This is not about Jesus, who was an innocent victim of others. I am writing about a psychological syndrome in which a man or woman chooses to play a victim role instead of working at the struggle of life. This is about victims in comparison to Overcomers.
An eternal victim is one who has chosen that role as his way of life. He might play that role as two different personas, a defaulter or a loser, or as some combination of the two. The defaulter has decided that any effort is futile, so he loses himself in laziness, booze, or drugs, and connives for others to provide what little he needs to survive. Defaulters remind me of the cur which lives Ďneath the front porch of the saloon and begs handouts from passers-by. He may also steal whatever is at hand. The loser type APPEARS to be trying, but he tries in ways that are sure to fail, thereby getting sympathy as a reward. To his family members and friends who are unwilling to challenge his game, he is the object of their compassion, love, pity, charity, kindness, and sympathy. He feels that he gets greater reward, and more easily, as a victim than if he stepped forth as a player in the struggle of life where each day requires competitive effort and where winning is not guaranteed. Why expend the effort to be responsible when so many are offering their sympathy and charity to losers? It is the weak and defective in our modern society who get the sympathy and the welfare, while the Overcomers must strive hard just to survive in a merciless world of competition. Both types of victims feel that their lives are worthless and that they donít deserve success or happiness. Often they are carrying guilt for which they refuse Godís forgiveness. They both claim "bad things always happen to me."
I, personally, want to say at the outset that my heart goes out to these people whom I am criticizing, for I understand how difficult it is to rise above core beliefs that were adopted as small children. Like Jesus, I also want to reach a helping hand to them, telling them to just step up and walk; itís easy; just do it. But to so many, it really isnít easy, and my encouragement is not welcomed. To approach them as a friend, one either plays their game or gets pushed aside. You cannot convince another of his own strength, value, or empowerment. Their lives are living arguments for weakness rather than for strength. They break my heart, and I must resign myself to their anger at me for attempting to help.
Opposite the defaulters and losers, it is the Overcomers who carry the world on their shoulders, and who donít seek sympathy and welfare, but find fulfillment in working at their own dynamic adventures of life. They accept the fact that they possess the power over their own lives, and they take responsibility for their setbacks as well as for their achievements. Contrary to these strivers, the eternal victim rejects his own personal empowerment in order to attract the loving tenderness he knew when he was a powerless small baby. He pretends to play lifeís game, but he engineers his efforts to result in failure or loss. He will go to great effort to insure that he fails. His life becomes an adult version of a babyís cry of need. Each time he loses on a deal or fails at something, his consolation is that he gets to say, "thatís the way it always happens to me. Thatís just my cross to bear, I guess." He feels the satisfaction of getting a gold star in Sunday School for being such a self-sacrificing Christian.
Iíll tell you a little story with which I am personally familiar. A man whom I know had an older model Jaguar. Another man, Iíll call Joe, wanted that car should it ever be sold, and would pay $9,000 for it. Several months later, the Jag had been sold; he was offered $5,000 for it and sold it that day. Conveniently, he "forgot" that Joe had mentioned it several times. Then, the seller bought at an auction four old clunkers, spending the whole $5,000. Two of the clunkers had to be hauled to the smasher for scrap metal. The other two might be usable if given considerable work. There is an example of a man who engineers a loss into everything he does, so that he can claim "thatís the way it happens with me. As a spiritual man, I guess itís just my cross to bear." Strangely, most of his friends pander to him, feel sorry for him, and give things to him. He manipulates others to play his game, at which he always loses, and for which he always gets sympathy. He seeks to be stepped on! I would boldly suggest that he totally fails to stand up as a representative of his God and to be a positive actor in the game of life. He has defaulted.
If I really want empowerment in my life, I must begin by admitting that every action I have ever taken has been by my own choice and for my own benefit. Whether I won or lost in any ventures of my life, I engineered them for my own satisfaction, which might sometimes have been for success, or sometimes even for simple pity. Once I admit that I have already lived by my own natural God-given empowerment, then I can know that such empowerment is really mine. And I can begin to re-engineer my thinking so that I will find greater satisfaction in the reward of accomplishment than I found in the pity I received as a loser.
Life is a spiritual contest. Each of us has been given a mind and body by which to struggle in the battle of good versus evil. We are born with potentials to do contest as representatives of righteousness. Since I know that my life is in Godís hands, I need not worry about danger, but, like David, can step forth boldly to challenge whatever obstacles my opponents might put in my path. In Johnís Revelation, he saw Jesus riding a great white horse, leading an army of warriors in white robes against His enemies. Each of us European true Israelites is born to be one of those warriors, whose goal is to overcome an evil world. The defaulters and losers, however, have dismounted and sat down wanting nothing more than some pity and a handout; they donít feel they deserve the white robes. In Johnís Revelation, we hear Jesus saying repeatedly that the rewards will go to the Overcomers.
