Summary: One of my favorite old movies is “No Time For Sergeants,” where a very young Andy Griffith played a country boy who got drafted into the air force. As he was undergoing his psychiatric evaluation, the psychiatrist did everything he could to try and make
Do you know people who have, what I call, a victim mentality. In other words, everything that happens to them is somebody else’s fault? The reason they have the problems that they have is somebody else’s fault?
One of my favorite old movies is “No Time For Sergeants,” where a very young Andy Griffith played a country boy who got drafted into the air force. As he was undergoing his psychiatric evaluation, the psychiatrist did everything he could to try and make him say that hated his mother. A few years ago, it was somewhat of a standing joke that psychiatrist thought all emotional problems were grounded in one’s hating his mother. The whole idea was, “it’s not your fault, it is the fault of your mother.”
Recently, there has been a commercial on TV for one of these diet plans, where they say, “If you are overweight, it’s not your fault.” That has a good sound to it, doesn’t it? As a matter of fact, it is pretty pleasant to our ears anytime the blame can be shifted to someone else.
This victim mentality goes all the way back. Adam said, “It was that woman you gave me.” If you are familiar with the biblical record, you know that the Lord didn’t say, “Okay, I see now, it wasn’t your fault, it was somebody else’s fault.” Adam was actually implying that it was God’s fault, since it was God who gave the woman to him. The truth is, however, that God had provided Adam with everything he needed to live pleasing to God, and it was Adam who made the decision to depart from God’s provision.
Verse 5 of our text tells us that there are two different ways of living: according to the flesh and according to the Spirit. This is descriptive of what drives your life, and of what is the basis of your thinking. Verses 6-8 speak of the results one will experience in whichever of those two ways he determines to live.
It is obvious that in order to live according to the Spirit, one must be saved. Everything has been done that is necessary for you to be saved. Jesus has taken your punishment for sin, by taking your place in death. He has sent the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit anoints the word of God, and as the word of God is preached, He calls you to Himself through those Spirit-anointed words. So, if you are not saved, you can be saved this very day, if you can find it in your heart to turn to Christ in simple child-like faith.
You have an inner image of yourself, and it is either based on fact or feeling. You have either believed God’s truth about yourself, or you have believed the devil’s lie. God’s truth is that He loves you with an everlasting love, and He commended that love toward you, in that while you were still a sinner, Christ died for you. He made you to be who you are and not somebody else. Little children pretend to be some hero, and that’s normal child’s play. I used to tie one of mama’s bath towels around my neck and run through the house making that wind noise, with my arms stretched out in front of me, and in my mind I was Superman. Well, that’s fine when you are a little kid, but there comes a time to put away childish things. The truth is, God has a specific purpose for your life, your personality, and you will never accomplish what God intended you to accomplish until you can celebrate that.
I’ve known people who thought they were unattractive, or incapable of accomplishing worthwhile things, because of what somebody said to them, maybe all the way back to the time they were children. That is not being Spiritually minded, it is being carnally minded, and it results in death. For the Christian, it results in death to fulfillment of potential and death to a great deal of joy in life.
What Christians need to do is move away from so called “self-esteem” into “Christ esteem.” We need to forever be willing to decrease in order that He may increase. We need to find our approval in the sight of God, and not in the sight of man. Now, that’s extremely easy to say, but to make it reality in your life requires a constant surrender to the leadership of the Lord.
If your inner self-image is based on what other people think of you, you are in big trouble, because you can’t control what other people think. You can try to out-perform their expectations, but if you do, you will find that their expectations go up every time you exceed them. Then, you’ll eventually reach a point when you just can’t do it anymore, and you will be left with feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, and despair. All the time, the devil will be telling you that it’s somebody else’s fault.