A Towel and a Bowl – Forgiveness and Betrayal

Yes, I am obsessed sometimes. What it is that has kept me from posting things that have been burning in my heart simply because I did not post part 2 to this writing? I started out last year wanting a daily 40 days posting at one point, but it didn’t happen. “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” I have people tell me that because I am now a “leader,” a “pastor / chaplain,” and in the “public eye,” that I need to be careful to do what I say I am going to do – even in a blog.

Really?

IMG_7076Are we as humans (I won’t even say as Christ followers) so caught up in ourselves, that we don’t allow others the room to change their minds, to feel differently, or to be lead in another direction?  The process of knowing God, ourselves, and humanity gets more complicated and goes deeper with age. Things happen. People change.

And yet, I will write  my “Part 2” because it is what I want to write about today – at this moment in time. Not by spending a lot of time on it, not even by leaving scriptural references – you can do that, but by simply stating a few facts as I see them.

Why did Jesus wash Judas feet?  Why not skip over Judas?  I mean, Jesus saw in to the heart of Judas and knew he was going to betray him.

First, to reveal to us what preemptive forgiveness looks like. Just like a military preemptive strike, Jesus wants us to live in a constant state of ready forgiveness. Can we see into another persons heart? Of course not!

But all of us have seen a betrayal, pain filled event, or argument in the making. Jesus modeled that the worst kind of betrayal can be forgiven in advance. Not easy, but possible.

I’ve been betrayed – badly – on two occasions. I didn’t handle it well either of those times.  It took me a while to forgive.

Does that mean we allow others to betray us, or that we reconcile to betrayers?  Absolutely not – that’s not biblical either. But we learn to forgive, and then act in a way towards that person or situation that is wise.

There is a difference between reconciliation and forgiveness. I have no desire to be reconciled to at least a few people in my life. It would be self-abasement and abuse. It would not be “healthy boundaries.”

I can love them better from afar.

Jordan alone in a roomI have sought forgiveness from those I have wronged when I have known there was an offense, and even if I was the person who was wronged – I have sought forgiveness for my reaction to the betrayal, if and when it was warranted.  I can’t make another person forgive me for my offenses, I can only ask them to. Then, the responsibility is theirs. There are some who have not chosen to be reconciled – or even (it seems by actions) to forgive.

Second, Jesus modeled that we are to leave room for the betrayer to seek our forgiveness. Without getting into the debates of things like sovereignty, election, or predestination and keeping this strictly on a human level –

Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss. A kiss was a symbol of friendship, and Jesus was acknowledging that in His statement to Judas. He was calling Judas a friend, and he was betrayed by His friend – and Proverbs 27:6 says, “Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.” 

By his friend. 

There are some people I trusted and called friend, that I can only image by their ongoing actions, are clueless that they even did me any wrong. I just let it be. Forgiveness yes. Reconciliation – not so much. We make the determination that if a person is that clueless to anthers well-being, we are juts not following the same path in life. We can choose our friends. I will accept as Proverbs says, “the wounds of a friend can be trusted.” If there was a deep betrayal involved – we are not friends – I can’t trust you.

judasSo Judas kills himself. With Satan in his heart, and no longer interested in the money, he has nothing to live for. He was called by Jesus Himself, “A son of perdition,” or a person doomed to destruction. Yet, what about Peter – Peter also denied Christ the very same night. What is the difference between the two?

The heart – specifically, faith and humility. 

One heart was turned towards God but with momentary weaknesses, the other was turned directly away from God. One wanted things done his way and when they weren’t, Judas was prideful, and he totally and completely lost all faith based upon his own human thoughts and opinions. Peter, held on by a thread. Completely alone and confused, Peter was broken, but held on to faith in God’s mercy. There was still hope in the future. Somehow.

Could Judas have wanted to repent but his sin was so grievous that he couldn’t forgive himself?  Did he indeed repent?  Suicide is the ultimate cry of pain; the no turning back because I have nothing left to live for. 

Our responsibility is to give and receive the kiss of forgiveness – like Jesus did.

Preemptive strikes of forgiveness aimed at those who will continue to wrong us. Like Peter, we will probably deny this concept more often than we live it, lose our faith, deny Christ in weak moments (denying Christ takes on many forms), hurt friends, and family, and continue to live in a frail and broken human shell…

But we are forgiven. Utterly forgiven.

Our responsibility is to have faith that God can redeem anyone – and allow Him to determine “perdition.”

We are to forgive in advance.

Even a blogger like me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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One thought on “A Towel and a Bowl – Forgiveness and Betrayal

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