One of the hazards of love is that intimacy brings vulnerability. However, love cannot bloom without exposure because there’s no trust. Without trust, a relationship will wilt and die. Thus, those we love have the greatest power to hurt us, and the irony is that we give them the ability to injure us when we trust them. In Psalm 55, David writes about this sort of pain.

If an enemy were insulting me, I could endure it; if a foe were rising against me, I could hide. But it is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend, with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship at the house of God, as we walked about among the worshipers.

Psalm 55:12-14 (NIV)

Yet, in these verses, David isn’t just talking about a friend who hurt his feelings. David is talking about a brother in the Lord. For us, that would be another Christian.

Before I was saved, I thought I knew the pain and loss of a broken relationship. However, it wasn’t until I was saved and ran into it within the church that I realized the terrible nature of church hurt.

Worshipping the Lord with others is an amazingly intimate experience. Indeed, sharing our testimonies and lives with other Believers brings us closer together. In many ways, I have two families. There’s my biological family. My parents and my siblings. Then, there’s my church family. Although my biological family watched me grow up, I get to “grow up” in Christ with my church family.

I don’t know about you, but I am more vulnerable amongst my church family than my biological family. I suppose I trust my church family more because they know Jesus. Therefore, that incredible trust allows me to be vulnerable, and within that vulnerability, I can be blindsided.

While reading the Gospel of Luke today, I’m at the part where Judas betrays Jesus.

While he was still speaking a crowd came up, and the man who was called Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him, but Jesus asked him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”

Luke 22:47-48 (NIV)

Although we can be surprised when we are betrayed, Jesus was not. However, Jesus’s question to Judas is telling because it strikes at the heart of what I’ve been talking about. The vulnerability of love.

In Jesus’ time, one might give someone a “holy kiss” out of respect and love. Paul refers to the “holy kiss” four times (Romans 16:16, 1 Corinthians 16:20, 2 Corinthians 13:12, 1 Thessalonians 5:26). Peter refers to a “kiss of love” (1 Peter 5:14). Jesus points out how he wasn’t given a kiss upon entering a Pharisee’s house (Luke 7:45).

Thus, when Judas chose to use this kiss as a sign to the soldiers with him about who to arrest, it wasn’t just a personal betrayal but a cultural betrayal as well since he misused this symbol of love and respect. Hence, Jesus’ question, “are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”

Judas could have picked any number of other ways to single out Jesus. However, Judas selected the most intimate and loving expression and turned it into something dastardly.

While we are called to love one another and, indeed, it is by our love for one another that we are identified as Jesus’ disciples, we must be discerning. I said that I think I trust my church family more because they know Jesus. However, we must remember that just because someone is a Christian, they are still human. They are just as imperfect as we are. Therefore, we must be careful not to put anyone on a pedestal because they are a Christian because the only one we can trust to never leave or forsake us is Jesus.

Do you know God? God knows you, and he loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, and he wants you to know him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, freed from death, and live eternally with him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation:

Lord Jesus, forgive me for all my sins. I repent from my ways. Wash me in your blood and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I believe that you died on the cross, were buried, and on the third day, God the Father raised you from the dead. Right now, Lord Jesus, I open the door to my heart and receive you into my heart as my Lord and personal Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment, and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.