Forgiveness Removes the Victim Mentality

When we forgive, we let go of their offense or their wrongdoing; and in doing so we reject the thing that made us a victim. The forgiveness we lavish on our offender is the best antidote to overcome victim mentality.

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Definition of victim mentality?

Someone with victim mentality is one who tends to blame others for the bad things
that happen to them. This person thinks, feels, speaks, and acts as if he or she is
permanently damaged by the negative actions of others — even if it is not true. Their
whole life is dominated by this mindset.

The negative consequences of victim mentality

    Someone with a victim mentality constantly tells stories of their grievances.
When we are hurt, we want the whole world to know what our offender did to us. We
talk about how our friend took our job and almost made us lose our home. We talk
about how our other friend betrayed us, or how our sister stole the man we were
supposed to marry.
Repeating an offense to paint a bad image of our offender is what
psychologists call a “grievance story.” The sad thing is that while we may feel
empowered when we are attacking someone else’s image, we really are not getting
anywhere with it. It does not make us feel better at the end of the day. Unfortunately,
it does not end there; there are several repercussions.

  • When we are offended and we keep telling others about it, we present
    ourselves as a helpless and weak victim.
  • Our offender, whom we despise, is on the other hand presented as strong
    and powerful.
  •  In repeatedly declaring our weaknesses, we are establishing the fact in our
    hearts that we are indeed weak. That was not our intention nor is it our desire.
  • Every time we retell our story, we may experience the pain at a deeper level
    because our emotions are beginning to match the words of our mouths.
  • As we continue to blame our offender for placing us in the position we are
    currently in, we feel helpless, and thus we start to think helplessly.
  • Following through on those thoughts and feelings, we act accordingly. We feelthere is nothing we can do about our situation since it is someone else’s faultand therefore there is nothing we can do about it. In our mind, unless ouroffender does something to change our situation, we cannot move on fromwhere we are. It feels like our fate is in their hands.
  • As we continue to retell our grievance story, another factor appears. We beginto exaggerate the offense in our minds, to drown in the ever-increasing paininside us. As the pain grows, so does our negative view of the person whooffended us. At this point, our reality becomes distorted.
  • Having painted our offender with a deeper dye, we now find it difficult toforgive. Their offense has grown even larger because of the emotionsattached to it. Their offense now seems unforgivable. We have made amountain out of a molehill.
  • We feel drained, powerless and helpless every time we are done retelling ourtale.

The list goes on. A life of complaining and finding fault with everything and
everyone is strongly discouraged in Scriptures.

Do all things without murmurings and disputings 

(Philippians 2:14).

Forgiveness will turn us into conquerors

    In an imperfect world, there will be many occasions where we will be rejected.
We are not the only people who will end up being hurt. Forgiveness will allow us to
overcome this idea that everyone hates us. Or that we are being targeted. Or the
creation of our own reasons as to why people behave negatively towards us.
Forgiveness is a release from victim mentality because we are releasing our
offender of their culpability.

When we forgive, we let go of their offense or their wrongdoing; and in doing so
we reject the thing that made us a victim. The forgiveness we lavish on our offender
is the best antidote to overcome victim mentality.

When I lost my husband and three children to a drunk driver, I knew instinctively that I could not allow myself to become the victim in this situation. I am
not and never was a victim. The action of the drunk driver has indeed altered my life,
but I refused to conceive the idea that my life was in his hands. I could not give him
such power. If I had, my drive and zest for life would have diminished. I would have
been in despair. In forgiving him, I could go on with my life and rebuild it from there.
This mindset preserved me from looking at life as hopeless.

    Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us

(Romans 8:37).

Benefits of Forgiveness from victim mentality

  • Forgiveness will change our grievance story to a testimony. Instead of a
    sad story, we now have the story of a conqueror, a survivor.
  • Forgiveness puts us in the driver’s seat. We take control of our destiny.
    Forgiveness deviates our focus from their offense and places it on how
    to make our lives better.
  • Forgiveness frees us from negative emotions. We no longer grieve over
    their offense because we have forgiven them.

In conclusion, forgiveness is the joyful tale of someone who was once a victim
of injustice and has now reclaimed his freedom. Reclaim your life today, and go from
being the victim to being a victor.

Forgiveness Prayer

    Lord, I thank you today because I have become a survivor and a victor. You
helped me realize that I must forgive those who have caused me so much pain. I
release them today. My life is in your hands and yours only. I forgive them and
release them in Jesus’ name.

Discussion

1. Have you ever acted the victim? What were the results?
2. Have you ever become frustrated with someone else for playing the victim?
Describe what happened.
3. How does forgiveness let you be in control in your life?
4. What is the most important lesson you’ve learned in this article?

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For the past 18 years, Dr. Tai Ikomi has been sharing her testimony of how she forgave the drunk who killed her husband and three children on an interstate highway Platte city, in Missouri. She travels all over the world sharing the grace of God on her shattered emotions over her tremendous loss and the power to forgive the drunk. Three years after her loss, she published her best seller and first book, His Beauty For My Ashes, an account of how the grace of God healed her wounded spirit and gave her a new lease in life. The book has become a classic book to help people who lose their loved ones. After years of sharing her testimony of forgiveness, she released her first book on Forgiveness in 1998, titled, The Virtue of Forgiveness. In 2009, she released another book on the same subject, titled, Effective Forgiveness. The book takes a practical at forgiveness and how to weave it into daily living with practical insights and suggestions from Scriptures. A great reading. Dr. Ikomi holds a B.A. degree in French from Universite du Benin, Lome Togo in 1976 an M.A. degree in Theology from Oral Roberts University in 1991. She also holds a doctorate degree in Theology. She has written over 30 books covering various issues of victorious Christian living. Dr. Ikomi speaks in conferences, churches, universities on Effective Forgiveness and other practical issues of the Christian life. She presents the God, who is not only about to comfort us in our affliction but who also can turn any situation around.