We’re all familiar with the victim mindset.
It’s the one that says how powerless we are. It says that we’re just ships adrift on an unfriendly sea, at the mercy of our circumstances.
But there is another lie, on the opposite side of the coin, that can be even more dangerous, and most people don’t even know they’re falling for it.
The Victim Lie
You’re completely powerless. There is nothing you can do to stop the negative or to create more positive. Other people, random chance, and God are all either ignoring your plight, or pouring fuel on the fire.
I’ve let it control me, by times. It keeps us in chains, stifles our ‘doing’, and stops us from becoming all that we can be.
Any lie that has power over us has to convince us that God isn’t in control. The victim lie says that someone – anyone – who doesn’t have our best interest in mind, is in control.
I can almost picture Satan trying that one on me, oh so long ago.
“Hey little girl, You’re stuck. You’re completely powerless. Don’t even try.”
He misjudged me, though.
I kept trying. I kept figuring, thinking, strategizing. I put every brain cell God gave me into overcoming every challenge, fixing all the problems; becoming the best defender of my fortress I could.
“Hmm…” As he scratches his fiery goatee, a light bulb goes on over his horned head.
The ‘You Can Do It’ Lie
A victim, drained of power, is easy to spot. Someone who’s living under this other lie, is far harder to recognize.
They look capable. Powerful. In control.
If you try really hard, with all your resources, you can make your world work. You can make life safe.
“You know, little girl, you’re right.”
He smiles down at me, and you can imagine what that looks like.
“You can figure it out,” he says. “You just keep trying and you’ll be able to fix everything. You just keep track of all the challenges, be in charge of all the emotions of all the people around you.
He pats me on the head, patronizingly.
“Learn all the rules and have all the answers, before the questions are even asked. Then, and only then, you’ll overcome it all. You’ll be safe.”
And so, a lifetime of looking smart, resourceful, and determined begins. Those are all good qualities, right?
When Smart, Resourceful and Determined are Bad Things
They’re good only if they’re being used to pursue something that is actually attainable; something based on truth.
Smarts, resourcefulness and determination are terrible things, if the person is using them to micromanage a sinful world into a safe one. Even if that person had a straight line on right and wrong (which is doubtful), it’s not a human-sized job.
They’re trying to do a God-sized job. I’ve been trying to do a God-sized job.
Just imagine taking on a leadership role that turns out to be beyond your ability, but having no one to turn to for guidance or help.
Now look at the job description again.
Figure it out.
Keep track of all the challenges.
Be in charge of emotions… people.
All the rules.
Anticipate all the questions… know the answers.
Imagine that a five year old that you know believes their safety – their value as a human – is only assured if they can master that list. As an adult, that list is more than I can handle.
A child in that kind of leadership – God-like – position is sunk.
There is a bright side, though. The bright side is as big as the sun, the moon and all the stars together. Did you know that God breathed everything you see in the night sky into existence? (Psalm 33:6)
You know, breathed… like one of those short, desperate, stops-at-the-collarbone breaths we take when all of our efforts to make our lives work safely come to nothing.
Only very different.
Just one of God’s breaths created all the starry host. That’s the bright side, the truth, to this lie. If he can breath out stars as easy as that, then he can manage the to-do list that Satan convinced me to take on.
God created everything on this earth with ease. He manages the complex lives of all his human without breaking a sweat. We can stop burning ourselves out doing things that he’s got down to an art.
God doesn’t need my help. And he doesn’t need yours either. God is not a victim of the lies we believe. He’s the truth-teller.