Sunday, October 6, 2013

Day 6: Playing Victim {31 Devotions in 31 Days}

"O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord." 
1 Corinthians 15:55-58

One of the most difficult things I encountered when the Lord first showed me that my emotions were impure was admitting that I wasn't a victim. The problem was that I has allowed other people to control my emotions. I was on a rollercoaster, going up and down on a daily basis, and instead of being accountable for allowing myself to be on the ride, I was blaming the operator.

The truth is, playing victim is selfishness justified. Although we may be honest about our situation and the other person was in the wrong, painting ourselves as the innocent soul being bullied is not always accurate. For example, let's say someone lied to you and you found out. Our initial reaction would be anger and feeling hurt. This is not playing victim but you are reacting naturally to what happened. Now, what are you going to do with it? If you approach the Lord, asking Him for clarity and peace in the matter, that is mature and right. You will soon realize that those emotions shouldn't hold you and you move unto the next stage, which is forgiveness.

However, if you dismiss seeking God's help and instead retaliate by sulking, wallowing or complaining, this is playing victim. You are robbing both parties from forgiveness, peace and joy. Most importantly, you've allowed yourself to be so consumed with yourself and your feelings, that you no longer can see the goodness of the Lord Jesus Christ.

"For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."
Matthew 6:14-15

"These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."
John 16:33

Playing victim puts us on a road of self-pity. We start thinking we have been victimized and lose sight of being victorious in Christ! We forget that we can overcome because He overcame. Victimizing ourselves prolongs healing and strains our relationships. We become easily offended instead of easily forgiving. We hold onto expectations and forget who God revealed Himself to be. Our suffering becomes more important than Christ's suffering on Calvary.

The definition of "victimize" is:
1. To subject to swindle or fraud.
2. To make a victim of.
Giving into our emotions when we've been hurt by someone only hurts us more. It blinds us from having the victory that the Lord wants us to have and giving forgiveness that the Lord wants us to give. Wallowing in self-pity justifies our selfish carnality, swindling us from overcoming the bondage that hold us down.
The first thing we must do is when the offense comes, we must recognize that we have a choice. Then we must ask the Lord for a clear view, unaltered by our victimizing ways. This will help us make the right choice and move us closer to healing, forgiveness and overcoming emotional bondage. 

Oh Lord, You are so Awesome and Magnificent. Great are Your ways! I'm so thankful Your thoughts are above mine, that You see what is true and good. Thank You for overcoming the world through the cross, that we have a chance to overcome as well! When offenses come, please show me what is true in the situation. Help me to let go of any unhealthy emotions, so that I may learn to be accountable and forgive. Thank You for being our Provider and Healer. I pray that we will trust in Your power more than the power of those around us. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Do you often "play victim" when you've been wounded?
Have you ever victimized someone?
Tomorrow's Devotion Topic: Selfishness
For a full list of daily devotional topics & more information about 31 Devotion in 31 Days: Breaking The Chains, go here to read the original post.


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