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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

I'M A Victim! - Exploring Victimhood

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I'M A Victim! - Exploring Victimhood -  Michael J. S. Austin, Ph.D.


For many people this is a very sensitive subject. In today's world, as in past generations, many people have suffered abuse of various kinds - some very serious - that has left deep emotional scars. Some abuse has been brazenly perverse, wicked, degrading and humiliating. As a result those who have suffered feel their lives have been spoiled, even ruined, with little hope of ever being able to escape from the haunting memories, the flash-backs, the inferiority and bleak desperation. Many have entered counselling programs in an effort to overcome the worst of the effects, and have often gained support and help from them.
This article offers a modest summary, in which my shallow descriptions will not do justice to your own situation. The main point is to look at the role of the victim and to offer some suggestions; ideas to help trigger fresh thinking. However, I am not a health professional. I am merely sharing these views for you to consider.
• MOULDED [MOLDED]: Social conventions flow from the broad consensus. We are all shaped in various ways by the societies in which we have grown up. By a kind of osmosis we absorb the values and attitudes that surround us. Yes, there are exceptions - but generally a lot soaks in. These include ideas connected with suffering and the stigma connected with having suffered serious abuse. Often society looks at those who have suffered such abuse as victims - in a similar way to the 'victims' in a serious traffic accident. It is granted that some victims unfortunately do not survive, but others do. The survivors are the ones I am talking about. But are people who have suffered physical or psychological abuse necessarily 'victims' - what do you think? Is it a helpful description?
• STEREOTYPE: Ideas of victimhood tend to foster a stereotype. We become conditioned, often without realising it. Of course, some people prefer the stereotype because it entitles them to special services or compensation. Their whole identity is often affected by their experience and they struggle to gain self-esteem. Some people have accepted victimhood as a part of their identity. They are living through the ordeal as best they can, and may not welcome suggestions to consider an alternative.
• IDENTITY: What you think - you are! And the reverse is also true - you think what you are. However much you may have been hurt, and there is no escaping your past, how you understand it and deal with it, are yours to choose. And there are different strategies for coping. Often people accept 'victimhood' because they feel it fits how their suffering was completely against their will. How we respond to hurt is always challenging. Some are able to forgive; others do not feel that is the best way forward. So, what defines your identity?
This is often deeply challenging if we have accepted the 'innoccent victim' identity, because blanket-fashion, it tends to make us feel we have only ever had wrong done to us. What tends to be clouded here is that in relation to God's revealed standard, we are ALL moral failures, and need his gracious forgiveness. Get the big relationship issue sorted first, and you may then be able to get a clearer perspective on the other issues.
• I AM NOT A VICTIM! I have suffered, but I am not a victim! How do we interpret our experiences? Here, it may help to see how our world-view thinking shapes our thoughts and ideas. We all interpret life and its wider setting by looking at it through the lens of our belief system. Those beliefs really do shape and control how you read situations and come to conclusions. Also, some people have suffered immensely, but through the very trials they endured, have developed a depth of character and a calm resilience. And if you read your identity through the mindset of secular humanism, you will more likely assume you are the centre [center] of everything.
• THE CHRISTIAN ANSWER. Paul, the early Christian leader, saw the molding [moulding] purpose in the deep trials God brought him through. As well as saying how we could all get right with God as a gift - and be 'justified by faith', receiving 'peace with God' - (what grace!) - Paul goes on to say, that beyond our joyful anticipation of sharing in 'the glory of God' - (what a goal!) - now in the present, we also 'rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.' (Romans 5:1-5).
• TRUST HIM. If you are trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ and his finished sacrifice upon the cross, then you too will be able to look at your sufferings in a wholly new light. But, was he a 'victim'? Not at all, he willingly, in great love substituted himself to accept the penalty for others sins! - for all have sinned - even those who were the innocent parties in abuse. Once perhaps you were a 'victim' - but now you are a loved child, a son or daughter of the living God; you are 'in Christ' - secure, justified, acquitted and clothed in his righteousness. Yes, we may still be called to struggle and endure, but at the same time we know we are free, released from victimhood forever!
There are no instant solutions for our deep distress and hurt, but there is help and there is a whole new way of seeing that is not an escape from reality but an entrance into it - where 'I can do all things through him who strengthens me' (Philippians 4:13). Give the glory and praise to him, and instead of a self-focused life, live with a Christ-centered focus, on him who gives fulness of life!

Michael J. S. Austin's books and articles offer serious discussions and answers for life's big questions - 'How do I know which is true - Theism or Atheism?' 'Is biblical Christianity finished, or does it still speak to the 21st century?' My title, 'DAWKINS' DILEMMAS' answers, 'will Richard Dawkins' atheism grip millions, fade or stir lingering doubts?' and shows how Dawkins' atheism works hard to shut its eyes to the glory of God revealed in creation, conscience & supremely i n Jesus Christ the Son of God.Find out how biblical Christianity uncovers Dawkins' dilemmas and why atheism lacks rational foundati ns. http://www.amazon.com/Dawkins-Dilemmas-Michael-Austin/dp/1604776668/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1302182528&sr=1-2 My second title, 'LOST RELATION - finding humanity and God' is a serious discussion on how the evolutionary beliefs of Charles Darwin undermine the validity of human reason to the point where, if Darwin was right, you would never know! He admits this when he says his own thinking has only come from monkeys - read to find out about Darwin's greatest discovery! Check my books on Amazon and other main bookselling websites - & BUY TODAY! Personal email for book enquiries and brief discussions about published articles: mdaustin@iolfree.ie Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Michael_J._S._Austin,_Ph.D.  Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6744532


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