Goodbye Victim Thinking
Webster’s Dictionary defines a VICTIM as…
a person who is deceived or cheated by his or her own emotions or ignorance, by the dishonesty of others, or by some impersonal agency.
Obviously nobody chooses to be a victim but what if our own thoughts and emotions are holding us captive? For the last couple of years I have been closely helping a friend deal with a series of issues in their life. Whether it be work, family, friendships, even physical health… it seemed my friend couldn’t “get a break.” It was one dramatic story after another. It didn’t take Captain Obvious to realize my friend was the common denominator in all these situations. As I looked carefully at each situation, I saw three common factors which led to my friend “stumbling” through life, always fighting to survive as the “victim”. (side note… this is a miserable way to live and there IS A BETTER WAY)
1 Corinthians 13:5 says
“Love is not easily irritated or quick to take offense.”
The Passion Translation
When we’re so caught up in being “right”, we get offended when someone disagrees with us. Offense reacts with statements like “I can’t believe…”, or “how dare they…” Offense is appalled that someone would do something or think differently than us and offense opens the door for our identity to feel threatened by disagreement. BUT LOVE says… My goal is to understand you, not to get you to agree with me. I can love you even if we don’t agree. Offense robs me of this opportunity and leaves me feeling abandoned because of disagreement, like a victim feels.
Victims cling to past hurts and this root of bitterness becomes powerfully magnetic for other offenses. Living in self-defense mode, victims rely on constantly finding someone or something to BLAME as their M.O. and therefore they always have an excuse as to why life is so hard. (government, weather, hormones, boss, parents, stupid people, taxes, anxiety, my past, unfairness, church, guns, laws, drugs, alcohol, etc. etc. etc.) BUT LOVE says… my peace of mind and freedom comes from WHO GOD IS, and He is unchanging. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. My peace is not contingent on external circumstances and because I am a powerful person, I can take responsibility for my emotions and my JOY is not tethered to the stock market, the weather, or the most current news story. What triggers can you identify that might lead to blame? Blame is the lifeblood of victims.
Fear is a liar. Fear is greedy for attention. At it’s root, fear is always rooted in the lie that God is not good and therefore can’t be trusted. Therefore, a spirit of fear manifests as CONTROL. The lie that I must control/ manipulate others because they are responsible for my happiness.