How a Teen Can React When Stuck in the Cyclic Effect of Victimhood

How a Teen Can React When Stuck in the Cyclic Effect of Victimhood

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All of us are victims. Adam dealt us a death blow. And to complicate matters, we’re also blameworthy. We are guilty victims or victim sinners if you wish. It’s not a comfortable thought, but it’s an accurate one. Everyone practically possesses these two polarizing truths. However, the more significant question is not what we have done wrong but what will we do about it? If you’re ready to focus on how you can transform, I have some terrific news for you: it can happen today! Here are a few thoughts for the serious-minded person who wants to change their life.

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Stop Blaming Others

I had a long list of reasons why I was the way I was. Though I knew I needed to change, I was quick to make a strong case about the injustices in my life. It was a smoke and mirrors routine that softened my responsibility while firmly trapping me in a victim-centered prison. Of course, there was enough truth about my complaints that affirmed why I was more of a victim than an active participant in my mess.

Isn’t it always like that; there is just enough truth to blame others while not focusing on the person you can change? Then there are the friends. I had enough folks around me to affirm my victimness. Mercifully, it took a 10 x 10 jail cell to drive a different kind of truth through my thick head. Though it was obscure initially, it was not long before I realized that being in jail had a silver lining.

I’m not sure what you’re going through today or who did what to you. But what I do know is that there is a path forward. The difficulty is not the signal to quit but an opportunity to reevaluate the options before you. Sitting in my tight concrete confines, I begin to rethink my life decisions, realize where they landed me, and revisit how I could change to reset my trajectory. It was no longer about them and what they did to me, but it was about me and what I would do next.

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Cyclic Victims

The same good Lord who gave us a perfect world has created a plan to provide us with another perfect world. Rather than blaming the Lord for what happened to you—or anyone else, you can bless His holy name for His redemptive plan. God has not given up on you. The original intent for humanity can come to you if you want it. The Garden of Eden is gone, and the consequences of the fall remain, but you do not have to stay down. You have choices.

If you continue to hold onto your victim card, you will never experience the love of God the way God wants you to enjoy it. You will experience more alienation from the life you could have with God (Ephesians 4:17-19). It is true: Adam has victimized you. Maybe you have been victimized by others. If so, your hurt is real. There is no minimizing this. I am not pretending what happened to you is not valid. It stings deeply.

The problem with a victim mindset is that it deepens the pain while covering it with case hardening that captures your thoughts in a presuppositional cycle. Your presupposition is the lens through which you view life, and if your lens is that of a victim, you will interpret the actions of others as always against you. You will perpetuate the oppressiveness rather than live out a more than conquerer mindset.

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Start Right Now

As you begin to change, keep reminding yourself about your motives for transformation. My motivation for changing as a fifteen-year-old was because I was tired of being me. Regardless of what my abusive dad did, I wanted to be free from my angry prison. The journey began with that decision. True freedom came ten years later when God saved me (John 3:7; Galatians 5:1). If you need to change:

  1. Start changing.
  2. Don’t over-complicate it or over-think it.
  3. Just start.
  4. Decide to stop whatever it is you’re doing or thinking.
  5. Don’t put conditions on it.
  6. Don’t say, “I will change after you (fill in the blank).”

Even as an unregenerate kid, I knew better than that. Though I had no clue where this new path would take me or what the results would be, it didn’t matter—I had to change. After I had made that decision, nothing in my external relational life did change. My brothers were still mean. My dad was still a drunk. My school teachers continued to judge me because of my well-deserved reputation, and nobody reached out to help.

Having people helping would have been helpful, but their lack of positive responses did not hinder me from changing. I changed because I was tired of being the way I was. I could not control what others were doing, but I could purpose in my heart to change. Reflecting on how things could have been while hoping for a different outcome in the future will not change you.

Call to Action

If you want to change and you plan to start today, here are five things I want you to do.

  1. Be Honest – Don’t play the victim card. Tell the absolute truth about yourself. Don’t add any if, and, or but to the drama in your life. Make it all about you, not others. Tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth about you.
  2. Tell a Friend – Let someone know how you need to change and why you need to change. Hold them accountable for holding you accountable. Don’t let them off the hook. Make them speak into your life.
  3. Guard Your Heart – Watch yourself from yielding to the temptation to fall back into old patterns. You want specific things to happen in your life and relationships. That makes you normal. Personal change does not mean you’ll get the life you want.
  4. Express Gratitude – Thank God daily because He gave you the desire and power to change. For God to care so much about you to motivate you to change is a profound reason for daily gratitude.
  5. Export the Gospel – Changing is not just for you. God regenerates and begins the process of sanctifying us to spread His fame to the lives of others. As you are changing, be sure to ask the Lord to bring people across your path so you can share the good news with them. Go and make disciples.

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