Payback: Handling Betrayal In Your Career

The entertainment industry can be a treacherous place to build your career. The stories of betrayal and backstabbing abound. Without describing details, I’ve found that no one is immune to it — even if you’re working among Christians. It’s a tough life and everyone feels like they’ve got to protect their back to “make it” in LA. 

You may not be part of that industry, but if you’re a woman in the workplace, you’re probably nodding your head and recounting the number of times you’ve been betrayed as well. It happens — even from the best, well-meaning people who naively get caught up in the drive to climb the ladder.

It may have been years ago or just last week when you were wronged, but the sting, the outrage of it burns in your soul. You’re still trying to recover from the consequences of their actions. 

A missed promotion, a bonus that should have come to you but didn’t, someone else taking the credit for your job well done…

So how do you handle betrayal? And how do you get rid of the anger and the injustice of it all?

Before you stop reading and think I’m going to say “just take it and move on” — hear me out.

For me, it starts with a deep inner search. A coming before God and letting him check my heart and my motives. Is any of this my fault? Did I handle something wrongly? Who is the real culprit here? 

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” (Psalm 139:24)

I start there. Then, depending on the situation, I re-read my contracts, re-examine the situation, talk to the boss and plead my case if necessary. There have been times when a contract has been breached and I seek the counsel of my entertainment lawyer.

Sometimes a situation can be resolved and worked towards a more fair outcome. Sometimes, there is really nothing you can do except learn from the situation and yes, move on. 

In those instances, you’ve got to have a firm grip on God’s word and his promise to you. Otherwise, betrayal will eat you alive. You’ll rehearse the incident or the conversation again and again and never move past it.

There is a payback — and it comes from God. I love the NLT version of Psalm 18:47 when David declared, “He is the God who pays back those who harm me.” 

David knew the sting of injustice. Fiercely loyal to King Saul, he knew what it felt like to be betrayed, as the king literally sought to destroy him out of unfounded jealousy.

Almost incredibly, David was able to maintain a purity of heart and great peace even in the midst of horrible injustice.

Can you? Can you find peace in betrayal? It begins with trust in the One who cares for your soul.

David trusted God to care for him, to watch over his life and his future when he declared:

“You hold me safe beyond the reach of my enemies; you save me from violent opponents. For this, O Lord, I will praise you among the nations; I will sing joyfully to your name.” (Psalm 18:48, 49 NLT).

David’s trust led to praise. His firm belief that God was for him and not against him led to joy. Your life is not at the mercy of your boss or that partner or co-worker. Your life is in God’s hands.

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