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What If a Longtime Friend Deceives You?

By Charles R. Swindoll

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2 Kings 5:5, 10–16, 20–27

Few things sting worse than the realization that someone we trust has deliberately deceived us.

At first, ­we find it almost too much to believe. It makes no difference who the deceiver is. It could be a trusted partner in business or a loyal individual we’ve known most of our lives. Perhaps it’s the one we married, who promised to be faithful “’til death do us part,” or someone we admired and respected, such as a coach, teacher, pastor, or mentor. When we discover that person has deceitfully done something or said something damaging behind our backs, it’s shocking and heartbreaking. David referred to this anguishing experience: “Even my best friend, the one I trusted completely, the one who shared my food, has turned against me” (Psalm 41:9).

In this message, we will meet a man in Scripture on the opposite end of that equation, a man whom you’ve probably never met. Though unknown to most today, Gehazi was once a longtime, trusted servant of the prophet Elisha. For however long Gehazi served his master, he had apparently been both loyal and diligent. One tragic day all that changed . . . the day he replaced his diligence with deceit.

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