Friday, February 12, 2010

Lessons I learned from my friend Judas

“Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.”  - Luke 6:21

HMMMM!  It is hard to imagine a smile coming to my face when I am going through something that hurts so much.  However, I have learned there does come a time when the hurt is gone and the smiles and laughter return.  But  I also learned some other lessons along the way that I would like to share with you.    I hope they will be a blessing to you and that they will be refreshing water to your dry and thirsty  soul.

1.  Jesus knows your pain – He’s been there done that before.  There is not a single pain or hurt you will ever experience that Jesus did not or will not feel.  He has gone through the very same trials as we have.  Imagine, one He called friend and one who was part of His inner circle betrayed Him, the Savior and the  One who was going to die for him.  Jesus knows your pain. 

2.  We too can be a “Judas.”  We have what it takes to be a Judas with nothing to stop us from hurting and betraying someone we say we love.  The only way we cannot become “Judas-like” is to be “Christ-like” and choose to do the right thing, which means putting others before self by thinking before you act.

3. When we are betrayed, it is our choice to – use this experience as an opportunity in which to learn and grow, or, allow it to be an obstacle which will hinder us in our relationships with others and with our Lord.  If we choose to use it as opportunity to grow and learn from it, we can be assured that this experience will not be wasted.  It will be used someday in the future perhaps to help someone else who has been hurt or betrayed, and needs to hear that someone does understand and that there is hope  of being made whole once again.

4.  Restoration of a broken and shattered relationship can happen.  Again, if we choose it as an opportunity, our Lord can take what is broken and make it something beautiful, many times being even more beautiful than it once was.  If you are willing, then God is able.  It is your choice.

5.  Love your Judas and be willing to forgive if your Judas comes to you with Godly sorrow and a repentant heart.  Love keeps no record of wrongs as 1 Corinthians 13 teaches.  Jesus gave us the perfect example of how to love our own personal Judas.  He loved him until the very end.  We also know from the Scriptures that we are told to love your enemies.  Something caught my eye this morning in Luke 6:27-28 which says –”But I say to you who hear; Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you and pray for those who spitefully use you.”   The part that caught my eye was the part of “those who spitefully use you.”  Many times our hurts and betrayals come from people who were using us all along and we never realized it.  When the disciples heard that one of them was going to betray Him, each asked if it was he.   They did not realize it was Judas.  He had them deceived and so  were we.   Most times our Judas is not obvious.  They are very good at deceiving.   I  believe what hurts the most, is that you think they really love you as they say, but  then you realize they were just using you.  Whether we like it or not, we are told that we need to pray for them.  So pray, we must.   Join with me and let us pray for our Judases and watch God go to work. 

6.  The last item I want to mention is to be prayerful about whether or not to end your relationship with your Judas.  Allow the Holy Spirit to lead you and direct your decision.  There are some relationships that must come to end for many different reasons.  Yet, there are some that the Lord will want you to stay in so that He can go to work fixing what is broken and making it something beautiful, something which only He can do. 

These are just some of the lessons that I have learned.  Was it easy?  Absolutely not!  Would I choose to experience something like that again?  Absolutely not!  There are more lessons that I’ve learned  and I’m sure that many of you have also learned some lessons along the way.  Will you share yours  here on the blog  so that we can all learn together and grow from them?   If you decide to share, please don’t mention anyone by name.  We are here to help and to build up, not to hurt and beat up.
I will be honest with you; I would never want anyone to ever  experience an act of betrayal.  I hope you, like me, will be determined to never be a Judas.  We are called to be “Christ-like” in all we do not “Judas'-like” therefore, let’s take Paul’s words from 1 Corinthians 11:1 and do as he says - “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ. 

I pray that these hard-learned lessons have been a help to you and will act as a reminder that we do have a choice when we are hurt or betrayed.   Hurt can cause us to do many things that we otherwise would not do, so be on guard against the Judas that lives inside each one of us, and who wants to come out and strike back.    Instead, go and find yourself a place to be alone with our Lord and spill your heart and anger out to Him.  Allow Him to comfort you and dry those tears.  His arms are open wide while He waits for His daughter who is hurting to come to her Papa for the love and comfort she so desperately needs.  Run to Papa my dear sister and do not look back but look straight into the face of your Heavenly Father.  Remember, He knows your pain and there is nothing  He desires more than to turn your ashes into something beautiful. 

Isaiah 61:2b – 3 says - “to comfort all who mourn, to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness...”  

As we mourn over the hurt and betrayal of a relationship, God promises us that He will give us beauty for ashes and a garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.  I don’t know about you but I don’t want to hold on to a spirit of heaviness.  I will gladly trade in my ashes for something beautiful.  What about you? 

Betrayed but no longer broken,


FreedbyJC said...

Science says Action = Reaction ...

10% of our life consists of things that happen to us. We have no control over these events and we have no control over other people.

90% of our life depends on how we react to the things that happen to us. We can have total control over our choice of reaction to the things that happen to us. Applying Stephen Covey’s 90-10 rule can help lower your stress; the realization that your reaction to any incident is totally under your control is incredibly empowering, not to mention you will confound and dismay the people who think they can push your buttons.

The Word of God says of "Action = Reaction" ...
If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. Luke 6:29a

and ...

15"If your brother sins against you,[b] go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. Matthew 18:19-20

and ...

29Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:29

Anonymous said...

Janice, I would gather a large part of ministry comes from mended vessels trying to help other mend. Bless you for sharing. At some point, we've all had our Judas, sometimes in forms of those closest to us and we've all been Judas to another - even if it was only in perception. Now that's hard too!

God bless you my dear!