9 Keys for When You Get Stabbed In the Back

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Have you ever felt someone’s knife in your back so deeply that you didn’t want to go on in life? I have. So what do you do when you get stabbed in the back? Let’s talk about it today–and about 9 keys that I believe will encourage you and help you heal and move forward.

First, let me say I feel for you if you’ve been stabbed in the back.

Being stabbed in the back is never easy; it’s always painful. And even though I’m offering you advice and encouragement in this article, I’m not doing so in a trite way.

Yes: If you’ve been stabbed in the back, or if you are currently having someone stab you in the back even on the day you’re reading this post, my heart and sympathies go out to you. And I’ve been there, done that. (Unfortunately.)

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    But here are a few keys to getting through the nightmare if you’re being stabbed in the back right now:

    Key 1: Recognize that we don’t wrestle against flesh and blood.

    Ephesians 6:12 tells us this:

    “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12 NKJV).

    What does that mean in your situation if you’re being stabbed in the back right now? Simply that the enemy which is knifing you, or trying to, is not the human you think is doing it. Instead, it’s actually the devil and his evil minions. The enemy, the devil, is simply using a vessel that had an open door to evil in their heart.

    It’s important to keep that straight. It’s not the person who’s your enemy; it’s the demonic force that is influencing them that is your real enemy. We do not wrestle against flesh and blood.


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    Key 2: Love and pray for your enemies.

    Jesus said:

    “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

    For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:43-48 NKJV).

    In this context, yes, the Bible is talking about our earthly definition of enemies–the people who mistreat us, curse us, hate us, spitefully use us, and persecute us. (The other definition from Key #1 wouldn’t make sense; it doesn’t do any good to pray for the devil or his demons, as they are already condemned to eternal hellfire.)

    So what should we do when someone stabs you in the back? According to this Scripture, you should love them, bless them, do good to them, and pray for them. This is how we become perfect, just as our Father in Heaven is perfect.

    Key 3: We must forgive from our heart.

    In Matthew 18:21-35, Jesus taught about how we must forgive those who hurt us, and forgive from our heart. If we do not, the Father will deliver us to the torturers until we do. Read my article here about What Is Unforgiveness Jail? and How To Get Out of It for more about that–and about why and how it works.

    So if someone is stabbing you in the back today–or even if they have done so in the past–you have to forgive them from your heart. Yes, you have to forgive fully and completely, and you really have to mean it. If you don’t, you’re disobeying God, which means you’re in sin. And that will take you downhill really fast. (Read here about 3 things that keep you from feeling God for more about THAT).

    Also, here’s a Sample Prayer for Forgiveness and Soul Healing that works every time if you need help forgiving someone from your heart.

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    In the Finding Deep Soul Healing 101 video class, Jamie teaches:

    • The basic foundation of inner healing;
    • Three open doors to the enemy, and how to close them;
    • What is unforgiveness jail, how it feels to be in it, and why you want to get out of it;
    • The faceted nature of hurts and wounds; and
    • How to follow the leading of Holy Spirit to receive inner healing.

    This packet also includes the sample prayer for forgiveness and soul healing that we recommend. 

    Key 4: Pray for heart change, that Jesus would not be grieved.

    When we sin against God, whether it’s you doing the sinning or the person who’s stabbing you in the back (for they are definitely sinning, but we each could also be in sin), it grieves God. It hurts Jesus. And Jesus has already suffered enough on our behalf, don’t you think?

    Therefore, one of the keys to praying for your enemies is to pray that God would change their heart and perspective so that Jesus would no longer be grieved by their actions. We have to pray for God’s Kingdom to come and His will to be done in every situation, so that His heart would not be hurt or grieved by anyone’s sinful actions against Him.

    Key 5: Confront the person who is sinning against you.

    In Matthew 18, Jesus said this:

    “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’ And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector” (Matthew 18:15-17 NKJV).

    Yes, if someone is sinning against you, you do have to just go to them already and follow a specific process:

    1. First, Scripturally, you are required to confront them about it, one on one, between you and them alone.
    2. If they won’t hear you and the situation doesn’t change, you have to confront them again–this time taking one or two more people with you to witness the confrontation.
    3. If they still won’t hear you (repenting and changing), you are to tell it to the church.
    4. And if that person still won’t hear even the group of people–the Body of Christ–then they are to be to you “like a heathen and a tax collector,” which were people the Jews didn’t talk to or associate with.

    I know this is hard to do. Nobody likes confrontation. But Jesus said you MUST do it. And again, if we’re going to be submitted to Jesus, we must obey Him.

    Jesus even said to go to a person if they have something against you (even if you didn’t actually do anything to them, but they imagined it in their head):

    “Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift” (Matthew 5:23-24 NKJV).

    So no matter who’s mad at whom, you’re supposed to go to them.

    When you confront your brother, the outcome you hope for is that they are cut to the heart by the fact that they hurt you, and they repent.

