Updated: Jan 18
There are times after a storm that you just have to grab the towel, dry yourself off, turn around and start walking.
You're going to feel a little shaky in the knees and maybe your heart just isn't in the walk yet, but you know it's time to move.
After a major tragedy or string of adverse advents, I can find myself getting stuck in the getting stuck part. For some odd reason, there is an upside to being the victim. Let's be honest, there are some real benefits to being stuck. Attention. People reaching out. Don't have to hide your emotions. The endless pep talks. It's just plain easier than trying to clean up and recover from the storm damage.
Accountability and responsibility.
I just lost you right?
Stay with me, I'll only speak of myself here, I promise.
My life today is the way it is because of the choices I've made. It's true. (it's true for you too, but I promised to only speak of myself) I've created the adversity and mess and the heartbreak and then retained the sin from what I've gone through and experienced.
It is so much easier to blame it on Satan.
Anyone who experiences any of the following has a victim mentality:
Needs to justify self to others
Needs to prove they are OK
Needs to be understood at all costs
Complains about everything
Never really satisfied, finds something wrong
Looks for other people's mistakes
Sets on taking care of themselves but lets people know they are all alone
Making sure everyone around them thinks well of them
Whatever others do for them, it's never quite enough
Expects out of people what they "think" they deserve (an "everyone owes me" mentality)
Low self-esteem and self-image
Self-pity (no one understands and their plight is the worse of all)
Their situation is unique
Compares their sufferings to others - thinking no ones is worse than theirs
If someone never went through their exact situation, they won't listen to counsel
Self-hatred, self-conflict, guilt and shame
Feeling worthless and insecure
Needy (People avoid them because after visiting with them they feel drained.)
Pushes away possible relationships - clinging and controlling (as with needy)
Wants to tell their whole story, looking for sympathy and pity
Blaming others - not taking responsibility - because after all "I'm the victim"
Self-righteousness, pride and arrogance- sometimes religiosity
Idolatry (putting one's feelings above everyone else's)
Cannot receive love
Gives love conditionally (with self in mind)
Has self on their mind all the time, "What about me"
Fear of letting others get ahead of them
Looks for approving glances
Everything that happens is about them (i.e. when they walk into a room, they think everyone was just talking about them)
Turns everything inward. "Takes things personally."
Wants to be justified and validates their feelings
Wants everyone to know how much they have been hurt - tells their story to anyone who will listen
Defensive and abrupt
Very suspicious - thinking people are out to get them
Talks about their "good deeds
Your sins and inequities are withholding good things from happening to you. Jeremiah 5:25
Jesus was the most victimized person that ever walked the planet. Yet he never took on sin. You didn't see him wallowing in self-pity or trying to justify himself. He never retained hate, anger, bitterness, shame, rejection, embarrassment, unforgiveness, worthless feelings, or guilt as a result of His victimization.
From adversity can come victim mentality and things that can stay in our hearts that HAVE to go. We block the good by doing that and it's time to grab the towel.
The towel of forgiveness. The towel of responsibility. The towel of joy. The towel of redemption. The towel of trust. The towel of love. The towel of security. The towel of humility. The towel of healing and moving on.
Jesus knew who He was, why He was on earth and what the future held. He is the towel.
Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. John 13:3-4 (NIV)
He knew the Father had put all things under His power and He chose a towel? He didn't choose pride? He didn't choose to exhort his title? He didn't choose self-rightousness? He didn't choose to break down and cry and whine and vent? He didn't stay stuck in fear and heartbreak?
He chose a towel.
To me the towel represents humility. Humility is necessary for self-improvement and inner well-being. Both are necessary for curing victim mentality. I think, humility is more important than confidence.
Jesus, knowing who He was, and what was about to happen to Him that Holy Thursday night, chose humility (the towel) and began washing the disciple's feet. Some say this act symbolizes the forgiveness of sins (especially in the case of Judas). If that is true, then the towel, removing all signs of dirt, will allow you to see things exactly the way they are. Forgiven in the Father's eyes. Clean. Not a victim, but a victor. One with Christ.
I think it's astounding to see how Jesus reacted here. Selfless - when he had every right to be otherwise. And I feel entitled to be a victim? As a Christian, I have no right to feel that I have the right to anything that Jesus did not choose for himself and when Jesus returns, he will not want to hear victim titles; he will be checking towels.