VICTIM OR VICTOR?
Ever get a daily word of encouragement and as you casually scroll through it – wham!!! Something hits you in your spirit and just shakes up your whole day? Well that’s what happened to me last week. This was the line in the message that stopped me in my tracks…You have to get rid of the victim mentality and start having a victor mentality.I stopped and read it again – You have to get rid of the victim mentality and start having a victor mentality.Simple words, yet so profound that I found myself pondering over them for the next few days. Now, I have never considered myself a victim, but I have never really considered myself to be a victor either. I mean, I know that I have the victory in Christ, but I do not carry myself as a victor every day. I face daily struggles. It seems that there is always a challenge I am trying to overcome, a mountain I am trying to climb or an issue that I am grappling with. And just as we get over one issue, another raises its head. And that is simply life.
But as I thought about the victim / victor mentality, I realized that so often we see life as happening TO us. We position ourselves to deal with events as they happen. Now this might sound like a good thing. We are prepared for anything. We can make a plan and fix any problem. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that much of this thinking is actually passivity. It is easier to let life happen, than to get hold of God, understand His purpose and mold our life to accomplish that purpose. We do not plan to succeed in God’s purposes, we prepare to handle what life throws at us. We think more like victims, and less like victors.
Life happens TO victims. They are always facing one problem after another. Just when they think all will go well, the bottom falls out and another ‘unthinkable’ thing has happened to them. Victims never seem to step into purpose and destiny, because they are too busy dealing with issues that constantly rear their heads.They go from crisis to crisis – never seeming to get their head above water. And it is never their fault. This is one of the characteristics of the victim mentality. The situation they face is always someone else’s fault. Their parents, the teacher, the financial state of the country, even the weather. They cannot take responsibility for their decisions or admit that their own actions are responsible for their situation.
In my book, Metanoia, I describe some of the other characteristics of a victim mentality:
Victims always justify their behavior or lack – If they do not have something – “God does not have that for me, it is not part of my destiny. God does not want me to be wealthy.” If you confront them or suggest ways of improving something - I cannot change the way I do things, it is more difficult for me. My life is not as easy as yours.
Victims always complain –When you talk with them, they always focus on what they do not have. Victims focus on the negative. And remember, what you focus on, expands. That is why victims always have ‘bad’ things happening to them. They attract them by their negativity.
Victims embrace helplessness and hopelessness – they cannot accept help because it will require change from them. “The mess I’m in isn’t my fault, so I’m powerless to change it. I’ll just sit here and wait on God to tell me what to do.” Or “I have tried all that before, nothing works. My problem is my greater/ more complicated / deeper than anyone else.”
A victim mentality causes us to feel powerless in every situation and so we BECOME powerless in every situation. Including our own life. This victim thinking constantly reinforces our powerlessness and passivity. And what makes this worse is that we, as Christians, often use God to hide behind. We make Him the reason for our passivity. Too often, we buy into the lie that God’s destiny for us will just happen. Our job is to wait and endure persecution, hoping and praying for the day of breakthrough. This is the thinking of a passive, powerless victim, not a victor. Just because God wrote our destiny in a book does not mean that it is His responsibility to make it happen. God did write a book about you and it has a destiny, a hope and a future for you. (Yes, I am quoting Jeremiah 29:11). These words were written to the Israelites when they were in bondage. God was assuring them that He had a future for them that was good. Likewise, many of us are in bondage. Shackled by poverty, unbelief, addiction or abuse. God is also saying to us that He has a hope and a future for us. But read on after verse 11 – there is some work we need to do in order to lay hold of this destiny!
Then you will call upon Meand go and pray to Me,and I will listen to you. And you will seek Meand find Me, when you search for Mewith all your heart.Jeremiah 29:12 - 13The challenge was that they had to seek Him out in order to get out of their bondage and lay hold of those plans. They were going to need to seek out the plan that God had for them. They could not simply wait for God to unveil it. This meant actively going after God and seeking out His plan. This is what we too, are called to do. We must put energy and time into actively seeking out what God has for us. We must OVERCOME every insecurity and fear in us that would hold us back from the life He has written for us. We need to stop and face those things that scare us. Face those issues that intimidate us. Stop making excuses for our lack of progress, stop blaming the world for our situation and basically GET RID OF THE VICTIM MENTALITY AND START HAVING A VICTOR MENTALITY!
Victors understand that challenges and obstacles are the tools that shape them into the image of God, so they embrace them and the process they precipitate. Victors recognize their own shortcomings and are not afraid to deal with them. Victors know that they cannot overcome their fears without facing them. Victors understand that God has given them victory, but know it is their job to GET the victory. Victors plan. They plan to succeed. They plan to take territory every day. They plan how to walk into the future that God has promised. So I ask you today, are you a victim or a victor?