Overcoming Victim Mentality as a Christian

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "Get Out of Your Head" by Jennie Allen. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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What do you need to know about overcoming victim mentality as a Christian? How will letting go of a victim mindset improve your well-being?

According to Jennie Allen, the author of Get Out of Your Head, one of the biggest mental obstacles facing Christians is a victim mentality. Overcoming victim mentality can be achieved by choosing gratitude over self-pity.

Keep reading for tips about overcoming victim mentality as a Christian.

Overcoming Victim Mentality

Having a victim mentality leads to a state of unhappiness centered in self-pity over your painful experiences. Some typical thoughts associated with victimhood include the following. Look for these in your own mind:

  • It isn’t fair.
  • I’m doing the best I can just to survive.
  • I can’t ever recover from what happened. I can’t move on.
  • My life wasn’t supposed to turn out like this.
  • Nobody would believe what I’ve been through.
  • I never get any good breaks.

Overcoming victim mentality involves practicing gratitude, an encompassing attitude with an accompanying practice of thankful appreciation, no matter what happens.

The enemy’s basic lie in this battle is that you’re a victim of your circumstances. It tells you that you’re doomed to a life of misery because of the negative things that have happened to you, because of your situation, because of what other people have done to you or withheld from you, because of what you lack or can’t do, and so on. We must first challenge this lie before overcoming victim mentality.

This lie can use circumstances both major and relatively minor to perpetuate itself. The author shares several stories about people in her life who have encountered serious troubles, ranging from racism to terminal illness to disability, that presented potential points of access for the lie of victimhood. The next section below describes some of these stories.

A friend of the author’s actually bought the lie. This young woman worked as a clerk at a retail clothing store, and since the job didn’t line up with her ambition to use her skills and her college degree for something “better,” she was caught up in frustration and disillusionment. The circumstance was less serious than, say, a terminal illness, but it was still sufficient to allow the lie of victimhood to worm its way into the woman’s mind.

Practice Gratitude

The truth that overturns the lie of victimhood and will help you with overcoming victim mentality is that your circumstances, far from being a trap and making you a victim, provide all the opportunities you need for experiencing God’s goodness. A key scripture supporting this truth is Paul’s exhortation in 1 Thessalonians 5 to “rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

The pain you experience from your circumstances doesn’t have to become your identity. It isn’t your master. The power of Jesus enables you to acknowledge your frustration and pain without losing peace and joy.

The way to defeat your enemy of victimhood is to choose gratitude. Be grateful no matter what happens, no matter what life brings. This is the key to overcoming victim mentality:

  • Meditate on scriptures.
  • Practice looking beyond your immediate situation.
  • Look for unexpected gifts that difficult circumstances may bring.
  • Learn and receive the neurological benefits of gratitude for improving your life.
Overcoming Victim Mentality as a Christian

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Like what you just read? Read the rest of the world's best book summary and analysis of Jennie Allen's "Get Out of Your Head" at Shortform.

Here's what you'll find in our full Get Out of Your Head summary:

  • Satan’s master plan for poisoning your mind with toxic thoughts
  • How to replace ungodly lies with scriptural truths
  • How to “put on the mind of Christ” and fulfill God’s plan for you

Elizabeth Shaw

Elizabeth graduated from Newcastle University with a degree in English Literature. Growing up, she enjoyed reading fairy tales, Beatrix Potter stories, and The Wind in the Willows. As of today, her all-time favorite book is Wuthering Heights, with Jane Eyre as a close second. Elizabeth has branched out to non-fiction since graduating and particularly enjoys books relating to mindfulness, self-improvement, history, and philosophy.

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