Season: 10 Episode: 150
Listen to episode 146 in Spanish:
What are the indicators of the victim mentality? Excuses and blame go as far back as Genesis 3 and we are all susceptible to it. But what happens when we nurture a culture of people with a victim mentality? We get a thankless generation. Paul told Timothy that the last days would be difficult because people are thankless. With the rise of critical race theory and an appressor/oppressed view of society, it is no wonder more people see themsevles as victims. Shanda takes you through scripture to learn how to keep your eyes on God’s blessings in a thankless generation.
Cross Examined Article: Is Teaching Your Kids About God Child Abuse?
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It’s almost time for thanksgiving and I am here for it. I love thanksgiving. I love the holiday season and I am not opposed to all of you who like to decorate for Christmas before thanksgiving. But in our house we love the fall and pumpkin spice and all that, so we made a deal not to decorate for Christmas before Thanksgiving. But I have already started watching christmas movies. Are you guys are enjoying the season?
I have some exciting news for you!
I am going to teach Baseline Apologetics: truth and morality this January! It is also now available in hard copy. We have a student workbook with questions, literature, resource recommendations of podcasts and chapters of books for you to read throughout. You can either purchase the book and do it alone. You’ll have everything you need, or you can purchase the class with 6 LIVE zoom teachings with me – and the book is included. Go to shandafulbright.com/baselineapologetics to get on the pre-order list. There is no purchase necessary yet, but you will get the information to get in the class, or get the book when it goes LIVE.
I will teach you the basic apologetics concepts on absolute truth and morality while laying a biblical foundation. I’ve taught this class before but we’re doing it in more of an instructional style this time around where you do the work and I teach you through a LIVE zoom on hour per week. Become one of my students and get in the class!
Okay, so let’s get to today’s topic – have you noticed the victim mentality has become a very popular mentality in our culture?
The victim is praised.
The victim gets attention. Everyone wants to blame someone else for the situation they’re and no on takes responsibility anymore. Why is that? I believe it has a lot to do with the signs of the times. And I’m going to make a defense for that here in a minute. This is what we’re going to talk about today:
- What is the victim mentality?
- Why is the victim mentality linked to an unthankful generation?
- Why is gratitude so important?
By the way, I have a free pdf on my site called 5 W’s to a Grateful Heart. Go to shandafulbright.com/resources and you’ll see it there.
What is the victim mentality?
You guys know I like to look at things from a biblical worldview and we see a good example of the victim mentality in Genesis 3. Here’s what I’m not saying: I am not saying there aren’t real victims out there – people who have been abused and mistreated and thus are dealing with hurts that need healing through counseling. When people are victimized, we need to be compassionate and loving and deal with the hurt.
But a victim mentality is completely different. When you have a victim mentality, you see everything that is done to you and every situation you’re in as someone else’s fault. You see everything as unfair toward you. You don’t own your choices. And you don’t own your decisions. You don’t admit when you’re wrong. And even though some of that can be true – the mistreatment from others or the unfairness from others, the victim will stay in that situation and do nothing to get out of it because it’s easier if it’s someone else’s fault because then I don’t have to own it.
What is it?
And I didn’t want this to be my opinion – because I’m not a psychologist – so I looked up some definitions of the victim mentality and here is what verywellmind.com had to say: “Do you constantly feel as though you have no control over situations or that other people are out to get you? Or do you feel as though bad things keep happening to you no matter what you do? If you find yourself blaming other people for events or situations in your life, you may be struggling with what is known as a victim mentality.
People with a victim mentality feel as though bad things keep happening and the world is against them. You may feel as though everyone else is against you, be that your partner, your coworkers, or even your family or friends. Even though there might be things that you can do to help fix the situation, you don’t take responsibility for anything and feel as though everything is out of your control.”
They go on to give more examples, and if you want to read the article, go to the show notes to find the link. https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-a-victim-mentality-5120615
There are a lot more articles and information on the victim mentality but the gist is the victim mentality is how the victim sees themselves – as the victim. And that effects how they interact with others – they see everyone else as the victimizer in some way. “I feel this way, so you must have meant to harm me”. It’s a thinking problem.
If you pay attention to the language of critical race theory which stems from Marxism, you will see that everyone is on this rating system called intersectionality. The only ones not on it are white, Christian men. They are considered the oppressor because they victimize everyone else. Women automatically have an intersection because they are victimized by men. If you are a woman of color then you have even more intersections because per CRT, people of color are the oppressed. Period – end of story.
What do you notice about this way of thinking?
