Where does betrayal start?
Very few traitors start out that way. No one wakes up in the morning, honest and joyful, and says to himself, "I think I'll betray my friends, my country, my wife today."
The name Judas has become synonymous with betrayal, but it wasn't always so. Who was Judas Iscariot before that fateful night?
Evil incarnate? Satan in the flesh? Worthless scum?
Probably not. He was a man. A disillusioned, angry, frustrated man who made a very poor choice. When Jesus did not turn out to be who Judas thought he was, he felt betrayed himself. He had a totally different perspective on the whole "kingdom" thing, and that turned out to be his downfall. He had been chosen, just like the rest of them. He had heard the sermons, puzzled over the parables, and watched the miracles...and he waited. Hoped and waited. And it was all going downhill as far as he was concerned.
When the heart gets set on having its own way and refuses to adapt to reality, mental illness takes over. Continually choosing sinful responses creates a pattern in the human heart that takes on a life of its own. That night of betrayal was not the first time Judas had entertained traitorous thoughts toward his Master. They had begun as disappointment, festered into resentment, and culminated in the greatest act of evil in human history.
We like to distance ourselves from such an act, but have you found yourself somewhere in that downward spiral? Someone has hurt or disappointed you. Things did not go as you dreamed they would, and you feel such a let-down. Reality has clashed with your beautiful dream and you refuse to tolerate it.
- Your spouse has not met your needs lately...
- Your boss won't notice a few bucks missing from the account...
- The payoff for a few hours' work is just too good to pass up...
And betrayal begins.
What about spiritually? Things didn't go as you assumed they would and you feel God has let you down. You had once declared undying allegiance to Christ, but life didn't go as you thought it would. Where's all that peace, love, and joy stuff they are talking about?
So you quit going to church, let your Bible accumulate dust, and started dabbling in the world's mud pie. You've shut God out of your life because you can't understand him. You don't like where His will is taking you. You don't admit it to yourself, but you've chosen to be your own god.
Are you a Judas without realizing it?
It's easy to see where he went wrong, but what about you? At least he got 30 pieces of silver for his soul.
What are you gaining?.