May 01, 2006

Overcoming the Victim Mentality

Romans 8:35-39

In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. Romans 8:37


This may sound strange to some of us, but sometimes it's comfortable to be a victim. Some people grow used to feeling sorry for themselves, throwing pity parties, and inviting others to join in: "You poor thing! You really have it rough!" We all enjoy a little pity once in a while.

Being a victim also comes in handy when we don't feel like changing. We might blame our troubled childhood, our alcoholic spouse, our nasty boss, our painful illness. After all, who can expect us to move ahead in life? Don't we have every right to wallow in self-pity?

Jesus shatters the victim mentality. We're tempted to think of ourselves as helpless lambs being dragged to the slaughter. But faith in Jesus makes us "more than conquerors through him who loved us." Nothing, no matter how painful or powerful, can separate us from God's love in Christ Jesus. That makes us victorious--no matter what.

One of my greatest joys as a pastor has been seeing God's love overcome the victim mentality. People paralyzed by pain and self-pity discover how much God loves them. They find that Christ's riches are greater than their problems, that a victory celebration is more fun than a pity party. They stop using their troubles as an excuse, and they overcome them. Through God's love, they become more than conquerors. So can you.

Show us, Lord Jesus, the riches of your salvation. Then help us to receive your benefits, enjoy each one, and give you all praise. In your name we pray. Amen.

About the author — David Feddes

Dr. David Feddes is pastor of Family of Faith Church and provost of Christian Leaders Institute, which supports mentor-based ministry training through online courses. David is also adjunct missiologist for Crossroad Bible Institute, which provides biblical distance education to more than 40,000 people in prison. Previously he served as broadcast minister for the Back to God radio program, reaching people in more than fifty countries. David earned his Ph.D. in intercultural studies from Trinity International University, Deerfield, IL. He and his wife, Wendy, have nine children (one in heaven).

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