Posted by: Cherrie Herrin-Michehl, MA, LMHC | April 6, 2011

What to Do when a Friend Betrays You: Advice from Job


During one frame of my life movie, a friend betrayed me. I called out to God for wisdom and peace several times a day. Even so, my hear bled.

This coincided with reading through the Bible for the twelfth time, or so.

The part where Job lost everything – his entire family (except his naggy wife ;)  – awestruck me. In response to Job’s losing all, he fell to the ground and worshiped God. I felt myself stop breathing for a few seconds when I read this.  Goosebumps appeared on my arms.

One day I noticed how badly his friends treated him.  They believed he caused his own suffering, when in fact Satan had asked the Lord if he could test Job.  Satan told the Lord that if his blessings were stripped away,  Job  would curse God to his face.

A while later, God told Job to pray for the friends who betrayed him.  No way, I thought!  The first time I read the passage, I almost spilled my coffee.

Nevertheless, Job obeyed and prayed for the three friends. Obedience to the core.

Soon after, God heaped blessings on Job. A life-shattering tragedy grew into a garden of beauty.

I immediately decided to pray for my friend who betrayed me.  I didn’t pray that God would show her the wrong she committed against me. I asked the Lord to bless her with everything she needed. At first, I admit, I  drug my feet on this. You’ ve got to be kidding! I told myself. So.Unfair.


The next day I went on a walk with another friend,Claudia.  Suddenly she turned and said, “Hey, I noticed the other day that Job prayed for his friends that did him wrong, and later God blessed him.”  I stopped on the sidewalk, stunned. I hadn’t shared my story with her.

“I’m not saying if we pray for people who did us wrong, God will bless us materially.  I’m just saying we are called to pray for those who persecute us,” Claudia explained.  I completely agreed with her.

I continued to pray for the friend who betrayed me, and eventually all my resentment toward her melted away.  My heart softened to the pain in her life movie, and I gradually grasped her soul-wrenching story. We lived our separate movies peacefully, but my heart filled to the brim with joy. The tears in her story rained on my life voyage.

I thanked God for the valuable lesson he taught me through the book of Job, and make it a practice to pray for people who harm me. Eventually, a fountain of peace wells up within me. God replaces my resentment with contentment, and for that I am eternally grateful.~



  1. Good thoughts and good Bible principle. Thanks for sharing.

  2. […] Job’s “friends” told him that he had deserved it. Yet God had said, “There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” (Job 1:8) See the post, When friends do you wrong.… […]

  3. Great, intellegent, and sesnitive writing…Loved the lessions of Job and understand about beauty in brokeness.

    • Thank you, Cindy. It’s so hard to remember in the midst of crisis, but it helps me to remember that God has my back – even when it doesn’t feel like it.

  4. My husband and I have gone through this several painful times with people in ministries/leadership roles that we trusted. I don’t remember who sang the song, but we were always ministered to by a song about forgiving 70 times 7. We also learned that sometimes people won’t repent, but that’s not our problem, that’s the Lord’s. He’ll deal with those people in a manner more tender, wise, and loving than we ever could, anyway.

    • Very true, Mindy. We can only focus on keeping our side of the street clean, so to speak. The sting burns deeper in ministry situations, that’s for sure. I’m sorry you have experienced this several times.

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