Are things happening to you or are they happening for you? What perspective should you hold? The mindset we adopt can have a huge impact on how we handle what comes to us and what God can accomplish.
There are many reasons why adopting a victim mentality is not the best approach. To be clear, I’m not referring to being a victim in the sense of a crime, but in the sense of our mentality within our daily situations.
A Victim Mentality Limits Opportunities
When we act as though we are victims, it closes the door to our problem solving abilities. Our minds can’t flow to solutions when we are fixated on the unfairness of our circumstances.
It can be difficult, but we must to learn to embrace where we find ourselves. That doesn’t mean we approve of everything that is happening, but it positions us to deal with it the best way possible.
On the water, wind and waves can wreak havoc on a sailboat. But if the crew continuously adjusts the sails to take advantage of the wind, they can use it to their benefit.
The wind isn’t in control of everything that happens with the boat. The crew simply responds to use the wind to get the boat where they want to go.
A Victim Mentality Limits Transformation
We know that God doesn’t waste anything for those who love Him (Rom. 8:28). If we adopt a victim mentality it can short-circuit the development that God has planned for us.
There is an aspect of our circumstances that God wants to use to shape us, but they never control us. Just as the sailboat crew can use the sails to get where they want to go, God can use these opportunities to get us where He wants us to be.
A Victim Mentality Produces the Wrong Focus
Adopting an attitude of victimhood goes further than just focusing on the victim. It places the focus on the unfairness of a situation.
This focus entirely undermines what God may want to do in a situation. The Bible is filled with seemingly unfair situations and circumstances that God was able to use for His glory and even to bring about His will.
Joseph was sold into slavery, Paul was beaten, and Stephen was killed. Each of these were used by God in incredible ways.
If Paul and Silas had been focused on the unfairness of being thrown in jail, the jailer and his family may have never been saved (Acts 16:23-34). We need to keep our focus on Christ and what God wants to accomplish in every situation.
We don’t want to waste what God has plans to use.
A Better Mentality
Jesus always responded to His circumstances from a position of control. He never let the circumstances control His attitude. He was always intentional in how He responded and never took the place of a victim.
Our circumstances never take God by surprise. We are always in a place where God has a clear path forward. We may not see the full path, but we will always see enough to take a step.
We are to be intentionally handling situations and things that come up, not allowing ourselves to be controlled and manipulated by them.
We can often limit what God wants to do in the situation with how we see things.
Are there any circumstances that might be impacting you more than they should today? What does God want you to take charge of and get intentional with? Ask the Lord to show you and adjust your sails to use the wind today.
With the right mentality, you will be amazed at how quickly things can change.