Three Types of People
There are 3 types of people: Villains, Victims, and Victors. Villains abuse others, victims were abused, and victors overcome their abuse. This article is about overcoming a victim mentality if you have fallen into one. God gives you a way to change from a victim to a victor.
A victor doesn’t mean someone has not victimized them. A victor is one who has learned to move forward with God’s help. We can’t alter our past, but a victor has learned to change the direction they are going. The key is to change how we respond to what happened to us.
What is a Victim Mentality
While there is no formal psychological definition of a victim mentality, here is a useful working definition. You will see your entire life through a perspective that things constantly happen ‘to’ you. This is opposite of you happening ‘to’ your circumstances. The circumstances affect a victim more than you affect the circumstances. Here are some other characteristics.
- When you think that the future only holds bad things.
- You don’t think you can influence your world.
- You are at the mercy of others and circumstances.
- Seeing life as negative and beyond your control.
- You believe your life is the fault of other people.
A victim mentality keeps you from taking responsibility for your life. By believing you have no power over your life, then you don’t take action to change it. This is what the devil wants you to believe so that you will not advance the kingdom of God. While others affect your life, we are still responsible for our response to them.
Being a Victim vs. Victim Mentality
Before we go any further, let’s make a crucial distinction: there are innocent victims. We often suffer because of another person’s sin. We do not deny this.
God condemns oppressing people throughout Scripture. Jesus is an example of oppression when he was crucified. But a victim does not have to adopt a victim mentality. We should affirm the reality of people’s suffering, but we do them a disservice if we promote in them a victim mentality.
Challenge How You Think
Changing how you think is an important part of being a Christian. Many scriptures challenge us to look into our thinking. You can overcome a victim mentality by walking with Holy Spirit applying the Word of God.
1 Corinthians 2:16 tells us “But we have the mind of Christ.”
Romans 12:2 “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
We cannot go on thinking the same old thoughts. We are to change our mind!
5 Ways to Move from Victim to Victor
Everything we do is a partnership with God. We can change some on our own, but full changes come when we include Holy Spirit. So pray for insight and help as you think about the following 5 things.
1. Take Responsibility
Genesis 8:3-13 (GW) shows man’s tendency to blame others. Here is Adam and Eve’s response after they sinned and from the forbidden tree. “In the cool of the evening, the man and his wife heard the LORD God walking around in the garden. So they hid from the LORD God among the trees in the garden. The LORD God called to the man and asked him, “Where are you?” He answered, “I heard you in the garden. I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.” God asked, “Who told you that you were naked? Did you eat fruit from the tree I commanded you not to eat from?” The man answered, “That woman, the one you gave me, gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” Then the LORD God asked the woman, “What have you done?” “The snake deceived me, and I ate,” the woman answered.”
Don’t be like Adam and Eve. Adam blamed Eve, and Eve blamed the snake. First step is to stop the blame. They chose to do what they did. They were not forced to do it. You’re the only person who can control your actions and change your outcome. Start by saying, “here I am God”. Don’t run and hide. Leave the trees you are hiding in and come into the light. Once you let go of blaming others for how you feel, you can move forward. Take back control of your life by taking responsibility for your reaction to what happened.
Life is about risk taking. When you think like a victim, you don’t take action. You don’t want to risk rejection or failure. But you must assume responsibility for the steps you take in your life. Taking responsibility is a fundamental principle of the Bible. Do not be held hostage by your circumstances by assuming you can’t change direction. Jesus will give you the wisdom, resources, and courage to show you a path forward if you ask him.
2. Move Out of Your Comfort Zone
People are creatures of habit. It’s easy to get into a routine and stop considering new options and choices. This is one way that your victim mentality can keep you in an endless loop. Take opportunities to try new things, meet new people, and move out of your comfort zone. Experiencing changes will help you see how much control you have over your life.
You need to resist fear. You can trust that God will take care of you. That trust will catapult you ahead. You are fighting not just for you, but for the future of your entire bloodline. It will affect your children and grandchildren, too.
God will bring adventures and assignments to expand your life. You can trust God to do right by you. But you have to change your mind to get in a different position to receive.
3. Change Associations
When I say associations, I am talking about who you hang out with. Associations are powerful. You get a deposit of the dominant attitude and behavior of those you around you. The friends you hang out with are your future.
How would you answer these three questions about your friendships: Who am I around? What are they doing to me? And is that okay?
In your life, there are three types of associations you need to evaluate. First, who do you need to stop associating with. Second, who do you need to limit exposure too. Third, who do you need to associate with more. Ask Holy Spirit to help you evaluate your friendships and then change as needed.
God will bring you a new family. People that will help you, sharpen you, and be a good friend.
4. Be Thankful
When you have a victim mentality, you are constantly thinking about how bad things are. To leave this mentality, focus on things you are grateful for. Be grateful for what you have in life and see your mentality change (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
Complaining distorts our view of reality. A victim mentality sees things through a negative lens. We magnify the bad things that happen to us, and attribute them to people and forces outside of our control. We lose our perspective on reality. It keeps us from believing that God can change our circumstance (Philippians 2:14).
5. Give Forgiveness
The ability to forgive someone for wrongdoing does not come easily. However, when you forgive someone, you let go of the anger and sadness you feel regarding a situation. This opens up a place inside you to let more good in (Hebrews 12:12-15).
When you don’t forgive someone, you become emotionally linked to that person. Your thoughts will return to the person who wronged you, and you review what they did repeatedly. When you forgive, it breaks the emotional link and allows yourself to move into a new future.
In life, you face pain. Opportunities for hurts and offenses come. You are going to be disappointed and let down. And sometimes it is more than just a disappointment, it can be a deep hurt. But God has given us the power to heal hurts. But it starts with forgiving those who have hurt us. Ask God now to help you forgive.