There was a time when someone told me my gift was the gift of exhortation meaning I have the gift of encouragement. Every chance I got, I spoke from place of pure joy and contentment in God. Then when life got a hold on me, and I Lost everything, for a long time that became who I thought I was. Your testimony is supposed to set you and others free, it is not who you become. I labeled myself the girl who had a broken engagement, the girl who’s family doesn’t go to church, the girl who’s father left her etc. but that is not me, it is just what I went through. My exhortation went from encouraging words to using it as an excuse to tell others what I went through so they can feel sorry for me or as if it made me look stronger than what I was. It was as if I needed to prove a point, ” yes I went through all this, so I am better.”
When joy turns into trying to prove yourself, people can spot the falseness from a mile away, and not only that but you cannot prove anything to God. It feels good for a moment but after a while you will begin to run dry, because you are relying on yourself and what you been through to fuel your gift and not the power of God.
In fact there is a Psychological phenomenon that is called A Victim Identity. This is when you fully identify with whatever trauma, illness or difficulty you went through or are going through.
A person who has taken on this Victim identity will always see the bad in things. there is always a “Yes but..” and life is always hard for them, people are always out to get them. This mentality can stem from a spirit of abandonment as well. That person will play the victim so people can stay and take care of them. They are often times scared that people will leave their life.
Here are some ways where you can tell you have developed a victim mentality:
- Do you always try to call someone or tell someone immediately when you are going through something ?
- Do you exaggerate when things go wrong?
- Do you more than often say I wish I didn’t go through that? I wish I had a father growing up? I wish I had parents that could help me?”
- Do you compare your life to others? “Well you had both parents!” “Well I had to work for my car, and your parents bought yours!”
- Do you constantly say “No one understands!” “You don’t understand because you grew up in church!” or “You don’t understand because you grew up with both parents.”
- Do you always feel like you are the one getting the short end of the stick? “I always get hurt, I always do so much for others, but never get the same in return.”
All that sounds like it stems from not letting go of the past, holding onto grudges, not being content with who you are and where you came from, being jealous or envious of others, and being insecure in yourself. A lot of times people play the victim because of shame and guilt. Maybe you did something and have not forgiven yourself, maybe you got something done to you and you feel ashamed.
Your emotions are a gauge not a guide
Romans 6: 12 Let no sin therefor reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions
The thing about having a victim mentality is that you are powerless, because you have given over all power to your thoughts, and feelings. You must hold every thought captive, and regain your life and power over your emotions that the lord gave to you.
2 Corinthians 10:5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
People with victim