The Truth about Betrayal in the Body of Christ by Dr. Sharnael Wolverton
There are many in the body of Christ living with betrayal. More than we know. It’s an epidemic.
The response is one of three, a physical running away and complete physical separation, choosing to stay and walk out that pain in hopes for healing and moving upscale, and a choosing to stay in the relationship but living with and in pain. Let me offer you some perspective on the subject today.
People do not betray people. People use people to betray and hurt themselves. Do those who betray cause harm to others in the process? You betcha. But the betrayal is more about the betrayer and less about the betrayed. Those who betray can betray in many ways; lying about someone, adultery, failing to keep promises made, failure to protect the relationship, etc., etc. The sin is not only against God and the other person/people but most of all to themselves.
Living righteous means to be in right standing with God. When we choose not to live “right” or righteous, the consequences often go beyond our own self. No man is unto his own. No man is an island. We are one body and all sin affects the body. The choice to betray is a choice against love…against living true.
In my observation, those in this situation choose to stay or choose to leave. Keep the relationship, or choose not to. That choice is not wrong or right and up to the people involved. Sometimes it is healthy to end the relationship, sometimes it is not.
What if I chose to stay in the relationship? For those who continue to stay, they are faced with seeing the person, maybe even daily if they live with that person … A daily reminder of their fears: “I am not enough. I am not worthy of love. I am alone. No one gets me. I am not understood.” Many things in this person will trigger that because of the experience and pain of betrayal. When (and notice I say “when” not “if”)… these feelings surface, it’s a sign or message that there is more opportunity for healing.
Pain is the message that healing can come now. If pain gets a voice and is brought to the light, there is the choice to process and gain a new belief system. As the process arises, the betrayer can often speak into this if they choose and expedite this healing process. The betrayer can choose to love them through with God and look at this as an opportunity to grow, regain traction, rebuild trust, and restore or reintroduce love.
Often times, unfortunately, this isn’t the choice. More times than I care to see, my observation is the betrayed brings to light the pain and the betrayer reacts. Gets angry. Gets frustrated. Doesn’t want to “relive” it. Blame shifts. Defends. Judges the betrayed. Judges the pain. Wants it to go away. Runs away. Isolates themselves, which also isolates the betrayed.
This reaction is a survival defense mechanism because they themselves do not choose to see their part. (Or don’t want to be reminded of their part as betrayer.) They do not see this as an opportunity to heal or bring healing but instead a judgment against THEM. AGAIN. A guilt trip from the betrayed. This feeds THEIR own fears, “I am not enough. I am not worthy of love. I am alone. No one gets me. I am not understood.” They don’t want THAT reminder, either.
So instead of offering love and support, they react in all the ways mentioned previously …. Which only confirms to the betrayed what THEY already knew and feared: “I am not enough. I am not worthy of love. I am alone. No one gets me. I am not understood.” So the cycle continues. On and on and on. Like a dog chasing his tail. No traction. Until someone gets sick. And you deal with that. Or until someone finally leaves. Tired. Usually to bring their belief system with them to the next relationship without healing. (Yuck) OR someone gets a revelation and changes their belief system. (Yeah!:))
What if? Just what if the signal of pain is given a voice, brought to light and the betrayer has eyes to see, “This is a Divine opportunity!” “Pain is the golden egg. Pain is the promise that hope can be restored. I choose to love fully in this moment. I choose to understand. I choose to be a source of healing. I choose to go through the process even with my discomfort.” This offering from the betrayer may bring along with it a deluge of feelings to the betrayed …grief, fear, sadness, confusion, anger or ALL of them.
But the process is real and raw and normal, and if given a safe place to facilitate this process, the outcome is amazing. A new layer of Truth is the deposit. A new level of trust is present. The fears are squashed. And wait, something is different!
The betrayer isn’t the betrayer anymore. The betrayer is now the comforter, the listener, the voice of truth, the friend, the strength, the healer. The hero. Love. There is a demonstration of love. A New belief system. NOW the voice says, “I AM enough. I AM worthy of love. I AM NOT alone. Someone DOES get me. I AM understood.” Because it just happened. Proof.
Now maybe it needs to happen several times…. Even over several years as new layers of pain reveal itself and new pain levels surface. But with each safe demonstration of consistent love in action comes new traction. New gain. New trust. New healing. New wholeness. Until poof!
Nothing left to process.
Upgrade complete. New operating system. And guess what magically happens to the “ex-Betrayer’s” voices? NOW the voice say, “I AM enough. I AM worthy of love. I am NOT alone. Someone DOES get me. I AM understood.” Chain response.
