Has anybody ever become a success story because they felt like a victim? Has anybody ever done anything good, or become a better person, because they feel sorry for themselves? It is a pernicious temptation to pity yourself.
Each one of us has innumerable gifts from Almighty God for which we should be grateful. Even the lowliest pauper in the most unenlightened of backwaters has the gift of life, of free will, and of his God-given dignity.
The left's insistence on a victim mentality is nothing less than a direct attack on the dignity of the human person; it is the cousin of the sin of despair (which the Bible declares "the sickness unto death"). The next time you feel tempted to pity yourself, bend it back: Stop and count your blessings and thank God.
Victim mentality only creates helplessness. Helplessness is the most maddening, the most miserable, the most upsetting of mental states. In fact, it is commonly reported anecdotally that nothing triggers madness like a sense of helplessness. It is a cousin of paranoia, a sense that the world is out to get you, that there is some opposition between you and the world, some rivalry. This is a warped, twisted mentality that offers no benefits, and, more importantly, is manifestly false: the world is the world, and you, O man, are a speck of dust.
The Bible tells us unequivocally that there is no conflict between circumstances and any of us. God made the world and it was good. Moreover, all things work to the good for those who love God (Rom. 8:28). If you have faith in your heart, there are no obstacles anymore: obstacles become blessings. God is speaking to you all the time through the people and events He sends your way. He is a lover who cannot take His eyes off of you. Even when things seem hard, He is there, and every moment He is loving you.
The victim mentality, by contrast to this supernatural outlook of the Bible, creates a very shortsighted outlook on life and circumstances. No surprise then that the "victims" look to the most convenient authority figure or big brother to rescue them. They do not look to themselves to solve their own problems, but to authority, to totalitarian power.
Power is always the interpretive key by which to understand liberalism. The left promotes the victim mentality because it sends them sheep they can shepherd, sends them lemmings they can lead. The more they can make people feel helpless, the more people will give them power. If we all started really believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, and in His promises, if we really started believing that God is our Father, then we wouldn't need government to be our daddy.
Perhaps you have no faith. Then I will put it to you this way: If you don't like your circumstances, will you let them win? Will you give in to them? Wayne Gretzky famously said that you miss all the shots that you don't take. Will you miss all your shots, or at least try to make a few? Will you settle for blaming other people for your problems, or will you own your pain, own your struggles, own your weaknesses? Only if you own them will the victory be yours, the reward be yours. How can you feel successful if you think you just got lucky?
I am against welfare, against handouts, whether for those who won't work or for big corporations like Solyndra. The Bible says that he who will not work ought not to be fed (2 Thess. 3:10), and that the man who will not provide for his family is worse than a heathen (1 Tim 5:8).
We must not be encouraging, or creating a victim mentality. We do no one any favors, and we ignore the Bible, which is the word of God. Instead, we need a supernatural outlook: faith, hope, and love (1 Cor.12). We need real hope, the kind of hope that drives away the victim mentality. And hope comes from faith.
The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wisely said that "Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase."
Take the first step.
Armstrong Williams is the author of “Reawakening Virtues.” He is a political commentator who writes a conservative newspaper column, hosts a nationally syndicated TV program called “The Right Side,” and hosts a daily radio show on Sirius/XM Power 128 (6-7 p.m. and 5-6 a.m.) Monday through Friday. Read more reports from Armstrong Williams — Click Here Now.
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