After going through a hard season of life and reflecting back to the place when I was at my lowest point, I was praying on a Wednesday morning, I began to ask God to show me the hidden thing I struggle with.
I heard, “a Victim Mentality.” When I looked up the definition, it said: “A person who blames their challenges in life on others around them, even if they can’t prove their negative actions.” I said, “WOW!! That is me.” I spent years blaming others for ruining my life. Those negative seeds from hurt were never rooted up but covered up. Those seeds were layered on top of one another to create a wall of protection around my heart, a safety net to keep people out of my life so I would never be hurt again.
I would tell myself, “Don’t be too transparent because people will just use what you say against you.” I convinced myself that being alone was a part of my personality, coaching myself to remember I do not have friends and to keep guarding myself. Those rooted lies ran so deep, when someone tried to correct me or challenge my rebellion with advice, I got defensive, deflected, and Isolated myself. I often used the statement that I just needed to be alone with God to pray. However, what I was really saying was I am offended at what you just said, so now I am going to isolate myself until you realize you hurt me. The crazy part about that is nine times out of ten the other person had no idea they hurt me.
The Holy Spirit showed me how this mentality weakened my spiritual man. When a victim mentality is operating even my prayers become victim based. I started whining in prayer instead of praying in boldness. I started praying, “Father, why is everyone against me? Woe is me, your humble servant.” I could not hear the heart of my sisters and brothers when they were trying to correct me. 2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, reproof, for correction, and righteous instruction.”
The Victim Mentality convinced me to never let anyone change who I was. I adopted the phrase, “No one in this world is perfect.” No one had the right to correct me because look at their lives: They’re doing A, B, C, and D. In fact, doesn’t God speak to me as well? If he wanted to change me, he would bring correction to me personally. This was the biggest lie from Satan. These lies were used to make me a self-centered, egotistical, spiritually arrogant person. Where there is no correction, there is no spiritual growth. 2 Timothy 3:16 shows me God is totally into putting us back on track through proper correction and reproof.
The Victim Mentality shut off my spiritual ears and heightened my carnal ears, and when people would pull me to the side to say look you were off or out of order, I heard it as an attack instead of a love warning from God. It became Impossible for me to receive correction, reproof, and even righteous instruction for my own spiritual growth. I already had made up in my mind I will embrace this “woe is me” attitude. It will get me the attention I needed. Therefore, my spiritual man became weak. I thought I could blame God for this, but God didn't stop my growth, I did.
I became one of those people that 2 Timothy 4:3 talks about. One that had itching ears and regurgitating sound doctrine. I had misplaced hunger for God. That led me to a place of desiring treats of the word instead of meat that will give me strength. I became malnourished in the spirit, searching for leavened bread. I had no power, no word, no prayer life, and I couldn't even feel God's presence. I wanted to hear a motivational word to protect my victim mentality and give me a right to feel the way I was feeling. I had one foot in the church (pretending) and the other foot in religion. So, I started back on the road to Egypt where I was comfortable.
Egypt was where I grew up so I was very familiar with that place. I thought I could go back to Egypt and change it. I was exhausted on the journey to the Promised Land. This pathway was too difficult for me. The place of freedom was challenging because I’ve been bound for so long; even when I came out of bondage, I still couldn’t figure out how to actually live free. I thought I should just become super spiritual. So I would often quote, “Whom the son sets free is free indeed,” but I really wasn’t in agreement with that scripture because my heart really wanted Egypt.
The Holy Spirit led me to Genesis 12:1-3 (KJV): “Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: 2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: 3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. The Holy Spirit gave me the same instruction. Leave everything, family, friends, possessions, and get both of your feet and heart out of Egypt. Go to the Promised Land, the unfamiliar place. There I will bless you. Don’t look back and turn into a pillar of salt like Lot’s wife. It is not worth it to look back and dry up spiritually.
Fight for your freedom at all cost. Do not be like the Israelites. The victim mentality hit the entire camp at one time. What was supposed to take them four days spiraled into forty years. Then guess what? They never made it to the Promised Land. They never brought their hearts out of Egypt. They picked up one another’s Egypt mentality. The Israelites complained and had a “woe is me” attitude.
God saved them from slavery, showed them signs, miracles, and wonders, fed them manna, kept their clothes in good shape, and protected them. Sadly, that wasn’t enough for them, so they turned to another god. They were hyped when God was blessing them, but the moment the road became a little difficult their attitudes shifted. The Israelites looked into their hearts and saw Egypt, and they wanted to go back. I used to say, “Wow, how could they do that to God?” They had him at their fingertips. He was so tangible to them. Until I began to examine myself and my heart.
The pattern was very similar to the Israelites. I also had God at my fingertips. He is actually living inside of me. He brought me out of the religious system, gave me a new start, fed me fresh manna every week (words of life and truth), but when my walk got hard, my heart said, “Let’s go back to Egypt.” I had one foot there anyway as a safety net, so it was easy for me to pivot right back there. This is when I realized that unclean matters of the heart that go unchecked is what Satan uses as bait to take you back to Egypt. When I say Egypt, it means anything that binds you and separates you from God’s presence.
Looking back got me all messed up. The religious spirit came back and with a vengeance. I secretly became everyone's full-time judge. My mistakes were justified, but other people’s mistakes were sin and needed to be addressed. I battled with this for months. I was walking around tormented because I refused to close this door. I had too much faith in my Victim Mentality. It was a struggle to let it go. I thought being guarded was protection, but it was actually a shield for Satan to hide behind and make me prideful and bitter.
I want to share this because God exposed it to me and is making me deal with it head on. God is still tearing layers of this mentality off me, but now that I am aware of this mentality, I know how to go against it.