Forgiveness vs Healing
Please let me add forgiveness and healing are not the same thing. You can choose to forgive. That doesn’t always make the pain go away and that doesn’t guarantee trust. Please allow the full process of healing to take place separate from your words to forgive or trust again.
Many times the betrayer sees the pain surface as an indication that the betrayed has not chosen to forgive. Usually not the case. More than often, it’s the pain looking for a new level of healing. Most times they didn’t even see the trigger coming themselves so do not take this personally. It’s a process.
Just know forgiveness doesn’t equal a totally healed heart. Forgiveness is a choice and a great one–necessary–but it just doesn’t happen like that. So be aware now. It would be nice. But it’s not the same. Give yourselves permission to go through the process.
If you or the betrayer choose to end the relationship, the pain is still there and the healing is still very necessary for you both. If the healing isn’t the choice now… Pain will only show up in other relationships. The wound is a seed. Fruit will come from that seed in many ways and usually stinky. Trust me. Everywhere you go, guess what, you are still there. You may not get the opportunity to process forgiveness and the stages of betrayal in the same way because the betrayer isn’t there to help speed up the process, but dismissing the person or the healing process will not make it go away either.
Turn your hurts to the Lord. When pain surfaces, give it attention. Give your pain a voice. Call a friend to process with the Lord if needed. Hire a coach or counselor. Please do not keep it inside to germinate the seed. Stuffing it will only amplify the voice “I am not enough. I am not worthy of love. I am alone. No one gets me. I am not understood.” And again this will show up everywhere with everything and everybody whether you like it or not. (A bad harvest)
Betrayer Doesn’t Play
What if you choose to stay in the relationship but the betrayer wants to avoid the process and not participate?
(Side note: This may be the toughest one of all. I don’t wish this on anyone, either. I can tell you when both choose to play the healing process is expedited. It may be an interesting journey but worth it and trust can be built and love restored.)
When the betrayer doesn’t play? The betrayer stays the betrayer. Maybe not by definition continuing the “betrayer lifestyle” but in the sense of how you see them because they haven’t done process with you, they are the same. In order to stay sane, it is beneficial and necessary to do the process with God alone. Yes the voices may remind you. “You are alone…” Bla Bla Bla but God… So again, both players playing is much better!
But you can only control you. Do what you can and what is necessary for your own healing. It may not be good to allow your pain out loud to your betrayer if it only causes more pain. But, IF possible talk to your betrayer and be open with your feeling. Give them this article. Show them perspective. (In love). There is always ground for believing they will see and choose love.
I end this to say, there is Hope. It’s Satan’s illusion that attempts to make you think you can’t win the battle. But the battle is won. It’s just a choice to process. A choice to love and be loved. I encourage you to see pain as a doorway to both your healing process. I encourage you to ask your Creator, the I AM inside of you, to walk you through the door to your wholeness success, whatever side you are on.
In the mean time, in the words of a new friend, I vote your victory. Let’s all vote each other’s victory!
More About the Author:
“Dr. Sharnael Wolverton ND, founder of Swiftfire Ministries International, was called to the ministry at an early age. In her pursuit for God, she went to Bible School where she studied Religious Education and Health and graduated with a degree in Wellness/Fitness and Kinesiology. She later went to a graduate school seminary, until the Lord called her in to a place of “the school of the Holy Spirit”. During this incredible period of seeking intimacy with Him she encountered many dreams, visions, visitations and divine appointments leading to the birthing of Swiftfire Ministries International.
Dr. Sharnael is a dynamic Kingdom minister of the Word of God and Biblical Divine Health. Sharnael has a Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine, She is an expert in Pure Essential Oils for wellness. Dr. Wolverton continues to study, learn, research and teach biblical ways to Kingdom health.
She is also an incredible facilitator of the supernatural. Her heart is to see God’s people realize their personal destinies and walk in the fullness of those destinies including mind, body and Spirit. She also moves strongly in the prophetic and in signs and wonders, and possesses an anointing for breakthrough.
Dr. Sharnael is a fresh and relevant conference speaker, itinerant minister and host of her television show “Swiftfire with Sharnael Wolverton” She has many teaching CDs, and is the author of three books: Keys to Third Heaven: Using Third Heaven Revelation to Impact a World and The Seers Handbook, Spiritual Reflections of a Montana Girl in a Louisiana State and currently co-writing a her new book with Dr. David Stewart.
Dr. Sharnael is originally from eastern Montana but currently resides in Louisiana with her family and her 3 dogs, 4 cats and Horse Trigger.