Ironically, some losers actually believe their failings are demonstrating "spirituality." Just as Jesus died on the cross, and because He commends us to also die to this world, losers will intentionally design failure into their activities to make them appear to be self-sacrificial acts. They come to equate failure with being spiritual. And they make clear to others that it is their spiritual values which are being expressed through their failures. They miss the truth that it was Jesusí strength which enabled Him to fulfill His destiny, which was to be killed by His enemies. He did not die as a loser or as a weakling. It was from strength that He engineered His destiny to overcome Godís enemies. His actions were just the opposite from the defaulters and losers who practice self-destruction and self-sacrifice instead of trying to fulfill their appointed destinies. Alas, they never "overcome" anything except that of representing the Supreme Almighty God as His own children. Losers are not Overcomers; they have defaulted on life, along with the purposes for which they were born.
The adventure of life requires that one step up to the plate and play the game, giving himself totally to the struggle while claiming full credit for both his wins and losses. He goes to sleep each night contented that he did his best that day, drifting off into a slumber that renews him for another new day. He doesnít let his mind even consider an alternative to "overcoming."
When an "eternal victim" comes to the end of his life, we might finally look upon him with some genuine pity. He opted out; he rejected his responsibility; he sat at the sideline; he served as nothing more than a disappointment to all who saw his potential; he blew it; instead of contributing to Godís program, he drained from others; he gave away all his talents wanting nothing in return; his so-called "spiritual" path led him into the abyss instead of into Godís presence; he martyred himself for nothing. At his funeral, his friends will say that he had a hard life, that God tests some people more than others, that he was special because he never gave up. The truth is that he suffered only the consequences of his own self-punishing decisions, and that he received more reward through sympathy in his life than he deserved. Even I feel a genuine pity for such a life that was wasted.
I want to tell you that I understand that each of us is exactly what we believe ourselves to be. Oneís physical or health ailments are but SYMPTOMS of spiritual problems which have not been addressed. Ailments are only symptoms and nothing more. They are not causes of your deficiencies, but merely indicators that you hold some mistaken beliefs regarding God, yourself, your purpose, your empowerment, your relationships, or other. You cannot be excused because you claim that your family members, your friends, your community, or your society also hold the same false beliefs, or that you were taught those lies as a young child. Overcomers are individuals who are willing to challenge every notion, idea, or teaching that they were taught. It is only individuals who sit astride those horses behind Jesus as His Overcomers. No matter what you were taught by others, it is you who whom God holds responsible to Truth. It is you, alone, who must stand up to the Goliaths of our world; and it might be that your Goliaths are your own family or church group. After all, Jesus said He came to turn family members against each other, and that "a manís enemies will be those of his own house." So, it is you as an individual who must stand up alone in spite of accusations of being uncaring, cold, heartless, unloving, and cruel from those who want to manipulate you to be like them. Most church groups are comprised of members who share the same false beliefs, and who believe that self-sacrifice is a noble spiritual path Ė rather than standing up like David who did not practice self-sacrifice.
I wish I could end this article with the above, but feel compelled to spell out in further detail the false lesson which the Christian church has foisted upon its faithful. The church teaches us that we are worthless, powerless, and deserve only condemnation. The Lutheran Church of my own youth, has the congregants recite in unison this confession: "O almighty God, merciful Father, I a poor miserable sinner, confess unto Thee all my sins and iniquities with which I have ever offended Thee and justly deserved Thy temporal and eternal punishment. But I am heartily sorry for them and sincerely repent of them, and I pray Thee of Thy boundless mercy and for the sake of the holy, innocent, bitter sufferings and death of Thy beloved Son, Jesus Christ, to be gracious and merciful to me, a poor, sinful being."
I feel outraged that so-called shepherds of Jesusí sheep would promote this belief. Obviously, they havenít the least inkling of what Jesus meant when He sent His disciples out to His lost sheep in Europe to announce that their sins had been forgiven, that it was accomplished, a done deal, forgiven. Since the time of Moses at Mt. Sinai, Godís race of Israelites had been under a death penalty for violating His Law: thatís nearly fifteen hundred years. Jesusí redemptive act repaired that breach and terminated that contract. No longer would sin be a lens through which our Father views us. The New Covenant, in Hebrews 8, says that God remembers our sins no more! But Christian churches donít teach that. They are content to denigrate Christís sheep by forcing them to wallow in guilt and to beg for mercy from a prostrate position of worthlessness. The churches absolutely will not release their prisoners from an identity of being miserable sinners. The Bible tells us that our Father sees us as white and clean and pure and holy; He sees us as His beloved Saints who represent Him personally. The church teaches us that we are filthy and deserve only condemnation. Now, I ask you to ponder how God must feel about those shepherd pretenders who accomplish Satanís work of demeaning His Saints instead of building them up! How would any military commander view his sergeant who led the troops aside to a drunken stupor instead of into the battle to which they were sent?