There is no winner. Everyone is a victim or a victimizer. Talk about divisive and depressing. But that’s where the victim mentality leads. And we are raising a generation of kids who believe this.
I read an article the other day where several young teenage girls got pregnant – they don’t know each other – and they killed their babies. One stabbed her baby, cut it’s throat and threw it into a trash bag and hid it in her closet. This baby was going to hold her back – keep her from living her life.
A nineteen year old at the start of this year killed her baby and threw it into the trash can while in the hospital. She confessed and was supposed to stand trial but in the meantime, the judge allowed her to go to prom and start her semester at her new college. These girls, rather than the poor innocent babies, are seen as the victims in our culture.
In certain places in our country, we’re talking about paying reparations to people who were never slaves from people who never owned them.
The victim mentality is unforgiving. So what do we do?
Again, you can go to a secular counselor and get advice for how to handle being a victim but the Bible does give us some insight into this way of thinking and where it came from.
In Genesis 3, Adam and Eve sinned against God. God gave Adam a command not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil but Adam and Eve had access to every other tree. That’s a pretty good gig – all tress in the garden were pleasing to the eye. They had plenty of food to choose from. But you guys know the story – Adam and Eve ate the fruit from the forbidden tree. So were Adam and Eve victims of the serpent? You could say that Eve was but Adam wasn’t. Here’s why.
The Bible tells us that Eve was deceived but Adam was not deceived.
Eve did sin first and gave the fruit to her husband who was with her. Adam was given the command by God directly. Eve was deceived into sin, Adam chose to sin. Paul tells Timothy this in 1 Timothy 2:14. So you could say that Eve was gaslit, manipulated and deceived into eating from the forbidden tree – but Adam was not. Adam knew better. All blame was placed on Adam. That is why in Romans 5, Paul makes clear that all sin came through one man – Adam. Jesus is the second Adam through whom we are redeemed. Ok. For full context, please read Genesis 2 and 3. Read Romans 5.
I still haven’t shown you the victim mentality. I’m showing you the set-up. Eve was deceived, Adam wasn’t. That’s why I’m calling Eve the victim but using the worlds standards of victimhood.
So Adam and Eve eat from the forbidden tree and they try and fix their problems.
We’ve talked about this before. They sewed fig leaves together. It didn’t work. They were still ashamed. What did they do next? They hid. Ok. So here is the part where we see the evidence of a victim mentality.
God comes and He says, “Adam, where are you?” Notice that God does not address Eve. He addresses Adam. Why? Because Adam is the head of his home. He was the one God gave to tend and keep the garden and Adam allowed the serpent in and he stood by while his wife was deceived. God addressed the man and said, “Adam, where are you?” It’s a question to jar Adam out of hiding. Adam had to state his position with God. Where are you is more than just a question of physical location for Adam to answer. It was a question of where he was in his relationship with God.
And Adam’s response is, “The woman you put here with me, she gave me fruit from the tree and I ate it.” (NIV). Here’s the victim mentality and it shows itself in Adam’s response in two ways: excuses and blame. Adam made an excuse for why he was hiding – the woman gave me fruit from the tree and I ate it. And blame – oh, and by the way, God – you gave her to me.
It’s a classic sign of the victim mentality:
make excuses and blame other people for your situation. When in reality, Adam was not deceived. He was given the command and he was led away by his own desires and enticed to eat. He was responsible for his situation. And God didn’t let him slide. Adam still had consequences for his actions. So did Eve. So did the serpent.
And notice, God never cursed man. He cursed the serpent but he never cursed man. He only cursed the ground that man would work. God made pain in childbearing for the woman, but God did not curse humanity. Talk about mercy.
So that’s the victim mentality and it all stems from the fall.
It is now in our fallen nature to want to make excuses and blame others for our choices and wrong doings. I mean, I do it too. I don’t want to be wrong and I don’t want to have to own it. Seriously, I have to stop and think about whether or not I want to own my part in this. So the victim mentality has been around since the garden but we are in a culture that loves victimhood. You get attention for being the victim. You even get intersectionality points if you’re more of a victim than someone else. We reward the victim. And that means the victim mentality is nurtured in this culture.
Why is the victim mentality linked to an unthankful generation?
2 Timothy 3:1-5 says, “But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. 2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.”
I don’t know if there is a verse that describes our current culture better than this one. Why is there a time of difficulty? Because people will love themselves. And because they love themselves, they will be greedy, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobey their parents. And if they are all these things, then of course they are ungrateful. They are unholy. You cannot appease them. They slander others, they have no self-control, and they don’t love what is good. They love pleasure more than they love God.
