The Pain of Betrayal

PenguinsYou cannot betray someone unless you have first been loyal to them. That’s the thing about betrayal—it is the act of taking something away that was once beautiful, valuable and rare. Betrayal destroys trust, it destroys friendships and families, and it destroys love.

I was seven years old when Miss Peabody, our Sunday School teacher, explained the meaning of betrayal. She told us all about the Last Supper and the Twelve Apostles and how one of them betrayed Jesus. And how his name was Judas Iscariot and he betrayed Jesus to the Romans for thirty pieces of silver, which she said was a lot of money back in those days.

“Betrayal is the worst thing. Would any of you betray Jesus for thirty pieces of silver?” Miss Peabody asked us.

“No!” we all shouted back. Some of us even jumped to our feet as we shouted.

But one boy did not say, “No!” like the rest of us. In fact, he didn’t say anything. But I knew he would have betrayed Jesus because he told me he wanted a new bike.

He didn’t look so sure about betrayal when he heard what happened to Judas.

“Judas bought a field with his thirty pieces of silver and then he tripped and fell into a ditch and his guts burst and spilled out and he died. And that’s what you get for betraying Jesus,” Miss Peabody said.

She also told us that as small children we cannot betray someone because a child cannot understand the true meaning of loyalty. And without loyalty, there can be no betrayal.

Loyalty is a form of trust and it is a unique bond between two human beings who understand what it means. Betrayal can take many forms—cheating, defamation, revealing a secret. Betrayal mostly takes place behind our backs, leaving us with the pain of discovery.

Twice in my life, I have been betrayed. Some people get pleasure from destroying the bond that was formed in trust. They revel in killing the hopes and dreams of others to satisfy their own egos.

And ironically, it is because people betray us that we value loyalty so highly. So much higher than thirty pieces of silver or a shiny new bike.


  1. Thanks so much for your generous offer to send me a copy of your book. Actually I read all of the free sample on Amazon. The writing is excellent. I cannot read the book though for the same reason I cannot watch Madmen on TV although I love it and find it seductive like your book. Both bring back too many bad memories and feelings for me of my childhood and I am plagued with them daily as it is. I don’t want any more bad memories than I have to battle daily. I am striving for making my thoughts more positive. So it is a tribute to your book that it is so vivid but too much for me, I am afraid. I am sorry. Good luck with it, John! You are very takented. May you go on to much success!

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