    During your one-on-one confrontation, there should be immediate, godly sorrow and repentance on the part of the person you are confronting. There should be a lot of apologizing and forgiving during that conversation, and that conversation should produce permanent change.

    However, if that doesn’t happen, you have to go to them again with one or two witnesses. Again, you hope for godly sorrow and repentance. (And the evidence of true repentance is always actual change in their behavior.) If that doesn’t happen, it’s time to tell it to the church, and so on.

    It’s really sad when people won’t repent, make things right, and change after the first time you confront them.

    But it happens–a lot. Nevertheless, you not accountable for the way they respond. You are only accountable for obeying Jesus in all His commands. God will have to take care of the other person and work in their heart.

    And that brings us to Key 6:

    Key 6: We must speak no evil of another person … even when they are hurting us really badly.

    “Speaking evil” doesn’t mean you ignore what they did. It doesn’t mean you don’t deal with or confront what they did. You have to admit what people have done in order to heal from it, or even to help other people heal from it. TRUTH is what makes people free. As Jesus said:

    “Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, ‘If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free’” (John 8:31-32 NKJV).

    Jesus wants truth in every area, for He IS Truth:

    “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me'” (John 14:6 NKJV).

    But you can speak the truth without passing judgment on the merit, heart, or worth of another human being. You can speak the truth about a situation, but you must do it with great care. Simply speaking the truth is NOT speaking evil of a person.

    But even when speaking the truth about facts or events that have happened–or about behaviors that have occurred–remember that you cannot judge a person’s heart or DNA because of it. You still have to honor all men for the fact that they are created in the image of God–and God loves that person as much as He loves you.

    Look at these powerful Scriptures that command us to speak no evil of any person:

    “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

    Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:29-32 NKJV).

    “Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking” (1 Peter 2:1 NKJV).

    “Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge” (James 4:11 NKJV).

    “… to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men” (Titus 3:2 NKJV).

    And here’s a real clincher:

    “Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing. For ‘He who would love life and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking deceit’” (1 Peter 3:8-10 NKJV).

    Whew! What a batch of Scriptures! If that doesn’t clean our collective clocks, I don’t know what will. 😉 God is really serious about this “do not slander” thing!

    Lord, help us. Help us all, and forgive us our sins for every way we have sinned against you by speaking evil of one another.

    And finally, here is Key 7 that you need to know if you’re getting stabbed in the back:

    Key 7: You are not responsible for the way people treat you.

    Let me say that again, in case you didn’t get that:

    You are not responsible for the way people treat you. You not responsible for the way people act, or for the sins or offenses in their life. You are only responsible for responding rightly.

    Friend, you cannot change people’s actions. You cannot cause or predict people’s actions. You are not responsible for other people’s sins. YOU are only responsible for obeying Jesus: for following His prescribed course of action in every case.

    When people do hurt you, YOU are only responsible for responding rightly.

    “Responding rightly,” of course, means going back through all these keys above and carrying them out:

    • We have to remember that we don’t wrestle against flesh and blood.
    • We have to “love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you …” and so on.
    • We have to forgive from our heart.
    • We have to pray that change would occur, that Jesus would no longer be grieved by our actions.
    • We have to confront the person who is sinning against us.
    • We must be careful NOT to slander or speak evil of another person.

    And then, we have to realize that only that person is responsible for their sin, and only GOD can dig it out of them.

    That’s one of Holy Spirit’s jobs.

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    If you have given your heart to Jesus Christ, then God the Holy Spirit lives inside you. And He will constantly convict each of us of our own sins. You can’t do that work; you are not “Holy Spirit, Junior.” Only HE can convict and bring people to repentance.

    So what should YOU do? Simply this:

    • YOU pay attention to your own walk, making sure YOU are humble, broken, and contrite before God for any sin in your life.
    • You walk with God to keep clean hands and a pure heart yourself.
    • YOU just live holy, knowing that it is before your own Master that you stand or fall.
    • And then, you leave the business of changing your enemies’ hearts to the Lord, with whom that business belongs.

    Friend, I know it hurts if you’re being stabbed in the back.

    On the morning I wrote this, I woke up at 1 AM to discover that I was being stabbed in the back–and not for the first time, either. It hurt really badly. So I got up to pray about it and let the Lord walk me processing the situation. (That is where this article came from!)

    But even though it hurts, the Lord can heal your heart. There is a process to go through, and there are pitfalls to be wary of. (See all the keys above!)

    But friend, you are not alone.

    Remember what happened to Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane:

    “Then they all forsook Him and fled” (Mark 14:50 NKJV).

    Jesus’ friends all abandoned them. These were friends that Jesus actually called friends. They were men with whom He had “done life” for years. They were people He loved; people He had called, poured into, and discipled.

    But they still all abandoned Him. Peter even denied outright that he even knew Jesus. That had to hurt.

    But you know what? Jesus forgave them.

    And Jesus continued on without them, fully performing the Father’s will for His life.

    That leads us to Key 8:

    Key 8: You have to go on and fulfill God’s purpose for your life.