Following the confession which I quoted, above, the minister then claims the authority, as a called and ordained servant of the Word, to announce to the confessors the forgiveness of their sins. The implication is that because they confessed their sins they can have forgiveness announced to them, as though it is some kind of sacrament being offered through one of Godís authorized representatives. What a pernicious, malicious, damnable crock of sulphurous brew these shepherds offer Jesusí sheep!! What they refuse to do is to announce that sin ceased to be a factor between the Father and His children 2,000 years ago, and that He calls us to live boldly and dynamically as Saints and Heirs of the Kingdom without concern about any sins. Sure, it is helpful to discuss among ourselves how difficult it is to be righteous in Satanís world, and how we should not dwell on prior failures and guilts, but should stand forth bold and proud as a Holy one who represents the Almighty God of all-that-is. Letís discuss how to be righteous rather than how to display guilt.
Sadly, Christian preachers (of ALL sects) continue to bind Christians with guilt, and into a relentless battle against Sin, a war which can never be won. And that is to the death. I see people across this nation who still believe the damnable lies of preachers. I see men groveling, walking with downcast eyes, shuffling along as though they feel guilty of being alive. They program their lives to be powerless because they believe they are worthless. (Perhaps parents or friends accused them of being worthless or stupid when they were small children, and they believed it. It is human nature that we live our lives to validate the beliefs which we adopted when we were young, often to prove that our parentsí criticisms were right.) I see so many who carry guilt for terrible "sins," which guilt then defines their lives. They wallow in remorse for bad things they have done. They suffer ailments because they donít believe the Truth, that their Father sees them as righteous and holy and that He wants them to walk tall and proud for His sake, and thereby to glorify Him. I see people whose very identities are their ailment, such as they will tell you, "I am diabetic." He actualizes in his body what he believes himself to be, and then presents himself to the world as an ailment rather than a white-robed representative of God. And I see public places teeming with grotesquely obese men and women, who are displaying their own self-contempt instead of representing our Lord. I see men and women turning away from the Great Physician to the deadly prescriptions of medical doctors for removal of symptoms instead of confronting for themselves the spiritual errors which those symptoms indicate. I see defaulters and losers practicing deceit, cheating, lying, and outright theft because they feel so worthless and corrupt that such unrighteousness just doesnít matter. I see men and women displaying unrighteousness to the degree that they truly become contemptible, proving that their preachers were right about them. And I see so many that are filled with seething anger that life hasnít been fair, that they were taught lies when young, that they were rejected by others, that theyíve been cheated or exploited. Many use that anger as their only revenge against their world, a revenge which they express by denying personal happiness for themselves and forcing themselves to be losers, as though showing how it is all someone elseís fault. As though, "that will teach them! Iíll be a loser and itís all their fault!" Ironically, most of those whom they blame are doing the same irrational thing.
Defaulters and Losers have been taught to be that way by Christian teachers. Otherwise the Holy Spirit could work within their hearts and minds the New Covenant relationship in which God lives within each of His children, and makes His temple there. You can read it in Hebrews 8. God is essentially telling preachers and teachers to stand aside because He will personally work within His children that which they should know. I would add this thought: that any one who dares step between that Father and one of His own should tremble! Woe unto any who would claim to be Godís authorities over His own sheep.
So, to sum up this piece, I would simply ask you defaulters and losers to consider the radical Truth that you are not that way by Godís design, but instead that you were born to stand as His representatives through your lives. He sees you as pure and clean, no matter what terrible things you might have done in your past. You need not continue groveling and begging for mercy, but rather, you can accept that mercy, stand up, and step forth proudly like the modern day ad for the Marines, which shows a marvelous man in bright, clean uniform, and a sword in his hand. The ad says the Marines need a few good men. Well, God has a few good men, and you might be one of them if you can see yourself as He sees you. You can walk away from the sniveling loser image which the church taught you. God has a better plan for you! If you are willing to dump that load of guilt which He wants you to release. You canít represent God and carry a load of guilt at the same time. So, whatís the problem? Stand up and walk!
Roger Hathaway, April, 2007
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