Last Saturday's Rahab meeting in Katy was awesome - as always! Such great comments and input from all the ladies there makes our meetings so much fun and insightful. The topic was the Victim Mentality.
I researched and looked up a checklist of questions to ask yourself if you fall under that category. I could see from the start that ALL of us go there from time to time. Having "poor me" thoughts about ourselves, to thinking that life will only improve when circumstances or other people change first, keeps us stuck in that rut.
Just within this past week, a number of women have come to me to say how much that list has helped them break out of old habits and thought patterns. Some have seen really positive changes on their jobs because of it, and some have said that they've posted up the list on their walls as a reminder that behaving as a victim is dangerous territory.
Personally, I have really benefitted from the lesson, discovering that I often sink to that level without even knowing it. No one wants to admit that they are acting like a victim, but once you are honest with yourself about your failures, you can start to catch yourself and save yourself a great deal of useless agonizing. Unfortunately I have known too many "spiritual" women, who won't admit they need help. When you are a victim, you feel completely justified to think of yourself this way, and become offended if anyone suggests that you need to change your mindset - you feel even more victimized to be encouraged to change!
Just to clarify, most of us have truly been victims in some form or another, from abuse to victims of curses and terrible circumstances that were physically beyond our control. But that is not what the victim mentality problem is about. It's about a state of mind that keeps us captive to the pain and abuse, even long after it is over. We respect and recognize everyone who has been victimized by any form of evil, but the most subtle and damaging of all, is when our emotions are held hostage to the victim mentality. We continue hurting ourselves needlessly.
What was our answer?
Fight! Push back the negative thoughts that this is all you are good for, and even more, fight against the thoughts that circumstances dictate your happiness and freedom. Faith gives us power over circumstances, and we no longer have to be enslaved to them. We can break down the spiritual forces that block us, we can destroy the demonic obsessions of worry and guilt. There is so much power and freedom available to us when we stop being victims and instead go on the offensive, spiritually speaking. Entire kingdoms of oppression can be torn down, and that all begins within ourselves.
As much as we believe in fighting and casting out demons in our church, I am amazed at how few women actually implement these tools when it comes to destroying fear and negative thinking. We need to be wiser and more proactive in our faith. We need to bully our problems, bully the demons, bully the thoughts that keep us in victim mode. You are not victims any longer when you are the aggressor!
Here is our list of questions we gave out in the Rahab meeting. See if you can relate to any of these, and then... start fighting!
The Victim Mentality
• Do most casual conversations end up centered on your problems?
• Do you tend to play the poor me card?
• Do you engage in negative talk about yourself?
• Do you always expect the worst?
• Do you tend to act like a martyr?
• Do you often feel like God or the world is causing bad things to happen and that there is nothing you can do about it?
• Do you believe that everyone else has an easier life?
• Do you focus mostly on negative events and disappointments?
• Do rarely feel responsible for your negative behavior?
• Is your misery contagious, affecting the mood/state of others?
• Do you seem to be addicted to misery, chaos, and drama?
• Do you feel that the world is out to get you?
• Does blaming others seem to improve your state of mind?
• Do you have a tendency to make others take responsibility for you?
• Do you have a knack for finding other victims and rescuers?
• Are you the kind of person that always seems to have everything going wrong?