I have been thinking about this for a long time—a little over a year, according to my journal. Basically, I have come to realize that we must all guard against developing a victim mentality!
Merriam-Webster defines “victim mentality” as …
the belief that one is always a victim : the idea that bad things will always happen to one.
I believe we are most vulnerable when we experience hardship. Makes sense, doesn’t it? When something bad happens, it’s easy to feel like a victim.
This is why the Bible has so much to say about attitude and mindset. James opens his letter with these challenging words …
My brothers and sisters, think of the various tests you encounter as occasions for joy. After all, you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance.James 1.2-3, CEB
We can’t control everything that happens to us, but we do have some control over our response. If we’re not careful, a victim mentality can lead you to think that you are entitled to be treated in certain ways. At times, especially since the stroke, I have had to remind myself, “Don’t be a victim!”
Of course, this has nothing to do with how we should treat others; we should always treat others the way we want to be treated!
Perhaps the best thing we can do to guard against a victim mentality is to work at being grateful. I love what Paul writes …
Give thanks in every situation because this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.1 Thessalonians 5.18, CEB
As I often say, we might not want to give thanks FOR every situation, but I believe that we can find something to give thanks for IN every situation. And, that will help us guard against developing a victim mentality.