You are not victim to your own life
You are not victim to your own life
You are not victim to your own life
You are not the victim of your own life. Jesus made sure of that.

HOW TO NOT PLAY THE VICTIM OF YOUR OWN LIFE

“Y

ou think you’re a victim. But you’re not. You’re actually okay. Everything’s okay.”

Justin tells me this, in the maddening and awesome way that he does. My heart whispers, “Listen,” even though my first impulse is to wish this all away.

Really? Is this true? Have I believed I am a victim, God? How?

I need God’s interpretation now, or none of this is going to make any sense.

My friend and I have been reading Romans together. It is Romans 10:8 that sticks in my head: “The message is near you, in your mouth and in your heart.”

What is true here, Jesus? How am I not believing in You? If your message is in my heart, am I yet rebelling against your truth, right now?

I spend time for days waiting on God to interpret Justin’s words. I go into my daughter’s room—temporarily quiet, as she is at sleep-away camp for the week. I shut the door; I close the shutters. I press my knees to the ground.

What I learn is not what I expected.

What being a victim can look like

  1. A victim can twist the truth and reject God’s inheritance when she strives to preserve herself rather than strive to surrender the sin within her. (For example, I often take a comment someone says and take it personally—I assume the comment is negative rather than neutral or positive because of this awful truth: people’s praise can matter more to me than my identity in God.)
  2. The mindset of the victim is one of powerlessness, weakness, insecurity, low-worth. (For example, I am reticent to receiving criticism because I believe the lie I don’t have what it takes—that I’ve failed again.)

In the quiet, the Holy Spirit leads me to the cross. He helps me feel and hear and see: I have been acting like a victim though this mindset is unwarranted, unjustified. There is a lot here I must confess or bury, repent of or push away.

What am I going to choose? How do I turn, God?

There are two kinds of victims

Victims of the World

There is more to consider here when we think about the mindset of the victim. Because  sometimes we are a victim. After all, this life is hard, unfair. This world—and people—can be cruel. In this case, God fights for the heart of the victim—the victims abused by the world, the victims who need God’s intervening love to help them continue on.

But God also fights for daughters who are victims of their own doing—the daughters who believe lies about themselves, the daughters who live in bondage. The daughters who have yet to claim the freedom they inherit, with Christ’s new life inside them.

To put it simply: living our lives with the attitude of a victim negates the truth of our identity in Christ: It denies that we are “more than conquerors” due to Christ’s sacrifice (Romans 8:37). It denies that Christ was never a victim, not even to death. It denies that Jesus beat death to hell and back and chose us to tell the tale.

If you are a victim of the world, of life’s twists and turns, of cruelty and pain and injustice, God is coming to heal you. This healing may involve you sharing your story in community. (I am doing this as soon as I can.) It may involve you entering counseling. (I have done this, and it turned my world upside down and right side up, in the most perfect way.) But know this: Jesus is here to bring healing to you.  He is gathering you to himself. Step forward now, daughter. He has something to say.

Victims of the Self

If you are a victim of yourself, of self-doubt, of lies that you’ve let take root in your heart (I am sad to say that this has been my speciality, for years and years), it is time to ask Jesus to uproot the darkness you feel. It is time to ask him to show you, reveal to you, what it is he sees. God wants to bring wholeness to our hearts. He brings together what is divided. His love for us makes us clean, completely washed and new.

Death is victim to love, not the other way around

Discovering a new truth about our self is not always fun, but it is good. Every lie God has revealed to me I have broken, by the authority of  Jesus Christ. I don’t want to stay in this same place–I want victory. I want life. He has given me everything. I want to say yes to all he has.

But it is a battle to not fall back into the same habits, believe the same lies.

I want to be honest with you. Since spending time with God in solitude, reading Scripture, seeking his truth, asking for his interpretation on what people said, confessing, and repenting, I continue to struggle with the victim attitude. I catch myself feeling it–and I have to ask God to help me stay close–to his heart, his truth, his mercy. I continue to surrender. I try and fail and try again. And I get angry–angry at myself, angry at God. But then, on a walk today I hear Jesus tell me that this struggle, despite its mess, is so much better than me being resigned.

We are  not the victim of our own life. Jesus made sure of that.

So, will you join me, as I continue to pray?

Father, we need to know what you think. Let us not reject our inheritance as conquerors, in Christ. Let us not forget the power of your presence in us. Let us listen to your voice. Let us not abandon the truth of who, in Christ, we are.

You are our source of life, our source of love, our source of strength that reminds us we are more than conquerors. We are true. We are free. We are in battle in a world set against us, yes. But you, the God who is for us, is more than we ever need to live lives of authority and strength.

