Contributor: Ryan Moffat, BS in Bible and Theology from Multnomah University. Pastor of Vast Church.
We live in perilous times. We live in the most “victim-centered” culture in the history of the world. If you spill your hot coffee on your lap, it’s McDonalds fault. If you trip over a curb because you were running away from law enforcement after you stole from a local grocery store, it’s Fred Meyer’s fault.
If someone breaks into your house to ROB YOU and you retaliate to defend yourself, it’s the homeowners responsibility to pay the medical bills and the counseling fines (for emotional and punitive damages you did to the criminal when you called him bad names as he went to plunder your family and stuff). Seriously….this world is INSANE!
In his book; A Nation of Victims: The Decay of the American Culture, Charles Sykes beautifully and poignantly describes the unbelievable damage that has been done in our western pampered, entitled world.
In the book, Sykes explores how we have shifted all personal responsibility out of the American Culture and everything is either a disease (something that we can’t control right?), or it’s something that happens to us from some bad person (out there) who wants to get us (again, something we can’t control right?).
Are You a Victim?
What has happened is that it has made people POWERLESS to take control of their own lives and leaves people at the mercy of everyone else because hey, if you’re a victim, you can’t do anything about the bad stuff done to you, can you?
Scripture seems to paint a radically different picture of personal responsibility as a CENTRAL ETHIC to a healthy life. Here are some passages that seem to demonstrate a Biblical perspective of taking ownership of our lives:
- “But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his own load.” – Galatians 6:4-5
- Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? —Unless indeed you fail to meet the test! – 2 Corinthians 13:5
The apostle Paul tells the early Church to have a healthy engagement with both Jesus but also with themselves. That they would be appropriately self-aware with their own responsibility in life. Paul is assuming that they are actually part of the solution of their own life.
In other words, in Paul’s understanding of life, it’s not just that things happen to you, it’s that you and I are actually participants in the construction and therefore the results of our own lives.
- Victims blame, mature people own!
- Victims relive the crime; mature people redefine and take back their future!
- Victims see people as threats, mature people see people as support!
- Victims make excuses, mature people create solutions!
When you embrace the responsibility of your life you simultaneously embrace the power to change your future and that, my friend, is invaluable!
Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!
Have you moved from a victim mindset to a responsible mindset in your recovery from addiction? How did this change impact your recovery?
About the Author: Ryan received his BS in Bible and Theology and a minor in counseling from Multnomah University. He has pastored students, families and is passionate about Christ-centered recovery and healing. He’s been married to his beautiful wife Michelle for 13 years and they enjoy raising four crazy, unique and special kids together. Ryan is the teaching pastor at Vast Church in Sisters, OR and is currently working on his Masters in Theology at Western Seminary in Portland, OR
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Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on November 16, 2015
Published on AddictionHope.com