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Kevin Miller of Wheaton, Illinois wrote the following:

Right after I finished 6th grade, my family moved to a new town. As I started junior high that fall, I suddenly found myself in a school I didn’t know, in a town I didn’t know, with people I didn’t know. I felt very alone. Nobody knew me, and nobody wanted to talk to me.

Then one day, a kid named Earl invited me to his house after school. I jumped at it. Soon Earl and I started to become good friends.

After a couple of months of sizing up my 7th grade classroom, I made an important realization. The kids who seemed to be the most popular, the kids who were really good at sports, the kids who had the best clothes, the kids whom the girls whispered and blushed over--were not Earl. They were two guys, Mike and Justin. So when Mike and Justin finally invited me over to their house, I was exhilarated!!! This was my ticket to the big time.

But I had one problem. Wherever Mike and Justin were, Earl was not; and wherever Earl was, Mike and Justin were not. And if I was going to hang out with Mike and Justin, I could not be seen with Earl. So I made a decision. I became friends with Mike and Justin and when Earl called me, I kept putting him off.

All those years since that time, there’s still shame around that betrayal, because the truth is, I betrayed Earl. I handed him another rejection in his life, when he’d probably had so many. But I wanted something: I wanted that "in," I wanted that popularity. If I had to hurt him, I would do it.

That is the essence of betrayal: I am willing to hurt you to get something for myself.

(From a sermon by Kenneth Sauer, Not Good Enough? 5/29/2012)

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