Curing the Sting of Betrayal: Caught in a Smear Campaign

Curing the Sting of Betrayal: Caught in a Smear Campaign

By: Susan Schiller

Living, working, or ministering with a sociopath will eventually result in a smear campaign launched against you. That's just how these things work, nearly every time. Even Jesus was betrayed by someone in his own team.

If you can switch over from victim to survivor by perceiving the situation through God's eyes, it will result in "two mercies for one woe". As David showed us in Psalm 59, one way he changed his perspective is by singing and dancing and praising God for His Goodness.

David, in Psalm 59, passionately writes about just such a time in his life:

Deliver me from my enemies, O God; be my fortress against those who are attacking me…. Fierce men conspire against me for no offense or sin of mine, Lord. I have done no wrong, yet they are ready to attack me…. See what they spew from their mouths— the words from their lips are sharp as swords, and they think, “Who can hear us?” But you laugh at them, Lord; you scoff at all those nations…But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble."

The mistake many survivors make is going to these accusers and asking them to hear "the other side of the story" in a biblical manner described in Matthew 18. It's not wrong; it just doesn't work, because they have no desire to hear you.

Many Christian leaders live in a fear-based reality, which forces them to wear two faces. One for private and the other for public show. They will refuse to hear or see "the other side" for fear of exposing the secrets hidden in darkness.

Their words, as David passionately describes, are sharp daggers to your soul. When this happens, I hope you will have a team you can go to who will speak Truth, in love, into you. One of my friends, Kimberly, had this to say… please use these words for yourself, if they apply, the next time you get caught in a smear campaign:

"Even though you reached out in good faith toward those who hurt you and they ended up re-wounding you, I can still see God's hand in it as He is proving to you, by their response, that is truly is 'they' who have the issues. It also helps you to gauge where you are at in your own recovery. To step out in love, with a heart toward reconciliation takes healing, growth and mature love. They can actually reinforce in YOU that God HAS done great things. If theirs was a strong and Christ-like love they would have reached out long ago. To continue to write you off and use hurtful and cutting language with you only reveals the true condition of their hearts.

The test of betrayal is one of the harder tests we all must face in our lives at one time or another. I am proud of you that your heart has remained soft. I know thtat often to soften our hearts, God works through our raw hoesty as he works His love into those places of struggling with unforgiveness, bitterness and offense. That is hard to walk through because we are not sure sometimes if we will make it out of that fiery crucible."

As I wrote in "We're Crossing Over," I would much rather hear ringing in my ears: 'Beloved child, you are Home. Your story is our story and our story is your story. We are all One in Christ. We want to hear your voice. Shout if you must. Cry if you need to. Sing, draw, write! We need you, beloved one.'"

There was a time when I cried out to God when a similar situation like this happened – a time of crazy injustice – and as I listened for Papa God's whisper, I heard Him say, "These people are Glory Enhancers. Their deep, cutting words are being used for Good, to create the masterpiece I'm sculpting in you."

Well, that's a different perspective, isn't it?

In Zechariah 9:12, God has promised us "two mercies for every woe". Already, in the two days since receiving the email mentioned above, God has (through them but unknown to them) given me an incredible blessing… worth far above and beyond the temporary "woe".

Through the past dozen years of getting my life back from sociopathic abuse, Papa God has relentlessly whispered to me the sweetest invitation of all: "Dance with Me". Like David, we will sing and dance, praising God for His Goodness in the midst of his trials; we are invited into the sacred place where God dwells. The entrance is praise and thanksgiving.

How often I haven't felt like it… and instead indulged in self-pity. But the times when I choose to move in the opposite direction, to be creative – to be joyful, are the times when God has given me two mercies for every woe… along with the most precious gift of all – Himself. Curing the sting of betrayal is just a song, a dance, a poem, a story, a piece of artwork away! Let's move in the opposite spirit.

 

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With all my love,

Sue

Susan Schiller knows how it feels to lose everything: marriage and family, church and reputation, finances and businesses, and more. Susan's upcoming, interactive memoir, "On the Way Home," tells the story of how she came to be known as "the most abused woman" her counselors had yet met and how she learned to navigate to freedom and fullness.  

Today Susan helps people write their life stories, unearthing the treasures of their past and sowing them into their future, creating new family legacies.

Copyright © 2010 to 2016 Team Family Online, All rights reserved.   For reprint permission or for any private or commercial use, in any form of media, please contact Susan Schiller

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Susan Schiller August 12, 2013 at 12:35 pm

There's a modern habit, these days, of blaming the victim. Spiritually, how it works is someone in ministry leadership will say, "You're wounded. You need to go get help." There is a measure of truth in their statement, but the motive behind it is to silence the victim, if she should question the events that happened to her or around her.

Dr. Stephen Crosby has a thought-provoking article called "You're Just Wounded" and he provides valuable insight into the "blaming the victim" scheme. He advises, at the end of his excellent article:

"The next time someone tries to dismiss you with the shibboleth of the hour: “you’re just wounded.” Take heart. You might be, and you might not be, and it has very little to do with the legitimacy of your differences and concerns. If every thought, concern, objection, or criticism you have, is dismissed with the wave of the magic-wand of “woundedness,” you need to rethink your associations. You may be in a cult, and if not a cult, you are in a very unhealthy spiritual relationship. For your sake, I beseech you in the mercies of the Lord, do not let other psychological and social pressures keep you in an environment and relationships that are detrimental to your spiritual well-being. Make a change, no matter what the cost."

AMEN!

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Susan Schiller August 11, 2013 at 10:07 pm

From Graham Cooke: “It is rejoicing and giving thanks that makes the inner man of your spirit rise up and come to the fore in your circumstances. It's not trying to think from within, it's just worshipping the God who is within you and knowing that as you worship, that anointing rises up within you and so do all the resources that come with it.”

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