What does it mean to be an anti-victimhood advocate?
Anti-victimhood means not dwelling on your past pain, your past trauma, or your past circumstances.
Anti-victimhood means not letting the physical and emotional abuse you endured by family members affect your present relationships.
Anti-victimhood means not letting the sexual abuse or the sexual violence that occurred to you determine how you view yourself, your sexual identity or self-worth.
Anti-victimhhod means not letting domestic violence affect how you view men or women.
Anti-victimhood means not letting church hurt dictate how you view others in the church.
Anti-victimhood means not letting your abusers have the last word.
Anti-victimhood means not letting social media have the final say in how you interact with others from a different culture, ethnicity, denomination, or political affiliation.
Anti-victimhood means that you understand that suffering produces perseverance, character and hope (Romans 5:3-4)
Anti-victimhood means seeing your suffering as a means to draw close to God (Psalm 27).
Anti-victimhood means you are not surprised at any fiery trial when it comes your way, as though something strange were happening to you. Rather you understand that as an anti-victim advocate you share in Christ’s sufferings. (1 Peter 4:12-13)
Anti-victimhood means you expect to be insulted for the name of Christ, while also not being ashamed to be known as one who belongs to Christ (1 Peter 4:14-16), in spite of the failures of other Christians.
Anti-victimhood means entrusting your soul to your faithful Creator, while doing good in the face of suffering (1 Peter 4:19).
Anti-victimhood means treating others the way you want to be treated (Luke 6:31), especially when others don’t treat you the way you want to be treated.
Anti-victimhood means you don’t just love those neighbors or those in your social circles that are easy to love, but rather you also look to love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you (Mathew 5:43-48).
Anti-victimhood means you are not expecting or demanding restitution due to historical oppression or evil acts committed in the past because you don’t keep a record of wrongs (1 Cor 13:5 CSB), nor do you take into account wrongs suffered (1 Cor 13:5 NASB) and finally, you do not resentfully insist (1 Cor 13:5 ESV) in your own way to “correct” history.
Anti-victimhood means accepting the reality that just because you have been hurt by others, you are cognizant that you still need to repent of your own sins, daily.
Anti-victimhood means you use your suffering as a means to comfort others through their suffering, remembering that God cared for you when you suffered (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).
Anti-victimhood means blessing those who curse you and really praying for ALL those people who abuse you (Luke 6:27-28), including those who you feel use their power, roles, or titles irresponsibly and in ungodly ways.
Being an anti-victimhood advocate DOES NOT minimize suffering or ignore the evil actions of others. You do press charges when laws have been broken. You do seek justice when it’s necessary, however, you do not let that suffering or evil action done to you control the rest of your life. You are aware that it can easily consume your mind. It can control your heart, emotions and behavior towards others. Most importantly, you know that it has the power to effect your faith in Christ, making you question God’s goodness.
Anti-victimhood means that you know you are wearing the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18), at all times and in every circumstance.
Being an anti-victimhood advocate means you bear all things in love, believe all things, hope in all things and endure all things (1 Corinthians 13:7).
Being an anti-victimhood advocate recognizes that you have been hurt by others, but you also know that if you sit too long in that pain you will begin to fear irrationally, become wrathfully resentful, and breath bitterness in much of your present daily functioning.
Trauma and evil done to us often brings shame, guilt, feelings of unworthiness, fear, and condemnation.
Romans 8 tells us a different story.
As a mental health counselor, my job is to hear the pain and trauma in the lives of others. It is also my job to validate their value as a human being, made in God’s image, along with helping them understand that their existence matters, in spite of any trauma in their lives.
My job also includes helping others work through their pain so they do not feel condemned.
I direct them to see their value in Christ and assist them to live in less fearful ways.
I also teach them that shame can be replaced by a gospel centered self worth……in other words…..I help them become their own Romans 8 anti-victim advocate.
If we have been abused or hurt by others, it may sound strange or impossible to see ourselves not as victims. The current culture wants us, or rather demands that we hold on to our past trauma and pain, attaching any victim-hood identity markers to bear witness to what was done to us.
Scripture tells us we are not simply survivors, we are more than conquerors.
Being an anti-victimhood advocate will always begin with looking at oneself and asking the question…
“What do I do with the pain, hurt, and any emotional or physical scars caused by another person’s evil or sin towards me?”
Romans 8 gives us that answer.
We should daily seek to declare “I am not a victim and I refuse to live like one”.