We are chosen. We are loved. We have what it takes to make the choice this day to listen to the One who loves us. You, who says, “I will always find you. But seek me. Seek me and there you will be found.”

We hear you. Thank you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

How do you find yourself feeling like a victim? Is it warranted? How do you need God to come for your heart?

Recent Posts
Showing 8 comments
  • Krista
    Reply

    I don’t quite know how my situation and me being a victim coincide. What I do know is I spent my entire car ride home talking out loud to Jesus about it. Telling him how tired I am of carrying this weight with me after I thought I had cast it off. Then I read this… Maybe I’m playing victim of this situation. Maybe I’m just wanting to be heard and told I’m not crazy in how I feel. Ugh!
    At any rate, I don’t think It was coincidence that I saw your post on Instagram and it drew me in.
    Thank you so much for writing this.
    Blessings,
    Krista

    • Jennifer Camp
      Reply

      Dear Krista, I know all about going ’round and ’round . . . feeling stuck and frustrated. But I also know about restoration, and how God draws us close to himself because he doesn’t want us to remain here, in this place. Yes, let’s battle, with Jesus leading, for our own hearts now. We are equipped, the Holy Spirit in us. We have victory to claim.

      I am praying now for you to feel God’s closeness and his guidance for you to respond–with confidence. You are so loved–and it makes you strong and mighty, your warrior King promising you you are not alone.

  • Estelle
    Reply

    I have been so defined by who i am when i worked the last 20 years that when my contract ended i was lost..still am. I have been searching for work now for 2 months and nothing has been forthcoming. Every application denied. Every interview unsuccessful. Self doubt has taken root in my heart and i feel lost….my cancer word tatoo’d on my arm which is faith, and carried me through rougher times a mere few letters on my arm.
    Then I came across your post, read it and a little bit of light broke through. A small acknowledgement was spoken..I shall not be broken, for He is still my Saviour and Father.
    Please pray for me.

  • Fii
    Reply

    Thank you Jennifer for this. I don’t know how I subscribed to this and it’s honestly the first time I opened your blog.
    What I am saying is, it’s the first time I open and it opens to a word that is so in season.
    I have previously been accused of playing victim and because of where it came from, I became defensive as I saw it as an attack.
    But reading this makes me realise that there are some things I need to submit to God.
    Whether as victim of exterior or interior factors.
    Life gets tough. But I believe (and must continue to believe) that our Lord Jesus is tougher.

    Thanks again.

  • Karen
    Reply

    Hi Jennifer, such an important message and so easy to fall into the “pity party”. Part of our story is on the blog ‘morethanourlabels’ so I wont share here but just to say, my heart resonates. I have read ‘loop’ for a while now and there are times God has used it to keep me going.
    Be blessed my sister,
    Karen x

  • Sandie Heckman
    Reply

    Jen – I’ve read this like 4 times now – this is mind blowing – this. is. it!!!!! It’s what I’ve been praying for! It means everything!

    Every time I meet someone, I introduce myself and start telling my story, and then my heart goes – I don’t want to be “her” anymore. It’s not who I am now – God is convicting me and I’ve been praying and asking for answers and this – you…..you beautiful soul, wrote this magnificent piece that says it all. It says “we can have it all with Jesus Christ – we don’t have to wear the past anymore! Our story will change with Him. This is mind blowing!
    Our stories will change as we evolve through His divine grace and guidance – I get it now! I get it! I can’t thank you enough Jen, thank you.

  • Barbara
    Reply

    God loves us so much. Before opening my email I was sitting down reading a book by BrotherJesse Duplantis, “Wanting A God You Can Talk To”. My life seems like struggle has been a way of life for me, especially concerning my self worth, positive self esteem, and my love life with my God. I truly love the Lord and I know according to the word he loves me. I strive daily to know his love and to truly know his voice. Thank you Jennifer for being such a positive example to me. I want the struggle to end and just enjoy my Lord.

  • Whitney Alexander
    Reply

    Hi first I found where to add to the blog.
    My problem is I have taken in my mom. When I took her in then my daughter left. I thought she would bounce back and get her own place like she did when she turned 20. But after I got my mom settled she came to me and said the person she was living with put her out. Now I and my husband have to put up with all these different attitude and a little Alzheimer. So he and I pray a lot, so I guess I somewhat feel that I made he and I a victim. I feel I had to let my mom move in because her doctor said she didn’t need to be by her self. But I should have told my daughter she need to get her self together. Or maybe help her find somewhere else to live. I just couldn’t leave here in the streets. I don’t know I think it’s the mom in me.

Leave a Comment