WISDOM FOR LIVING DEVOTIONAL
SEPTEMBER 4, 2020
TOPIC: STOP PLAYING THE VICTIM
BY T. O. BANSO
“So then each of us shall give account of himself to God” (Romans 14:12 New King James Version).
Playing the victim or victim-playing means blaming someone else for your problem when you could be partly responsible. Someone who plays the victim engages in self-victimization.
Victim playing is described as “the fabrication of victimhood for a variety of reasons such as to justify abuse of others, to manipulate others, a coping strategy, or attention seeking” (Wikipedia). Stop playing the victim. Those who play the victim are pessimistic about life. They tend not to expect a positive future for themselves.
You may have lost your business, money, marriage, etc., or suffered some setbacks in life. Despite all that, stop or don’t play the victim. Accept responsibility for yourself under God. Face what you need to do to change the present situation in your life. Avoid victim mentality.
Adam blamed God and Eve for disobeying God and eating the forbidden fruit. Eve blamed the serpent (Genesis 3:8-13). Neither of them admitted their sin. Their response to God was like It was not their fault that they disobeyed God; it was the fault of somebody else! That didn’t help their matter. Nevertheless, they were ejected from the Garden of Eden.
They should have admitted that they disobeyed God. Nobody can deceive you without your permission. Yes, something happened to you in the past. But have you identified the wrong part you played instead of blaming everybody except yourself? Stop playing the victim. Playing the victim card will never help anyone. Stop self-victimization.
The lame by the Pool of Bethesda played the victim when Jesus asked him a simple question: Do you want to be healed? Jesus never asked anything about his family. This man, who had been sick for 38 years, said he had no man to put him into the pool to be healed.
Possibly he had been bitter that no family member was keeping vigil with him by the pool to put him into it whenever it was stirred. (That aspect of the pool healing the sick is omitted in some Bible Translations or it’s bracketed because it is believed not to be in the original manuscript.)
Jesus’ focus was not on the pool but on the man, yet the man was playing the victim, blaming his family members. He was so fixated on a man to facilitate his healing that when the Healer (Jesus) came, he didn’t see Him! If not that mercy was at work, he would have died in that pitiable condition. But Jesus healed him. The story is in John 5:1-15.
In Mark 10:46-52, Bartimaeus the blind never played the victim. When he heard that Jesus was passing the highway where he was begging for alms, he was determined to receive his healing. He kept shouting, “Son of David have mercy on me!” Even when the crowd shouted him down, he shouted louder.
Because he persisted, Jesus sent for him and asked him what he wanted Him to do for him. Bartimaeus went straight to the point. He didn’t blame his parents, some witches, or the government for his blindness! He told Jesus he wanted his sight back. Jesus healed him.
Playing the victim would make you bitter and envious of others; it could make you suffer depression; it would stagnate your life. It would separate you from quality relationships, because of your negative communication.
Those who play the victim have a way of talking that would put purposeful people away. They keep repeating the same negative stories they’ve told before to seek attention, gain sympathy, manipulate, control, or justify the abuse of others.
Everything worked against Zacchaeus! The Bible tells us his story in Luke 19:1-9. He was a short man and he had a bad job – the Jews did not respect tax collectors; they saw them as thieves and traitors because they were working for the Roman authorities. The huge crowd around Jesus was also a great barrier. But Zacchaeus was determined to see Jesus. He didn’t play the victim, blaming his parents for his height, blaming the crowd, or blaming the Roman government for his job as a chief tax collector.
Zacchaeus did something about the situation he was facing. He didn’t resign to fate. He climbed the sycamore tree to cast a glimpse of Jesus. Significantly, he was the only one Jesus saw. He was saved that day and Jesus was a guest in his home that day.
It doesn’t matter what people did to you that brought you to where you are. You may be partly responsible for it or not. Don’t victimize yourself. Stop blaming your family, your former spouse or employer, the government, etc. Accept responsibility for your life under God.
Notwithstanding your present condition, God has not changed His plan and purpose for your life. Cooperate with Him to realize the good thoughts He has for you and bring you to the expected end He has designed for you (Jeremiah 29:11).
The prodigal son would have died in hunger if he had played the victim. His story is told in Luke 15:11-32. He could have blamed everybody else but himself. The Bible does not say that he blamed his father for granting his request for his share of the inheritance due to him. It is not recorded that he blamed those who joined him to waste his money in riotous living. Neither does the Bible say that he blamed God for the famine. But he came to his senses and returned home. Stop victimizing yourself, playing the victim.
Some prostitutes, kidnappers, bandits, drug addicts, armed robbers, fraudsters, etc. continue in their sinful and destructive pursuits, playing the victim. They blame the family, the government, the society, the economy, or some negative experiences they had in the past for the way they’re living. They blamed others to justify their abuse of others, attract sympathy, as a coping strategy, or manipulate others.
Stop blaming others for what you may be partly responsible for. Even if you are not, pointing fingers won’t help you. Jephthah was not responsible for being born by a mother who was a prostitute. But he didn’t commit suicide because his stepbrothers rejected him. He rather departed from home to go and develop his potential. The elders of his tribe came later to beg him to lead them to war (Judges 11).
After defeating the Ammonites, the Ephraimites threatened to burn down his house with him for not calling them to help him in the war. He told them that he summoned them but they refused to come and he put his life in his hands (Judges 12:1-2). Jephthah didn’t play the victim. He did what he had to do.
Stop playing the victim. Anyone guilty of this should repent and be transformed by the renewing of his mind (Romans 12:2). You have only one life to live. Don’t waste it. It is appointed for men once to die but after this the judgment (Hebrews 9:27).
Romans 14:12 says, “So then each of us shall give account of himself to God” (New King James Version). Stop playing the victim. Accept responsibility for your life.
If you’re not born again, repent of your sins today and accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. Whoever comes to Him, He will by no means cast out.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The LORD be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, I repent of playing the victim. I will not play the victim to manipulate others or to seek attention. I will accept responsibility for my life by obeying Your Word, doing all that You expect of me.
(For over 300 in-depth and powerful messages by T.O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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