Victim Entitlement Society
In the movie, Seems Like Old Times, Charles Grodan says a classic line to Goldie Hawn:
“If you can’t learn to give up the past, you’ll have to give up the present.”
People who live in a perpetual state of victimization never can receive all that comes with each new day, because they are dwelling in the past. While driving through their life looking constantly at the rear view mirror, they can’t receive the grace that is available or God’s faithfulness that is new each morning. They are so distracted by the past that the gift of the present eludes them. Sometimes I think our society gives so much attention to victims that they can never get past the incident that gave them the ‘victim badge.’
If we choose to resist forgiving (letting go of offense) and remain a victim, we will eventually find ourselves members of the VES (Victim Entitlement Society). Do you know someone who is a member of the VES (Victim Entitlement Society)? The President of the VES is, guess who—Pride, in yet another of its roles. Pride maintains an over-inflated view of what one deserves. This over-inflated view leaves no room for any injustice or mistreatment—perceived or real. And it certainly holds a NO TOLERANCE policy towards repeated offense. In every speech by President Pride, the members of the VES are reminded of what they are entitled to: A FAIR, PAIN-FREE LIFE!
The theme song for the VES is The Egyptian Delivered Whiner. Remember the perpetual chorus of this tune by the Israelites in the desert? Victims love to whine about how unfair life is to them. The demanding spirit in a victim helps a person sing this song with gusto. Such self-pity would appear as weak suffering, but truly, it is just inverted pride. In fact it is just the angry response to ‘unapplauded pride and a wounded ego.’ I have seen many members of the VES on local and national news!
An alternative to being defined and driven by one’s victimization, is the possibility of becoming a wounded healer, rather than an arrogant victim. Here is a classic illustration of an alternative to VES. In the process of South Africa trying to heal from the atrocities of apartheid, they created the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The suggested qualifications for those who would participate on the commission team were as follows:
“The commission should be comprised of victims, people whose lives had been ripped open by the horrors of oppression. But not arrogant victims, he stated, not people looking for vengeance. Instead, Tutu said softly, these should be people who have the authority of awful experiences, experiences that educate them toward empathy, and yet still have within themselves hearts willing to forgive. This, he went on to clarify, could be accomplished only through a deeply buttressed spiritual life. These people will be wounded healers.”(To Own A Dragon, Donald Miller)
This quote reminded me of the dangerous arrogance that can fuel a life-style of victimization. A deeply offended person must resist buying property in the Waterfront Condo of Victims and pursue the healing and forgiveness that gives birth to a wounded healer rather than the bitter and cynical life of an arrogant victim—screaming you owe me.
Victims waste too many brain cells on ‘revenge fantasies.’ They are offended by the truth in Romans 12:19 “Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath…”
Learning to ‘let God and let God’ allowed me to cancel my pending membership to the VES.
(Adapted from : Free Yourself to Love: The Liberating Power of Forgiveness)