From Boyd Bailey, Wisdom Hunters Devotional
If an enemy were insulting me, I could endure it; if a foe were raising himself against me, I could hide from him. But it is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship as we walked with the throng at the house of God. Psalm 55:12-14
The worst kind of rejection may be the rejection of a friend. You expect it from an enemy, but not from a friend. It doesn’t make sense that someone you communed with around Christ would come back and crush you with rejection. Rejection integrated with religious pretense is rough. It challenges our trust in people in general, and our faith in God in particular. With an open foe you can see it coming. But with a pretend friend it takes you by surprise. You feel ambushed by unauthentic living. One day you are laughing together around life’s little peculiarities, and the next day you are dazed by the anger of an unstable man. It is haunting and humbling at the same time. You don’t know whether to lash back, or to languish in disillusionment. Friendly betrayal is frightening.
Reproaches from those we have been intimate with cut to the quick. They know our strengths and our weaknesses. They know where we are vulnerable. They know how to exploit our struggles and take advantage of our good will. It is as if you have been emotionally naked with someone, and now you feel embarrassed because of his or her indiscretions. What happened to the person you once knew? How could you have been so deceived? It may have been a decade of deceit embedded in your marriage vows. It may have been financial fraud and embezzlement over a long period of time. It may be a hidden addiction that has all the while hijacked your relationship for their credibility.
Our Lord Jesus, of course, had one for whom he trusted to the point of managing the money. He was close to Christ in proximity, but far away in faith. For Judas, it was all about the cash. Money motivated him in the beginning, and money was his downfall in the end. Money-motivated men may be pleasant on the outside, but they are full of themselves on the inside. They set you up for their own selfish purposes. We see it so clearly after the fact. But in the beginning, we can be easily deceived. Therefore, really get to know someone before you heavily invest. In time, they can be trusted.
Avoid the temptation to reject those who have rejected you. This is our natural response. However, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, our right response is to forgive their failings, regardless of how radical their behavior. We are all candidates for sin, even gross sin. Without God’s grace and the accountability of a committed community of believers, we are deceivers with the best of them. The worst deceivers have been the most deceived. Paul stated well our role toward those trapped in sin: “Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted” (Galatians 6:1). Yes, rejection by a trusted friend is fiendish and false-hearted. However, we are called to be forgiving and pure-hearted. Do not stoop to their standards that are sub par to your Savior’s. By God’s grace, rise above rejection.