Through the five plus decades I have lived in NYC I have observed many kinds of people. For the sake of this article I will break these people down into two categories: those with a victim mentality and those with a victor mentality. Those with the victim mindset interpret the world totally different from those with the victor mindset. The former views an obstacle as an unfair challenge and the latter view obstacles as an opportunity to overcome. You can also say that in American politics candidates attempt to appeal to one group or the other. To the victims, they pledge their intervention and to the victors they promise opportunity without as much government intervention and rules.
How you view yourself has nothing to do with the color of your skin, or the community in which you were raised. (Of course, personality temperament, psychological upbringing, emotional abuse and other things can contribute to having a victim mentality) I have seen those who are ethnic minorities overcome racism and poverty and accomplish great things (Booker T Washington, George Washington Carver, Martin Luther King, Jessie Owens, Jackie Robinson to name a few), and I have seen others in affluent settings become defeatist and full of self loathing and failure. It is not the circumstances that determine which mindset you have, but it is how you view yourself and how you react to the issues of life that makes that determination. (Of course, in this article I am speaking of a mindset but in reality there are also real life victims of sexual abuse, emotional trauma, sex trafficking, and the like who are suffering with severe trauma and need outside intervention and therapy in order to recover).
To illustrate the point further, I was brought up in a small apartment in a lower middle class white neighborhood and when my friends figured out I was part Hispanic they started making fun of me; however, instead of hiding in a corner I aggressively returned the favor and made fun of them and put them in their place and they never touched the subject again. Why did I respond this way? Because I had within me an intrinsic sense of self worth that transcended any insults that others threw at me.
Furthermore, as a Christian, we are called to walk with an understanding internally that we are more then conquerors in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:37).
As a Christian, we should never entertain a victim mindset. The world is full of people captivated by this mindset and it has resulted in millions of people enslaved and unable to realize their God given potential.
One of the most important things my wife, Joyce, and I have instilled in each of our five biological children is the fact that they are victors not victims! We taught them that everybody is going to have challenges in life but this is no excuse to cower in a corner and feel sorry for yourself. We also taught our children that as you get older, if you don’t help yourself nobody else can help you! We taught our children to be the head and not the tail, to be above and not beneath, to use their creativity to become entrepreneurial, and to be leaders and not followers of group think. (Read Deuteronomy 28:10-13) Millions are caught up in a victim mentality because they are ignorantly following the “group think” of their peers, the media, their political party and or their culture. Even many believers in Christ have been caught up in the mind games of the world that pits one group against the other: (The “haves” against the “have nots”)
For example, the Marxists, far left liberals and socialists (Like Bernie Sanders ) play off on the victim spirit -engage in class warfare , and make a living painting whole groups of people as victims so they can get elected and parachute in to the rescue . Without a victim mindset, thousands of politicians would be out of a job!
(This is not to say that I believe there is no racism or injustice or economic and political disparities but, in spite of these factors – we need to focus on teaching people that they can be empowered to excel in any environment with the help of God.
The following contrasts are meant to help you understand which camp you are in; If you are in the victim mindset camp- then God wants to change your paradigm and transition you to the victorious mindset.
Contrasting the victim and victorious mindset (for the sake of time I will not use the word “mindset” in these contrasts):
1-The victim believes the whole world is against them / the victor believes the whole world needs them
2-The victim sees a challenge as an obstacle /The victor sees the obstacle as an opportunity
3-The victim blames others for their failure /The victor takes personal responsibility for success or failure
4-The victim depends on handouts from others to succeed /The Victor makes do with what they already have to succeed
5-The victim is never satisfied and always looking for something more /The victor is grateful for what they already have and build upon that for more in life
6-The victim feels like everybody owes them something /The victor believes nobody owes them anything
7-The victim lives off other people /The victor lives to bless other people
8-The victim will end his days bitter /The victor will end his days satisfied
9-The victim only sees closed doors /The victor only sees open doors
10-The victim spreads a negative attitude to others /The victor spreads a positive attitude
11-The victim is pessimistic /The victor is optimistic
12-The victim gives up quickly if they don’t succeed /The victor doesn’t quit until they succeed
13-The victim has few real friends /The victor empowers and makes many friends
14-The victim repels people /The victor attracts people
15-The victim is always fighting for “their rights”/ The Victor lives to champion the rights of others
16-The victim has a critical spirit and is judgmental of others /The victor blesses others
17-The victim imagines people are against him / the victor imagines people are for him
18-The victim plays on the emotions of others /The victor releases the passion of others
19-The victim uses people for what they can get from them /The victor is a catalyst to inspire people to flourish
20-The victim has faith in evil to make things worse /The victor has faith in God to make things better