The role of victim can be easy to play. Often justified, people give grace to victims. Grace is nice to receive, especially after you’ve come away from something, someone, some traumatic event, some something that made you a victim…
But we can’t be both a victim and victorious at the same time. We must choose to, at some point, put down the cloak of victim and take up the robe of victor.
When we allow ourselves to live in victimization, we allow it to define us, even comfort us. As we receive grace from others in our victimhood, they justify our anger, they justify our pain, they justify our poor me victim status.
But oh, a downward spiral into self-pity can be just as damaging as whatever caused us to pick up the role of victim.
And dare I say….arrogant? Idolatry?
Ouch! But wait, I am the victim here! I am NOT the perpetrator! Arrogant? Idolatrous?
Oh, friend, I’ve been there. I’ve had to look closely at this in my own mirror. I’ve had to recognize some hard truths and allow those truths to do a work deep within me to bring forth some freedom….
There came a moment of realization when someone no longer wanted to hear of my poor pitiful woe is me stories.
She told me it was time to move on.
Move on? Humph!
Move on I did…to someone else who would feed that ugly victim mentality I so desperately wanted to hold on to….it was really getting quite comfortable there.
A beautiful distraction from the ugly truth.
It is an arrogant, dangerous place where we place ourselves on that victim pedestal.
While we stomp on another, however justifiably, because we have allowed that justification to rule.
“I” didn’t deserve that.
Proverbs 29:11: “A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man holds it in check.”
Do any of us really ‘deserve’ anything in and of ourselves? What we truly deserved, Jesus took on the cross and HE justified us in the process.
What about forgiveness?
How can we learn to see our abuser, attacker, bully, manipulator, or whoever it was, through the eyes of God?
First, we must realize that forgiveness and reconciliation are two different things. Just because you choose and learn to forgive, does not mean you have to run back into an unhealthy or dangerous situation, should that be your circumstance. If you are a victim of a crime, you can forgive without becoming a prison pen-pal or advocate for your offender. Forgiveness doesn’t excuse or deny or even eliminate consequences. It simply forgives. We are commanded to forgive. Reconciliation is in the hands of our Father, only follow where He leads.
Then pray. Pray for your offender. And pray for anyone else who might be involved in the situation. God can do much with little acts of obedience. “Pray for those who mistreat you” Luke 6:28
Instead of putting the focus on the wrong done to us, or on the offender, turn the focus inward and upward.
What can this experience teach me about myself?
What can this teach me about God?
Then set it, once and for all, in the hands of God so He can begin to redeem the brokenness.
He can’t redeem what we won’t let go of.
Cast off the cloak, pick up the robe….you’ll feel lighter, freer, and so much more beautiful….