Are you a victim or a victor? Many people struggle with the victim mentality. How we think defines how we live. We can not control what happens to us, but we can exercise self-control in our thinking.
The victim mentality
The mind is considered the main and most important battleground. What we think of ourselves, God, others, life, and the world determines all our decisions and actions.
There are deep-rooted mindsets that are, however, contrary to God’s thoughts and views. As such they are counterproductive and destructive to us. They prevent us from following God and having progress, as well as from overcoming various problems, weaknesses, and dysfunctions. Perhaps the most destructive mindset is that of the victim or the so-called defensive thinking.
Key features of the victim mentality:
- Refusal to take responsibility in life. We usually tend to find justification for failures or problematic situations. So we look to place the blame on everyone else but not in ourselves. We accept ourselves as “a victim” of circumstances, of parents, of employers, of certain people, of the system, of society. It is true that other people and the surrounding world can injure us and abuse us. However, it is our responsibility to process the experience. This involves letting go and making love choices that reflect our true self and honor God. We are not responsible for what is happening to us, but we are responsible to love!
- Passivity or passive-aggressive behavior. We take the role of an observer of our own life, not of an active participant and initiator.
- Lack of boundaries or immature ones. We have blurry boundaries and spheres of managing our lives. We fail to recognize and respect other people’s boundaries.
More indicators for victim mentality:
- Seizing the functions and role of God. Most often this is through the adopting and practicing of condemnation, stigmatization, and criticism of others. Condemning and issuing judgments about their character and motives, thus expressing unbelief and denying God’s redemptive and transformational work both in others and in us. At the same time, naturally, we refuse to assume the responsibility of God to judge and test ourselves, our motives, our feelings, our thoughts, and exercise self-control.
- Inferiority complex. Our self-perception as a victim is inevitably supported by an improper and false image of ourselves, of our own insignificance, of the fact that we can not give anything of value to the world, that we are deprived of real influence and impact.
- Fear of life. This is an inevitable result and companion. The fear of life manifests itself in discouragement, lack of enthusiasm, feeling of being doomed, fatalism, procrastination, and others.
What is the overall result of this mindset, contrary to God?
In Isaiah, we read: “Now therefore, what shall I do here, says the LORD. Since my people consider themselves nothing? Those who rule them wail, declares the Lord, and all day long My name is continually blasphemed. ” (Isaiah 52:5)
These verses reveal the sorrowful picture of blocking God’s restoration work for those who considered themselves victims, oppression, and blasphemy of God’s name.
The way to break free
However, the same chapter suggests the way to overcome this mindset. God’s call is for straightening up those who lie down in the dust. He calls us to understand and live in accordance with our true image and identity in Christ. And this is the identity of victors and conquerors, even the Bible says “more than conquerors,” of those who overcome with God, of those who do not shake because they have an eternal foundation, created to take responsibility and rule in all spheres of life through God’s power and wisdom.
The key to the victor’s life is to know the name of God, to know that He is everything that He says He is, and that He speaks. Let us listen and believe in what He speaks and preaches. His message is peace, good, salvation, divine order, and government, and that He is in control and in charge. (Isaiah 52: 6-7) So when we join forces with Him, we can live the life for which we are created.
Let us renounce the role of the victim, let us see ourselves through God’s eyes, let us believe in His love, and let us devote ourselves to renewing our minds in the light of God’s Word and developing a victorious, life-assertive attitude and mindset.
In which areas of your life do you see yourself as a victim? Did you recognize some of the features of the victim mentality in you or in others? Come and share your thoughts in the comments!