As I look back over my life, there have been several adverse situations that I have come through. I won’t name them, as the specifics are irrelevant here. What is important is the fact that we ALL experience adverse situations. In life we may not be able to control all of the things that happen to us, but we can control how we respond and that’s what I would like to talk about today. Choosing victory over victimization.
Now, I am going to be honest with you, making the choice to be victorious isn’t as easy as it sounds, but the process to victory starts with making that difficult choice. When bad things happen to good people, it is easy to succumb to the feelings of guilt, shame and despair that often surround negative experiences, but in order to experience a victory, you got to fight. No one wins anything for just showing up. Talk to a recovering addict, each day is a battle, filled with tests having the potential for failure or success, and each successful test becomes a testimony. It is this collection of testimonies that facilitate the transition from victim to victor. I like to think of the relationship as being the opposite sides of a coin. Let me explain, if we liken being a victim to the tail side of the coin, and give victory to the head side, it demonstrates how simple moving from one status to the other can be.
We can flip a coin and either based upon the random flipping of the coin can decide our fate. But, what is amazing is that we can choose to be one or the other ourselves, we don’t have to allow fate to decide for us. As mentioned earlier, we may not have total control over what happens to us, but we do have control in how we respond. For example, when a person chooses to be a victim, they are generally responding to the situation with their feelings and emotions. To be exact, we begin acting on how this current trial, tribulation or test makes us feel. And since our response is based on our feelings, we fail (feel + tail). We need to understand that every life is going to be subjected to tests/trials. These obstacles are not placed in our lives to make us stumble, they are there to make us stronger.
Think about the American Dream and the role it plays in our pursuit of happiness and then look at a baby. Obviously, you don’t need strength to be happy, but in order to live a glorious, abundant life, strength is a necessity and you don’t gain strength by being happy, you gain strength by dealing with the unhappy. The tests, the trials, the tribulations, the obstacles that we learn to overcome, the perseverance that we acquire over time is what makes us strong. What am I saying, in order to have an abundant life, you need both joy and pain. Our strength comes from the painful times, and happiness is simply our season of rest. So while we are pursuing happiness, trouble is pursuing us.
Now that we understand the cycle a little better, I can share with you how being victorious truly is our choice. If we accept the coin analogy, we see victory as the head, which is awesome because becoming and staying victorious is a mindset shift and where is the mind located? In the head. In order to be victorious, we need to use our cognitive skills, skills such as planning, problem-solving, wisdom and creativity.
Victors look at problems as something to be solved, victims look at problems as something to fail. Victors rise to the occasion and prepare for battle, victims see the fight and accept defeat. Victors look to their strengths to get them through (grace, mercy, faith, hope, etc.), victims look to their weaknesses (fear, doubt, despair).
How do you know if you are one or the other? Probably, not the right question, a better question is how do I get from one to the other? It is simple, most often we become victims because we accept lies because we don’t know the truth. So, today, I will leave you with a few simple truths.
Victim (Lies): It seems like I can’t do anything. Victor (Truth): I Can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me.
Victim: I don’t have any friends. Victor: Jesus is a friend to the friendless. Jesus is the friend that sticks closer than any brother.
Victim: Nobody loves me. Victor: For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him would be saved.
Victim: Everyone/everything seems to be against me. Victor: If God be for you, who can stand against you?
Victim: Nothing ever works for me. Victor: ALL things work together for the good of those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose.
Victim: People are always making plans against me. Victor: No weapon formed against me shall prosper.
Victim: I never finish anything. Victor: He, who has begun a good work in you, will see it to the end.
Victim: I don’t have what I need (money, talent, etc.). Victor: My God shall supply ALL your needs according to His riches in glory.
Victim: I am all alone. Victor: You are never alone. God said that He would never leave you nor forsake you.
Victim: I don’t know what to do. Victor: Trust in the Lord with your whole heart, acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.
If you are ready to stop believing the lies the enemy tells you to keep you as his victim, today the choice is yours. You can break free from the mindset that enslaves you. I invite you to latch on to the few truths that were listed in this article or even better, begin to study God’s Word for yourself and let Him speak His truths to you. He is waiting for you and that is the Truth.