“Get your act together”, my friend said.
I was appalled. Immediately a voice started rattling in my head, with a response I’d rehearsed one too many times.
What do you think I’ve been doing? Sitting in a pool of my own tears waiting for Prince Charming to save me from my misery? If I could have packed up my emotions in a nice little box and sent it off, I would have done so a long time ago. You just don’t understand how bad this has been for me.
Over the years, I have honed the intricate craft of playing the victim. I was always pointing fingers at everyone around me for everything that went wrong in my life.
Being a victim gives you the excuse to be helpless. You readily blame others for landing you in your current state. And if someone else is always to blame, you get to do whatever you want in response without having to take any responsibility for it.
My favourite activity: throwing myself a pity party. Who doesn’t love a good pity party?
WHAT’S YOUR VICTIM STORY?
Victimising myself became an excuse I would use whenever I wanted to avoid having to deal with uncomfortable situations. I became a victim every time I faced something unpleasant. You know how the Bible teaches us to flee from temptation? I decided it meant fleeing from anything I did not like.
Unfortunately, no one can stay a victim forever. Even with my victim mentality, I could tell that my friends were getting tired of my sob stories. “Get your act together” popped up constantly during our conversations. I knew they were trying to tell me to just move on.
You see, if you’re happy with being a victim, you will not move on, heal or make progress. Yes, maybe someone truly did you wrong. But if you hold onto the hurt and indignation forever, you’re simply left running in circles.
Remaining the same reflects a lack of development and transformation. There is no glory to God in a story without an arc.
It took me awhile to finally get tired of being the victim all the time. In my victim mentality, no matter how much God tried to reach out and call me to freedom, I refused Him. I did not reach for His hand, even when it was right in front of me.
Perhaps I didn’t think God could redeem the unfortunate experiences I had faced. Perhaps I enjoyed feeling sorry for myself.
We make prayers for God to help us to overcome our sins and challenges in our life. We ask for strength and wisdom. But are we praying with an attitude that nothing will really change, that we will still be the victim at the end of the day?
FROM VICTIM TO VICTOR
Here’s the hard but precious truth: Because of the victory Christ won for us on the Cross, no one who bears His name is a victim. Not even those who face the worst persecution for the faith. We are the head and not the tail (Deuteronomy 28:13).
Christ has won the ultimate victory (1 Corinthians 15:57). In Him, we are always victorious.
This is the place we pray from. The place we react from. The place we live from.
The next time you find yourself in a spiral of helplessness or feeling wronged, be ever so careful that it does not hold you back from looking to God. It is in our move from victim to victor that incredible breakthrough happens.