No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. – Romans 8:37 NLT
A humorous story is told of Thomas Edison when he was 67 years old. On December 10, 1914, a devastating fire consumed half of the aged inventor’s plant destroying much of his life’s work. When his son Charles rushed to his side, he quietly leaned over to his son and in a calm voice said, “Go get your mother and all her friends. They’ll never see a fire like this again.” Over the objections of his son, he added, “It’s all right. We’ve just got rid of a lot of rubbish.”
As Christians, our attitude needs to be like Edison’s who looked on the positive side of a tragic event. Regardless of our circumstances, we know God is working all things for our good (Romans 8:28) and we need to reject having a victim mentality. The person who has a victim mentality ultimately believes that the world, others, and even God are against them, and the results of placing value on this mindset are:
1. It can turn you against God and cause a delay in the blessings He has for you.
2. It causes you to blame others rather than face the reality of any given situation. It may be that in order for you to grow past this unhealthy cycle recurring in your life, you might have to look internally to see if you have been the cause of any of these problems.
3. You can miss the lessons God wants you to learn through the challenges you face.
Jesus warned that here on earth you are going to have many trials and sorrows. However, He added “But take heart because I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NLT) The implication of His words is since He overcame the temptations of this world through His great power, you can also overcome the difficulties you face by relying on His strength in your life. Here are some strategies to help you reject a victim mentality and instead experience overwhelming victory through Christ who loves you.
Instead of asking “why” something happens in your life think about what God wants you to learn from the situation. (Philippians 4:11-13 NLT)
Rather than seeing difficult circumstances as God punishing you, realize challenging times may be God’s way of intentionally shepherding you and growing you to spiritual maturity. (James 1:2-3 NLT)
Own your part of the problem and focus on what you can control, not what you can’t. (James 1:14 NLT)
Don’t look at life as stacked against you, or you will never get beyond the difficulties, but instead believe God can change your situation. (Jeremiah 32:17 NLT)
Even though your friends may offer advice, it’s important to evaluate their suggestions. Are their words helpful or an unbiblical hindrance to you? Do they support the truth found in the Bible? Always make sure to test the advice of others to the ultimate advice of God’s very own Word. (Job 42:7)
Spend more time praying and seeking solutions from God rather than complaining about your situation. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
Keep your problems in perspective. When David looked at Goliath, he didn’t see him as too big to hit, but as too big to miss. Remember that God is always with you in the battles you face. (Samuel 17:37, 45-46 NLT)
At some point in your life, you are going to face difficult, unexpected circumstances. You can choose the way you respond to these situations. You can either focus on the circumstances and fall into a victim mindset, or you can trust that God is going to help you overcome them. By God’s grace, you are an overcomer, not a victim, as you face the trials of life.
1. Reflect on the following questions to see if you suffer from a victim mentality:
Do I spend more time complaining or praying about my circumstances? Am I wondering “why” I’m going through my current situation or am I seeking to learn the lesson God is teaching me? Do I ask myself how much this situation did I create or am I seeking to blame others or God for my circumstances?
2. Maybe you have a friend who is struggling with a victim mentality, how can you best serve them in this time in their life? (Colossians 1:9, Colossians 4:6)