February 16, 2020

February 16, 2020
Phil Waldrep

Most families in today’s world have been affected by the actions of someone who has been betrayed by one they have trusted. Can anyone share and tell what the outcome was (without names or relationship)?


There are many admonitions in scripture that caution believers to beware having an unforgiving or bitter spirit. But we all know friends or family members who have been the victim in a betrayal, and often are not sure how to help. What is God’s way to forgive someone and move on, being set totally free? Let’s examine the subject.

Key Verse: Psalm 41:9: “Even my close friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted his heel against me.”

Focal Passage: Psalm 41

1. Forgiveness frees me forever


  • Read Psalm 41:9. How did David describe the betrayal he had experienced?
  • There are five emotions that can be associated with the pain of betrayal; what are they?
  • The emotion of denial soon leads to ______,  Anger, when not given to God, can lead to _______.  Can someone explain the difference between anger and rage? What can rage lead to? Rage, if let go, turns to __________. Why is bitterness so dangerous? If one is bitter, what can that easily turn to?
  • Why is anger a normal emotion? Is it possible to control anger? Is rage as able to be controlled? The emotion of bitterness puts a filter over one’s eyes; what does this filter start assessing?
  • In the final emotion, revenge, how do (non violent) people usually act?


  • If a victim CHOOSES to begin the steps of forgiveness, what are they? “I choose to give up __ ________ ______ __ _______.”  “I choose not __ ___ ____.” “Even if my betrayer is _______, I will not try to _______ ___ _________ __ ___ ____.”
  • Why is it not enough to say these are going to be one-time decisions? If you choose to (give up all personal rights to revenge), to (not try to get even), or not to (destroy the blessings on their life), who is going to keep trying to take you down? Who is for you?
  • For most victims, the choices to keep claiming victory will be in verbal battles. Read Psalm 39:1.

2. Forgiveness frees me from the person who betrayed me


  • What are some of the “normal” lies told victims who have been betrayed that must be renounced? Are there any references in scripture that point to the victim as being the problem?
  • Victims do not have to forget; victims must use discretion as to whether to establish a relationship of any type with the betrayer, ever again (especially depending on the severity of the betrayal or the age of the victims); victims do not need to ever reestablish the level of relationship with the betrayer that it was before the betrayal. Why or why not are these true?


  • Forgiveness is NOT the same as TRUST. What is the difference, according to the sermon Phil Waldrep preached?
  • It is probably not possible for a victim to ever forget. Why is this statement true while we are on the earth?
  • As long as you hold on to your unforgiving spirit, what control does your betrayer have over you? Who is really controlling you? Can you CHOOSE to forgive and lay the chains down to God? How was the washing of Judas’ feet an example of Jesus not allowing the betrayal by Judas to control Him?

3. Forgiveness frees me from the pursuit of my betrayer

  • Why is it considered normal for any victim to want the betrayer to hurt at the same level of pain they experienced? Is it the right thing to do? Who can be used to try to get even? Why does this never work?
  • The moment you do it ____ way, you will be happy. Why does it make a difference to CHOOSE His way?
  • No matter the problem, a first step is necessary in order to begin the process of healing; why is trusting God’s way an essential beginning?

4. Forgiveness frees me from the pain of my betrayal

  • The pain doesn’t go away immediately. If you start the journey of forgiveness, you will one day wake up and realize you are healed. Who can relate the analogy of the apple trees used by Phil Waldrep?
  • What happens when God takes all the broken pieces of your life and puts you together again? Can someone tell the analogy of the Antique Shop and the pottery?


Betrayal hurts people! As soon as the subject of forgiving a betrayer for a heinous act is brought up, a victim immediately becomes agitated or hostile. Most feel they have laid the bitterness to rest, but would confess happiness hasn’t been found yet. There are probably very few who could ever go through what King David did in our opening key verse, and come out unscathed. Nor could someone go through a betrayal and not have cried a bucket of tears as they felt the pain of the lies, “I could never have been happy because YOU _____!!” Why is it a victim believes the terrible things they are told? There is little that can wound a victim as much as the betrayal by someone they considered a “best friend,” “a soul mate” of a spouse, a “parent who loved me more than anything.” So how do you help someone who has been victimized?

This sermon by Phil Waldrep gives us much armor, as a friend, a counselor, a co-worker, or a concerned family member, to recognize and offer help. Keep it in your favorites file and listen to it (or read his books) and be able to give someone the steps to being set free, as well as recognizing the emotions that they may be dealing with, thinking they are on the right track—and aren’t.

Not only can this be a great help to third party victims, but hopefully it will help if you yourself are the victim of a betrayal. God wants us to be victorious in our walk with Him, and knowing His ways is vital to that. He has shown us the ultimate forgiveness as He paid the debt for our sins, and He desires this lesson be taken to heart and in turn, we offer forgiveness if someone hurts us.

May we all learn the lessons packed in this sermon, and be alert to ways in which we can help our hurting brothers or sisters!