This is another reason I often talk about the self-love lie.
If you love yourself, you look out for yourself and that leads to all of the characteristics described in verse 1-5. You will be proud, you’ll be ungrateful because there’s never enough. It will be about your pleasure, your success, your own good (which some might even call their truth). Think about it – more babies are murdered in the womb now because people love sexual pleasure and don’t want the responsibility or committed relationship.
Social media has nurtured a selfie generation that provides a constant platform for self-promotion, filters, and highlight reels.
The self-love message circulating in the church is the most surprising and Christian women will push back when you tell them the emphasis has never been to love yourself. And Paul told Timothy that these people have the appearance of godliness but deny its power. What does that mean? It means by all appearances – being in the church, quoting scripture (doesn’t mean it’s correct), and being religious – they look religious. But they deny the power – the transforming power of the gospel by the Holy Spirit. There is no change.
There is no love of God with all their heart, soul, and mind.
This is extremely dangerous. This is why things become increasingly difficult in the last days. A selfish cutlure is a dangerous culture and the church should not be touting the love yourself meology message and say it’s theology. It’s not.
With no power of God to transform the life, there is fake religion. It’s nominal Christianity – in name only. That means the human nature – selfishness, or self-love – leads the way and there will be unthankfulness. No gratitude for what God has done. Instead of seeking God, we become self-seeking. Instead of being others minded, we look out for number one.
I was telling a friend a few weeks ago that it is good to be a mother.
It’s good to be a wife because taking on those roles make us less selfish. We have to take care of someone else and think of others. We have to compromise with our spouses and figure things out because there’s someone else involved. Now, women are getting married later and later. Many celebrities are glorifying not having kids. It’s selfish.
The reasons they give for not getting married and having kids is selfish. And there was a lady in one of my bible studies who got angry at me for saying how God instituted marriage, and He will help you find a husband and she was upset. She said God doesn’t want everyone to get married. Even Paul in the NT encouraged people not to get married. And I agree. Not everyone has to get married. That’s true. But why did Paul encourage that? So you would be about the Father”s business. Not so you could just be single, a boss mom, and live your best life. And he also said, if you burn with passion (or want to have sex) get married. So if you’re going to appeal to what Paul said, you have to include the motivation behind it.
So what’s the point here?
What’s the correlation between the victim mentality and being unthankful? When God transforms our lives and saves us, we can do nothing to earn His love. It is all by God’s grace. We are sinners in need of a savior. We were separated from God. When we realize who we are and who God is, there is an appreciation, a gratitude for God sending His only Son to redeem us. To save us. To rescue us. And just like God went and looked for Adam, God saved Adam and Eve and pulled them out from behind the bush. He traded their fig leaves for an animal sacrifice and fixed the problem they could not fix. But Adam and Eve had to own their part in their decision to break God’s command. They put themselves behind the bush.
God made a way for them to come out.
All throughout the NT, you will see where Jesus never allowed someone to be the victim. He asked, “Do you want to be made well?” He asked blind men, “What do you want me to do for you?” He made them answer the question. He made them state their position. Some were there because of choices. Some were there out of not choice of their own but because Jesus would be glorified through their healing they were in the condition they were in. But never did Jesus pity them because they were victims. He knew that with Him, there were no victims.
God didn’t let them off the hook!
Just think … Moses could not speak well. God didn’t let him off the hook.
Jeremiah said he was just a kid. God didn’t let him off the hook.
The man at the pool of Siloam could not get to the pool where he thought he would be healed. Jesus didn’t allow him to make excuses.
Gideon said he was the least of his entire family. Too inexperienced to lead the army of Israel. God didn’t let him off the hook.
With God, there is no victim mentality. If God can do anything, then He can do anything through us. There is not victim when God is your healer, defender, and redeemer.
Why is gratitude so important?
Plain and simple – if we are not thankful and have gratitude, we’re saying there is nothing to be thankful for. That everything that happens to us is because others are unfair, unjust, or are holding us back. We are not content. Paul gave a wild and crazy depiction of contentedness in Philippians when we said that he has been with more than enough and he has been without but he has learned to be content in all situations.
He was in jail when he wrote to the Philippian church and that’s why he said, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” He wasn’t talking about being able to have the kind of strength to just face a hard day or to overcome a football game. It was much deeper than that. Contentment is a disposition because circumstance does not change the attitude of one who is content.
Whereas the victim mentality blames everyone else for their circumstances.
