Summary: Shedding victim mentality can bring inner peace. God wants us to live in peace.

Believe it or not, “Victim Mentality” can be an inherited, instilled or self-learned personality trait. People frequently perceive themselves as victims from the negative actions of others in the past, present, or even their fear of the future. This “scapegoat” or “I'm the injured party” mindset is often derived from a self-defeating, illogical thought process.

Yet, in some cases, some people have in fact been the victims of wrongdoing by others or have otherwise suffered misfortune through no fault of their own. However, such misfortune does not necessarily imply that one has to respond by developing a pervasive, all-inclusive attitude where one frequently or constantly pictures them self to be the victim. Most such victims behave as if everything is truly the fault of someone else or some dark and foreboding external consideration.

You are the victim only to the greatest extent that your mind is willing to accept. By irrationally rationalizing many people, unfortunately, sense they are unfairly, unduly persecuted in every state of affairs almost daily. The victimized mindset will have you dancing with the devil, then complain that it isn't your fault. Oh, but these victims have a chorus of ready-made responses.

I grew up dirt poor.

My parents didn't love me.

My parents smothered me.

I had no parents, Grammy raised me.

Dad was never home.

Dad was too strict.

Mom let me get away with everything.

Mom was an alcoholic, Dad a Druggie.

I had too many sisters and brothers.

All I had were hand-me-downs.

Persons like me are always held down.

I'm too old.

I'm too young.

I'm too dumb.

I'm smarter than everyone else.

Why isn't life fair?

My all time favorite is don't blame me –– it was the Devil's doings!

And so on and so forth. Notice how some excuses are the exact opposites of others. You've heard most of these. Maybe you've even uttered a few of these excuses from time to time.

As stated previously, in some cases, victims may have been the unfortunate target of wrongdoings committed by others or had otherwise suffered some travesty or tragedy through no fault of their own. Whether or not those responses are real or just convenient excuses, deciding to make a positive change is the only way to subdue and even vanquish all our feelings of inferiority. We’re not always going to understand why bad things happen. Yes, things like being passed over for promotion or, even worse, not getting the job in the first place is unfortunate. Being too fat or not having a striking appearance is disheartening. Being hassled by others for any reason is certainly not pleasant. But remember, you're only a victim to the degree of what your perception accepts.

Giving free rein to a ‘woe is me mentality,’ or ‘look what I suffered!’ or ‘why did this happen to me?’ will not only pull you down, it's likely to keep you down. The Bible never promises we can reach our destinations without trials, tribulations, or without heartfelt disappointments. Nor are we guaranteed to understand the circumstances and conditions we have to live through. Life is not fair. Life is not equal for all, life has never been! Life will never be equal for all!

Followers of Christ need to step up and rise above their difficulties. God doesn't allow suffering unless He has a purpose for it. Not to be trite, but the expression “no pain –– no gain is often true. As an example: An inspiring number of inmates personally acknowledge that going to prison was “the best thing that ever happened.” There they encountered Christ for the very first time. For many inmates, when they were visited by folks from a prison ministry it was the first time they ever experienced genuine, unconditional love from anyone. We may not understand the destinations and purpose of our lives at any given time but isn't that what faith is about?

We all know life is not a game –– but sometimes we can use games as a life-lessons. Imagine, if you will, that you won last year's Wembelton Tennis Championship. This year you again have battled your way to the final match. There is only one player that could prevent you from capturing the title again. The winning score of the final match is on the line. With what could be the last serve needed, your tennis racket rockets your best shot over the net and in bounds but the opponent smacks it right back. A bird flying overhead causes your eyes to flicker for a split second as you anticipated the ball's direction and tried to hustle over to return it. However, the ball bounces just out of your reach. Your reaction was a tad too slow. You lose! Can you blame the bird? Can you demand a 'do-over'? Can you blame the other player for your loss? No.

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