Overcoming A Victim Spirit and Mentality – Part 1 of 2

I feel like I have this sign on my back or this huge neon sign flashing “Come Abuse Me” or “Here’s Your Target” with an arrow pointing at me.

If there was a crowd of 999 good people to choose from and 1 bad person, I would pick the one bad person every time. 

Do you find yourself saying or feeling something similar to this on more occasions than you care to admit? What if I told you that there is a good possibility that you really do have a flashing sign on your back…spiritually speaking?

While we all experience situations where we seem to come out on the short end of the stick, there are some people that seem to experience the short end much more often than others. They often refer to or see themselves as victims. If we take a look at the definition of victim, Webster’s dictionary describes a victim as an individual injured or killed by disease or accident; a person cheated, fooled or injured; a living being offered as a living sacrifice. Those that experience this on a repeated basis may be dealing with supernatural forces that are attracting these circumstances which then develops a mentality to keep the cycle repeating; a victim spirit and victim mentality.

A victim spirit can be seen in finances, relationships, vocations and ministry. A victim spirit always settles for less, has little or no joy, often feels dishonored and disrespected, and isn’t able to walk in the honor or fullness that is God’s desire. He may ask us to voluntarily lay our life down in situations, but He does not desire for anyone to take your life or to “suck the live out of you”.

The victim spirit creates a mentality that causes an individual to unknowingly attract abuse to them which then creates the feeling that their life, dignity, respect, or honor is being taken from them. The victim spirit can also be generational and pervade entire families and even cultures. I see this spirit at the root of many headlines in the news today.

How Do I Know I May Be Dealing With A Victim Spirit?

You can have a victim spirit in varying degrees, but there are common signs or indications that it is in operation in your life. Not all of the following will necessarily apply, but people dealing with a victim spirit often:

  • Attract dishonor everywhere they go; people who are normally gracious with others are drawn into taking cheap shots at them.
  • Criticize or dishonor themselves with an inner correcting voice.
  • Apologize for and own another person’s unhappiness or pain even though that person’s unhappiness or pain is usually not their fault.
  • Lack joy – they have no joy, nor any hope of having any, and they often don’t realize they have none. Suppress the pain with endless work.
  • Reject all abuse but tolerate neglect.
  • Can’t receive nurture, comfort or compliments when people offer it to them because they feel unworthy.
  • Enable, meaning that the total mind set revolves around a co-dependence with the predator; they simply don’t think in terms of their being an independent person with value apart from being an enabler. 
  • Visualize the possibility of being in less pain if they become a better enabler. 

There are also some tell-tale emotions that are prevalent in a victim spirit:

  • They feel taken advantage of or cheated.
  • They feel lied to or violated in some sense.
  • They feel powerless or trapped to change the outcome.
  • They also feel anger; some directed at the predator but mostly toward themselves for being a victim. Most of all they feel helpless that change can come.

While these emotions are valid and real because the experiences of being taken advantage of, cheated, violated, or abused are real. When this mindset takes control your life, you settle for mediocrity and results in you being angry, bitter and full of resentment.

The victim spirit causes you to settle for much less than what God has promised you. You will never walk in the dominion that God said you would walk in. But there is hope. God has given us the authority through His Son, Jesus Christ. Overcoming the victim spirit and that mentality is possible, which will change you from being dominated to having dominion. We will be talking about the process shortly.

Why Didn’t God Stop Them

When sexual trauma occurs at any age, it can turn a person’s world upside down. When it happens at a young age, it is especially hurtful. They have no words or understanding to express what happened or what they have experienced. Their innocence, trust and sense of safety are eroded if not erased. As they grow, many have questions. How did this happen? Why would somebody do this? Why did I let this happen? Why didn’t I stop them? Why didn’t somebody stop them?…Why didn’t God stop them? Why did He allow them to do this to me?

This is a big question we have to deal with in the healing process. When we hold God responsible for not saving us from this or not keeping us safe, we drive a wedge between us and God. We don’t allow Him to speak truth to us and bring healing. Why would we listen to the one that could have stopped it? Why should we trust Him? You can try giving the churchy answers of “free will” and “living in a fallen world”. They are true, but they never seem to give comfort. They are often viewed as excuses.

If they are viewed as excuses, then how can we help them let go of the judgment they are holding over God? How do we make God personal to them in these circumstances? I have found that the Resurrection story we talk about during this time of the year, when brought from a different perspective, helps them view Jesus and God in a different.

When Jesus was brought before the Counsel, Pilate and Herod, there were men there that had the power to stop this injustice. Jesus did not defend Himself. He let man do what they wanted to do; they had a choice. As Jesus Hung on the cross, He was mocked and goaded. “If you are the Son of God, then save yourself and come down off the cross; then we will believe”. Even one of the criminals that was crucified with Jesus mocked Him. Their hearts were closed and they could not hear or see the truth. God could have saved Jesus from this death, so why didn’t He? This was His Son. Surely He could justify His actions…He was saving His Son. Jesus, as the Son of God, could have taken Himself down off of that cross, so why didn’t He? It was because it was man’s choice to allow this to happen and to carry it out. He won’t intervene in that. These men were given opportunities. They heard the truth and saw the miracles, but chose not to receive. Whatever agenda they had, they chose to follow what they wanted to follow; God knew that they wouldn’t recognize the truth. He knew what they would do even though it wasn’t what He wanted them to do. He knew that He could bring good from this and use this to redeem His passion…His people. Jesus could be the perfect sacrifice and He chose to do it.

It is no different for us. Did He want those bad things to happen to us? Just as Jesus did not deserve injustice, neither did we. You know that inner voice that tells you to stop when you’re about to do something wrong? Do you think that God wasn’t telling the perpetrators not to do it? He was making every opportunity for them to stop and not go through with it, but they had to be the ones to listen and stop. He can’t go against their choices no more than He could go against those that were taking His Son’s life. His heart broke for you just as much as it did for Jesus. But, just like Jesus, He can redeem this terrible thing and bring good out of it. What Jesus did may have been for the entire world, but your world can be restored and beauty can come from this if you let Him work His miracles in your life. Don’t push away the One that brings healing. Let the One that can bring beauty from these ashes and work this together for your good be center in this.