August 3

Victor, Not Victim

II Corinthians 2:14 Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.

John 16:33b In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

I John 5:4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.

I Corinthians 15:57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

We’ve all been a victim of actions. That simply means that we were on the receiving end of something hurtful. But that has nothing to do with who we are.

Our culture, with help from our enemy, has succeeded in creating and sustaining a “victim mentality” for too many of our citizens. This is terribly detrimental to society and even worse for the church when it infiltrates. Once a Christian embraces “victim” as an identity, the enemy has won a fearsome battle. Not only has the Christian repositioned himself spiritually into a continually errant and damaging state, but certain changes occur that keep the grace of God at a distance.

Those that self-identify as victim are inwardly focused; they become black holes of grace, always receiving and destroying, and never expressing outward life. The inestimable Oswald Chambers puts it this way: “No sin is worse than the sin of self-pity, because it removes God from the throne of our lives, replacing Him with our own self-interests. It causes us to open our mouths only to complain, and we simply become spiritual sponges— always absorbing, never giving, and never being satisfied. And there is nothing lovely or generous about our lives.”

Victims also are often deceived into thinking that they can sin with impunity because of their status as victims; in other words, they can be harsh, judgmental and unkind without having to repent because they feel they are justified before they act, as they count themselves a victim of that kind of treatment. It’s a replacement of the blood of Jesus—as well as real repentance—with an excusing covering created by their pain. Even modern psychology has recognized how the victim easily shifts to the persecutor in some disorders.

The other great sadness is living a lie. We are victors if we are in Christ! Our identity has completely changed. Jesus died to give us this new identity, and as followers, we must receive that identity with thanks! No matter what happens to us, that identity cannot change. He always causes us to triumph in Him, and He is working everything together for our good. As we live in Him, we live in victory. It has nothing to do with outward circumstances. It has everything to do with what He’s done, and who we are now in Him.

Prayer: Father, I receive that identity anew, by faith. If I’m in You, I am walking in Your victory. Deliver me from all sense of victimhood and self-pity, and help me to keep my eyes on You. I am not who I am based on what has happened to me; I am who You say I am.

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