How often we use this statement, tacking on a variety of endings to point the finger of blame at someone else for whatever it is in life that displeases us. I call this “victim mentality,” because when we point the finger of responsibility at others we play the role of the victim. Do any of the following statements resonate with you at all?
If only you would grow up!
If only you would do more around the house!
If only you would be more intimate!
If only you would get more serious!
If only you would lose a little weight!
If only you would get a better job!
If only you would change!
Self-focus would rather get than give.
Self-focus would rather be right than loving.
Self-focus would rather live autonomously than in community.
Self-focus would rather say, “If only you…” instead of accepting responsibility.
When all you can see is yourself, you are blind to the needs, hurts, desires and brokenness of others. It is easy to point the finger at others and live life as a victim. We need to admit the truth that, more often than not, we really do love ourselves more than anything else in the world; and that includes Jesus. But thankfully Jesus knows just how strong and sturdy our allegiance to ourselves really is, and loves us way too much to leave us there. God is slowly bringing us to the end of ourselves and, as far as I am concerned, the sooner the better! How about you?
So the next time you are ready to shout, “If only you . . . !” pause for a moment and take a closer look and see how your “victim mentality” might have clouded your view of your Savior. When you are looking to Jesus, you see yourself as He sees you-as more than a conqueror-and you will begin living like one, regardless of the cost or circumstance. Only the grace of the gospel can propel us past a life of self-focus to live in a better way – a way that is totally focused on the person, work and will of the Lord Jesus Christ. Only the grace of the gospel can puncture “victim mentality” and liberate us from the prison of the self into the spaciousness of the Savior’s kingdom! This is real life. This is true freedom. This is the end to “If only you…!”
This is grace for your race. Never forget that…Amen!
Senior Pastor of Cross Community Church in Deerfield Beach. This is a daughter church of Coral Ridge and a new church plant. The church website is http://www.thecrosscc.org . We will be holding our large group bible studies on Saturday evenings, at 747 N. Federal Highway, Deerfield Beach.