The Reality of Betrayal

One of my non-fiction projects is a book profiling twenty Christian women of faith. Before I left for Mount Hermon, I finished the chapter about Corrie ten Boom, the Dutch woman who became an evangelistic speaker and writer after World War II. She is known for hiding Jews until her arrest in 1944. Following a year of incarceration, during which her father and sister died, she began a speaking and writing ministry to proclaim God’s love and forgiveness.

Tante Corrie’s story touched me to the core. But it’s so much easier to talk about forgiveness than it is to actually forgive someone who has harmed you.

Just since I finished the Corrie chapter, I’ve had two “betrayals,” nothing like the one that sent Corrie and her family to prison and ultimately to a German concentration camp, but still smacks across the face of how I expect Christians to behave.

And how did I respond? Initially, with anger. How could these Christians do what they did, say what they said? In one instance, the conversation has turned into defensiveness and accusations. How can “I forgive you” be re-framed as “you’re judging me”? But it has and I want in the worst way to defend myself in return.

How did Corrie ten Boon forgive those German guards? She said herself, it wasn’t her forgiveness; it was God’s love and forgiveness. She said the faith to persevere, to keep praying and praising God from the pit of that German concentration camp, was not her faith. She put her eyes on Jesus and He carried her through.

The minor issues I’m dealing with, that seem so major until I hold them up against real suffering, require the same from me. My eyes on Jesus, not my circumstances, and most certainly not myself.

Was I right, was I Biblical, was I justified, was I self-serving? My motives are hard to get a clear handle on, being that my heart is deceptive and wicked. I pray and act, and things seem to get worse.

But I’m not in a concentration camp.

Maybe the only issue is, Am I keeping my eyes on Jesus?

Still, I have to say, betrayal was easier to understand when I was writing about how Corrie handled it than it is for me to go and do likewise!

Published in: on April 5, 2010 at 10:35 am  Comments (3)  
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