September 03, 2015

Betrayal in Relationships

Genesis 3:1-13

The Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”

—  Genesis 3:9

When Adam and Eve chose to eat the forbidden fruit, they disobeyed God. Justice demanded that they be punished for violating God’s command. Christianity uses this framework to explain the need for Jesus’ death. He took the punishment that humans deserved.

Besides breaking a law, Adam and Eve betrayed someone who loved them. When a husband and wife say their marriage vows, they promise to be faithful to one another. If one of them has an affair, that person has betrayed the other.

When Adam and Eve broke relationship with God, they betrayed him by turning to follow the advice of another. Betrayal spread like fire into their own relationship as well.

Our relationships include be­trayal too. One day, for exam­­ple, after working out with their team, Joe privately told his teammate Ted about a fear he had. Ted told Joe’s secret to other team members, and Joe soon became the butt of jokes. The harassment grew so severe that Joe eventually quit. Not only did Ted betray Joe, but his betrayal spread like fire through many other relationships.

Our betrayal of God spreads like fire into our other relationships too, and we need a recon­ciler.

Lord, our divine com­panion, we grieve the way our betrayals stain our relationships. We hurt because others hurt us. We confess that we have hurt others too. Make our re­la­tionships new through your Son. Amen.

About the author — Mark Stephenson

Rev. Mark Stephenson is the Director of Disability Concerns for the Christian Reformed Church in North America. Previously he served in two congregations in Michigan. He and his wife have four children.

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