betrayals over to Him, and let light, love, and joy back in! In my latest book, Defy Your Diagnosis, I share about the many betrayals I have endured in life from co-workers, family, friends, and abusive ex-husband. I also provide insight into a mindset that sets us up to heal and be whole. If you are struggling to get past your past, I encourage you to get a copy today.
I also offer coaching services to work through and overcome those obstacles getting in the way of your success. Give me a call today to discuss what that looks like and how we can help YOU defy YOUR diagnosis.