    When you get stabbed in the back, sometimes the instant pain that comes with discovering that knife sticking out of you can be overwhelming. Sometimes that pain hurts so bad that you instantly remember all the other pains of your life, and it all piles up on you in a big pile–making you not even want to go on.

    But friend, that is the enemy (the devil and his minions) reminding you of all those past pains. They are not relevant to this situation, and I hope and pray God has healed them. (Read my Finding Deep Soul Healing 101 series below if you are still hurting from any of those past pains.)

    If God has healed those past pains, they shouldn’t hurt anymore. (If something still hurts, it’s because there’s a facet of the situation that you haven’t forgiven yet. Read here for more.)

    But friend, you’ve got to get up and go on:

    • Pray through to forgive;
    • Cast your burdens on the Lord, so He can and will sustain you; and
    • Get up, bless your enemies, and go through your day being determined to keep on fully performing God’s purpose for your life.

    Jesus didn’t let His backstabbing friends ruin the Father’s plan for His life. He simply loved His friends from afar while they distanced themselves from Him. And when they returned to Him, eventually being convicted by God’s Holy Spirit, He received them.

    Eventually, God convicted the disciples, saved them, and restored all the disciples back to Jesus, for He tends to be in the reconciling business:

    “When a man’s ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him” (Proverbs 16:7 NKJV).

    You have to be like Jesus. Even if it hurts, you have to go on.

    Don’t let the enemy remind you of every pain you’ve ever experienced in your life, piling it all up on top of you again, and making you so overwhelmed and discouraged that YOU get derailed from your destiny in Christ.

    As the apostle Paul taught us, by the inspiration of Holy Spirit:

    “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:12-14 NKJV).

    You have to leave what’s in the past (even if it happened a few minutes ago) in the past, and YOU have to go on.

    Key 9: Think no evil about that person.

    I know it might not feel possible, in the flesh, to think no evil about a person who hurt you. But your flesh is not alive. In Christ, the life you live is lived only by FAITH in the Son of God, who loves you and gave Himself for you. It is your spirit that is alive, and your spirit is made alive because God’s Spirit dwells in you:

    “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20 NKJV).

    So even though it may feel hard right now, you CAN believe the best of that person who stabbed you in the back. You can do it by the power of God’s Holy Spirit.

    And you must, if you want to be right with God.

    Why? Because “thinking no evil” is part of walking in LOVE.

    First Corinthians 13 says this:

    “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.

    Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Corinthians 13:1-7 NKJV).

    Love thinks no evil.

    Wow. Help us, Lord.

    I know the flesh wants to think, say, and do all kinds of things when you’re hurting. But, the flesh has no say. The flesh isn’t even alive, and you are now a slave to righteousness, not to sin:

    “Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness” (Romans 6:16-18 NKJV).

    So yes, you can do it–by the power of God’s Holy Spirit Who lives in you. You CAN think no evil, instead thinking only the best about that person. And if you do not, then you are not walking in the Spirit, and not obeying God.

    Ouch! Again … Help us, Lord Jesus!

    So have you been stabbed in the back, my friend?

    No matter who or what happened, we, like Jesus, must forgive. We must go on to fully perform God’s purpose for our lives. And we must trust the Lord that, if reconciliation is to happen, He will bring it about as we obey Him throughout the process.

    Getting stabbed in the back is never fun.

    But keep clean hands and a pure heart, and the Lord will work even this out for your good. As it says in Romans 8:28:

    “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28 NKJV).

    So friend, carry on! And know that God is going to work good from this for you.

    Did this message about what to do if you get stabbed in the back help you today? If so, leave a comment below!


    1. Tameeka Smith says:

      This was an on-time Word for sure!

    2. I am sorry that you have been stabbed in the back. It is so hurtful! Your article is scriptural and convicting. I found thinking the best has positioned me for further abuse. When trust is severely broken is reconciliation wisdom? Forgiveness is essential, with Holy Spirit I am working through your points. Thank you for all you do!

      1. Hey Nanette, great question. None of these things requires ongoing relationship. Hope this helps!

    3. Thank You Jamie,this came in time of my need,thank You,it is painful and it becomes a trauma if you have been around backstabbers from the younger age,when You reach my age you scared of everyone,thank You for this article,I needed it today right now,I thank God for being part of this community,Im learning and growing in this journey.God is healing me,I will be completely healed oneday Im sure of that.He never failes.

    4. Thank you Jamie,

      A great article Amen

    5. I have a situation.and it’s hard but in 2021 I got saved and my life changed.my family always hated me .since I’m no longer a people pleaser they really hate me even my children.my parental rights was terminated a smear campaign in the court ran on me.im angry I clearly see the Jezebel spirit all over this.not no one heard my side.not even my church I believe it was funny my heartache to everyone.all I want is rest to feel the love of God.ive repented renounced but that evil ugly satan has used family teachers so called people of even my own babies to try to to tear me down and gaslight me.im praying for healthy fellowship.

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