At one point or another, most of us have been a victim of something. Whether it is abuse, discrimination, wrong doing, or a false accusation, being a victim can be painful, frustrating, and even devastating.
Depending on the circumstances, victimization can leave us with a profound sense of powerlessness and even hopelessness. Even when the circumstance has passed, and tempt us to believe that our lives are subject to the negative actions of others, those feelings have a way of remaining.
The truth is, we get to choose whether or not we will remain a victim. We can’t change what happened to us yesterday but we can decide where we will go from here.
Best selling authors and psychologists, Dr. Cloud and Dr. Townsend, put it this way, “It’s not my fault if I get hit by car, but it is my responsibility to learn to walk again.”
If you were victimized, it is not your fault. It’s horrible and unfair. And as frustrating as it may be, the responsibility to move forward, to heal, to get better, lies in your hands.
John 5 invites us into the story of a man who had been paralyzed for 38 years. Upon encountering him, Jesus asked him a profound question…
“Do you want to get well?”
The man responded with a list of obstacles that were standing in the way of his healing. He pointed fingers at his circumstances and the actions of others. In other words, he responded with a victim mindset.
Jesus gave him a directive, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.”
Upon doing so, he was healed of his condition.
I believe that Jesus is asking you and I the same question, “Do you want to get well?”
We can either continue to focus on the obstacles and find excuses that will keep us stuck in the conditions and mindsets that perpetuate our sense of victimhood, or we can stand up, take responsibility for what is ours, and walk towards freedom and healing.
The choice is ours.
We can continue to find reasons and excuses that justify why we are the way we are, or we can decide to get well. The beautiful thing about choosing to get well is that with God’s strength, we have the capacity to not only survive victimization we once experienced, but to overcome it completely. (Romans 8:37)
Check out my youtube video on “Not a Victim“!
*This blog was originally a part of Bible reading plan (Getting Past Your Past) I wrote for Youversion. It can also be found in Youversion’s Bible App.