An article from my archives from the Sydney Morning Herald, journalist Daniel Flitton discussed Kevin Rudd's once close relationship with the Treasurer, Wayne Swan, which he wrote, has now disintegrated.
I raise this now in 2019 as late last year (2018) Kevin Rudd speaking at the ALP Federal Council having accepted his ALP Life Membership, spoke of letting go.
At that time in 2011 the article stated that Government sources said the two had barely spoken in the six months since Julia Gillard replaced Mr Rudd as Prime Minister and made Mr Swan her deputy. Mr Swan was Treasurer under Mr Rudd and helped devise the mining tax that many consider instrumental in his downfall - or at least calling it a ‘Super Tax’. .
One Labor source said when Mr Rudd was leader he and Mr Swan were like brothers-in-arms; they were both Queenslanders and had attended the same high school although not in the same year and evidently not friends at that time.
''Wayne was one of the few people who could change Kevin's mind,'' the source said. But the two have not spoken since the coup - ''not one word''.
Many have commented of a similar unhappy relationship between former Labor Prime Minister's Bob Hawke and his successor, Paul Keating who deposed him in a party-room coup. Paul Keating spoke of this at the late Bob Hawke’s funeral service.
There are similarly affected relationships within business, the corporate world, sport, the arts, entertainment, the media and within churches. It even happens in family disagreements. So the question remains, is it possible to be a friend after one of the parties considers they have been bitterly betrayed by a friend?
The contextualisation of the claim of a 'bitter betrayal' is the critical element, as it infers one party was in a key position and supported by that friend, only to find subsequently they had been undermined by that same friend. Often there is some surprise, as the friendship or business relationship seemed to be travelling along quite well.
The emotional toll, often including stress and anxiety, experienced by the one toppled is exaggerated when it is perceived that deliberate lies and half truths have been part of the coup.
Jesus knows better than anyone about bitter betrayal. One of his trusted friends for three years betrayed Him, leading to His to death. Jesus' response on the Cross is helpful to all people who have been betrayed. He said "Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing."
The answer to bitter betrayal is total forgiveness which encompasses and forgets the cause of the incident philosophically; otherwise bitterness can turn to resentment and can do that person great emotional harm. Matthew 18:21 details this scenario and tells this parable:
The reason the word 'philosophically' was added above, is that practical issues need to be considered. Take for example a business relationship that goes sour as a result of someone fiddling the books. Justice has to be served in the first instance which involves the courts and out of the hands of the partner deceived. The second issue is that the partner, who was unjustly financially harmed, should be wise enough not to enter into business with that person again. Read the Proverbs!
This sort of scenario applies equally across all situations. The law of the land engages in it (that has nothing to do with whether the other party forgives or not), and the second, is that Proverbs warns not to jump back into the fire. If you get your fingers burnt on the hot stove, you know not to put your fingers on there again.
Yet, the person can still offer total forgiveness. The two things are quite different, one functions at a corporate level, the other is a personal decision to let go of the baggage associated with the deceit, yet at the same time, there is corporate accountability and the subsequent lack of trust others will offer to the one/s who deceived.
The tag of being seen by others in that circle, as someone who is untrustworthy is indeed in most cases punishment enough .....
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children. Dr Tronson writes a daily article for Christian Today Australia (since 2008) and in November 2016 established Christian Today New Zealand. Dr Mark Tronson’s Press Service International in 2019 was awarded the Australasian Religious Press Association’s premier award, The Gutenberg.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at