Lately, I have been hearing about a rise in something called the “victim mindset” or the victim spirit. If you have read my blog site or my first book then you know of my battles with such a thing. Oddly enough, there is a time when I’d not thought I suffered from it.
Truth is, I did suffer from a victim’s mentality and I did not know it. Twenty years ago, I went to First Institutional Baptist Church. It’s a good church that is located in downtown Phoenix, AZ. From what I’ve seen Pastor Warren Stewart is still leading the flock. Warren is a good man, who is definitely filled with solid insight.
If Warren had told me that I was suffering from a victim’s mindset then I’d have given a funny look. How can I have a victim’s mindset? I don’t feel sorry for myself or walk around in self-pity? Guess what? I did have one. There is more to the victim’s mentality than you feeling sorry for yourself.
How so? For one, I suffered from rejection and self-rejection. Though I had some successes in my life; I found myself gravitating towards recipes for failure and frustration. Truth is, my sense of rejection is based on perceived reality; as opposed to what is actually happening.
Am I confusing you? I have a strong independent spirit or mindset and I was determined to press forward; in spite of any obstacles. At the same time, I would unconsciously set myself up for failure and rejection. Do you see the treadmill that I ran upon? It’s why I had trouble recognizing my successes and appreciating it.
This morning, I did some research on recognizing the “Victim’s Spirit” and I found this interesting ebook called “Overcoming The Victim Spirit” and it’s written by Arthur Burk of Plumbline Ministries. I have found similar insights from “Coming Home Counseling” and a few others from a search on recognizing the victim spirit.
A victim’s mentality was definitely working on my heart. You don’t have to feel sorry for yourself and suffer from this thing. A victim mentality can easily incorporate anger in the form of frustration and futility. I think that the owner of “Coming Home Counseling did a nice job of describing what happened to me.
Today, I am not quite the prisoner of a victim spirit. I’ve gone through quite a bit of healing. It all started with a simple recognition. I had a problem and the victim spirit had to go. Though I did not initially recognize my victim’s mentality; I could easily acknowledge the depression and the anxiety plaguing me.
As a follower of Jesus, I already accepted the free gift of salvation and I am grateful for the open door that Jesus gave me, through prayer. However, I still felt like a prisoner in my mindset.
Thankfully, I was introduced to the teachings of Dr. Charles Stanley and Joyce Meyers. I may not have cared for all of Joyce’s teachings; however, I am thankful for the help. It did not stop there. The Holy Spirit soon lead me, to a book by James Allen. It’s called “As A Man Thinketh”. Here is a link to James Allen 21 Books Complete Premium Collection for $15.95.
In this book, James makes a startling point. You are responsible for your circumstances. James is a liberal Christian philosopher and he surprised me. The author is not saying that I’m responsible for being born with physical disabilities. However, he is saying that I’m responsible for my responses to my situation. He is right. I needed to take responsibility for my own thoughts and my circumstances.
This step is just a starting point. I also needed to confront the lies that held my heart in prison. For a short time, I visited a church called “The Door: Christian Fellowship Church” and it is still pastored by Mark Aulson. Mark kindly pointed to my need to be in a church community that would nourish me and I nourish others. Mark is still so right.
Mark’s admonition would prove to be a key to getting rid of the victim spirit and undoing the lies plaguing my mindset. There is one catch. I needed to let people inside and share. This leads to an important point. I needed to be in the right type of community of believers.
In my case, I needed to stay away from the practitioners of the “Blame Game.” The Blame Game would only serve to strengthen the victim spirit. This insidious game is nothing more than a witchhunt for a hidden sin that no one knows about. In my case, I somehow sinned and it resulted in my birth defects.
I was in such a church environment and I knew what Mark did not mean. Interestingly enough, The Door provided the needed template to guide me, to my future home church. They were a warm and friendly community of brothers and sisters in Christ. Though we had different views, they were very accepting of me. I have been truly blessed by them. I received a similar welcome at my home church of Shore Vineyard.
Here is an important tip for helping someone overcome their victim’s mindset. They can’t do it, alone. Though it can be frustrating; they need you. You need to keep encourage the person with the Word of Truth.
Be persistent and don’t grow weary and put away the wishful thinking of a magic wand solution. I needed my friends to help me, with overcoming my own victim’s mentality. It wasn’t easy and they didn’t see the progress; however, I could see it.
Sometimes, you will need to confront the person. I would strongly suggest that you ask the Holy Spirit for wisdom on the situation. You need to use the right tool for the right job. This instruction includes the use of Scripture. There is a time for the use of gentle woman’s hammer. There is a time for the use of a heavy hammer to whack some sense.
For my part, I needed to be open to what my friends are saying. To do so, I needed God’s grace on these conversations. One friend thought I was a Mr. Magoo. It’s because I didn’t line up with his thinking. Yet, my Father used him to help me. I can say the same thing for some others.
It is truly God’s grace that gave victory over the victim spirit. I hope you caught the part about a willingness to debunk the lies feeding the victim’s mindset. It is true that I can’t change the reality of my physical disabilities. However, I can do something to change my situation.
For instance, I got training to improve my writing skills and I needed to embrace the prophetic dreams that God gave me, about writing. It requires stepping out in faith and doing it. My friend, Steve once said, “Faith is spelled RISK”. I had to take a risk and see what happens.
Hopefully, this article will be of value to you. I would have included the use of counseling; however, it would have only added length to this blog post. If you feel the need for counseling then I’d get it.
In the end, I have to give all the credits to Jesus. It is Jesus, who directed my steps towards these many wonderful people. It was Jesus who instilled a passion for sharing my stories in an effort to help others. Jesus can do the same thing for you.