At no point in our country’s history has there been such an epidemic of victimitis as there is today—that is, people who declare themselves powerless against their circumstances, metabolisms, or upbringings.
This victim mentality prompts many alcoholics to say, “Drinking problems run in my family—it’s genetic. There’s really nothing I can do about it.” Criminals say, “Look at my upbringing. I never had a chance. It’s not my fault.” I once spoke with the warden of a federal prison who told me that if he believed the inmates, there wasn’t a guilty man there.
Don’t create or allow circumstances to develop that can destroy you. Have you accumulated crushing debt? Given in to addiction? Refused to resolve broken relationships? Take responsibility for your life. Don’t fall back on excuses like bad luck, bad genes, or bad parents.
Christians aren’t exempt from the victim mentality either; we often put another spin on our situation—we blame God for things. The seductive power of the victim mentality is that you never accept responsibility. It’s always someone or something else’s fault.
I’m not saying your circumstances, genes, and upbringing don’t affect who you are. They clearly do. What I’m saying is, regardless of all these things, we remain responsible for our own behavior. And more importantly, God is capable of bringing about change in any life, even yours—no matter how messed up it is.
Taken from The Life Recovery Devotional: Thirty Meditations from Scripture for Each Step in Recovery by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop. Copyright © 1991 by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.