No weapon formed against you shall prosper. — Isaiah 54:17 NKJV
When I was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer, my mind raced:
What’s the treatment plan? How will my body respond? How quickly can I recover from chemotherapy? I resisted only one question: Why me?
When crisis crashes into your life, it’s easy to ask why you have been dealt this hand. But asking the “why me?” question rarely leads to restoration or healing. The Enemy often uses this question to reinforce the lie “You’ll always be a victim.”
Psychologists warn against the corrosiveness of a victim mentality, in which people define themselves by a negative experience or circumstance. While we must acknowledge how we have been victimized by oppressive people, terrible events, or horrific acts, the victim mentality forces us to redefine our identity. We transition from a person who has experienced something awful into a victim above all else.
Why is the victim mentality so dangerous?
For one, it can convince people to adopt a permanent “poor me” attitude. They become convinced that life is beyond their control and others are out to deliberately cause harm. They catastrophize and excessively worry, forfeiting their sense of security and joy. Taking on a victim mentality will lead you into blaming others, filing constant complaints, and throwing world-class pity parties. Beyond this, a victim mentality will steal your power because you’ll cede your responsibility and right to define yourself.
The Enemy wants you to believe you are nothing more than a victim, and you’ll always be one, because then you’ll be neutralized as a child of God.
Your gifts will be stifled as you redirect your energy into the poor-me mindset. You won’t have to take responsibility for anything. You’ll become the kingpin in the blame game. You’ll likely feel interesting or important as you share your stories. You’ll enjoy the attention of people who feel sorry for you. This can then become a pathway to manipulate or control others as they attempt to care for you. No wonder the lie “You’ll always be a victim” is so prevalent!
Here are a few signs you may have come into agreement with this untruth:
- You’re suspicious of others’ intentions despite a lack of evidence.
- You always blame others when life doesn’t go your way.
- You share your tragic stories, often repeatedly to the same people.
- You allow your thoughts to be ruled by pessimism and negativity.
- You surround yourself with those who also blame, point fingers, and find fault.1
Once you’ve fully processed a traumatic event with a professional counselor, you can break the victim mentality by shifting your focus from the crisis to Christ, from the problem to the Person with the power to carry you through.
Daily declarations combined with prayer can help set you free. My cancer diagnosis did not surprise God, and knowing that God is good, God is with me, and God is for me meant that even in the midst of the pain and suffering,
God was still at work.
One day you, too, will find yourself on the front lines of a battlefield you never chose. In that moment, remember the declaration of the prophet Isaiah:
No weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord. — Isaiah 54:17
The Enemy says, “Once a victim, always a victim,” but you don’t have to align yourself with the Accuser’s voice. Listen for God’s voice in His Word and in good counsel. God is your champion. Your heritage from the Lord is to be victorious, and He provides your vindication. You will rise above and refute the tongue of the Enemy. You are more than a victim. As God’s own, you are a victor, and your name is victorious.
Declaration: No weapon formed against me will prosper.
- Nancy Colier, “Are You Ready to Stop Feeling Like a Victim?” Psychology Today, January 12, 2018, https://www.psychologytoday .com/us/blog/inviting-monkey-tea/201801/are-you-ready-stop-feeling -victim.
Excerpted with permission from More Power to You by Margaret Feinberg, copyright Margaret Feinberg, LLC.
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Maybe you’ve encountered circumstances or a season in which weapons formed against you have prospered… for a while. But, in Jesus, we are not perpetual victims! Let’s choose to drop the “why me?” question and pick up faith in the Lord and His victorious plan for our lives! Come share your thoughts with us on our blog. We want to hear your story of victory! ~ Laurie McClure, Faith.Full