I was in my core class at church the other day and we read about Mary who poured her jar of perfume all over Jesus’ feet and wiped His feet with her hair. Her perform was worth about one year’s wage during the first century. But she did not consider the cost of the perfume because her gratitude toward Christ and her love for what He had done for her and her family consumed her heart. He was her treasure. That’s what gratitude does. It takes the focus off of me and sees what God has done for me.
Paul tells us in Thessalonians to give thanks in all circumstances. Look, I never said that would be easy, but again, God is not giving us permission to have a victim mentality. Got Questions says it even better than I do. They say this, “There are examples of believers’ thankfulness in the New Testament as well. Paul was heavily persecuted, yet he wrote, “Thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him” (2 Corinthians 2:14). The writer of Hebrews says, “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe” (Hebrews 12:28). Peter gives a reason to be thankful for “grief and all kinds of trials,” saying that, through the hardships, our faith “may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed” (1 Peter 1:6-7).
The people of God are thankful people, for they realize how much they have been given.
One of the characteristics of the last days is a lack of thanksgiving, according to 2 Timothy 3:2. Wicked people will be “ungrateful.”
We should be thankful because God is worthy of our thanksgiving. It is only right to credit Him for “every good and perfect gift” He gives (James 1:17). When we are thankful, our focus moves off selfish desires and off the pain of current circumstances. Expressing thankfulness helps us remember that God is in control. Thankfulness, then, is not only appropriate; it is actually healthy and beneficial to us. It reminds us of the bigger picture, that we belong to God, and that we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing (Ephesians 1:3). Truly, we have an abundant life (John 10:10), and gratefulness is fitting.”
I want to close this out today by challenging you to evaluate whether or not you have a victim mentality. If you do, the best way to overcome that is to think on what Christ has done for you. We were unworthy, full of sin, and on our way to hell. God owes us nothing. But the wonderful thing about the Lord is that He chose us. Jesus said this in John 12:23-27, “23 Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. 25 Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.
27 “Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name!”
You might be wondering what this has to do with the victim mentality.
Look at Jesus’ attitude. He was sinless. Jesus was God in the flesh who did not have to come and redeem us. He could have said, “Father, save me from this hour.” What was His hour? Jesus wasn’t afraid to die. He just resurrected Lazarus after 4 days of being in a tomb. Jesus was born to die. The terrible hour was that Jesus, a perfect and sinless sacrifice, would take on the sins of the world and be crucified in our place. He did not consider Himself to be a victim. He said, “This is what I came for … to save sinners like you.”
Life is hard at times. The reality is, people are unfair and there is a lot of injustice in this world. But none of that deters God from working in our lives. When we realize the brevity of what He has done for us, our attitude is changed from victimhood to gratitude. It really is about what God has done for us. And it all starts with loving Him first.
If you’re struggling today to be thankful and look on the bright side, I want to give you some things to think about:
- You’re alive. You’re here for a reason. God sees you and He is the reason you walk this earth. But the good news is that this life isn’t all there is. There is eternity waiting on the other side of this tough life and with Jesus, you will never die but you will live with Him.
- God does exist because the world you live in as 122 anthropic constants that hold this world together. The waves are under His charge. The moon is in the right place, the sun is where it should be because God put it there to make sure the earth did not burn up if too close or freeze if too far away. You have the right amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide in your atmosphere so that life can thrive here. This is the only planet that we know of that sustains life and Genesis tells us all about who is responsible for it.
- You don’t have to worry about tomorrow. You don’t have to worry about what you’ll eat, drink or wear because Jesus said the Father knows you need them and will supply all of your needs according to His riches in glory.
- Finally, Jesus has defeated the enemy. Not that Jesus WILL defeat the enemy – He has defeated the enemy. You are more than a conqueror in Christ Jesus. In Christ, you can approach the throne of grace anytime you need and ask for forgiveness, for guidance, for direction, for help, for comfort, for peace, for protection, and God hears you.
You are not a victim.
You might have had bad things happen to you and if that is the case, I am sorry for that. But with God, those things do not have to define you. And for those of you struggling with excuses and blame, remember that it didn’t work for Adam. God still made him answer the hard questions. It’s the best thing we can do to own our choices and move forward with Christ.
God is good! I hope you have a great Thanksgiving and spend time with your family. Take a minute to go around the table and have everyone state something they’re thankful for. Cultivate an atmosphere of gratitude and see how everyone’s countenance is lifted.
If you have any questions for me, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll catch you on the next one.