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Breakfast at Tiffany's: Victim or victorious?

Most of us can say that we have been mistreated or abused by someone at some point in our lives. Cruelty is an unfortunate aspect of the human condition that we all must wrestle with, sometimes even within ourselves. Maybe a person who was meant to protect you preyed upon you instead. Maybe someone you loved desperately left you feeling desperate for love. Maybe you were subjected to verbal, physical, or psychological abuse by a peer, coworker, or family member. Maybe you were the bully or abuser, hurting others in order to numb your own pain or anger. Let me assure you that no matter which category you may fall under, you are not alone.

That being said, we must also be cognizant of a dangerous mentality currently sweeping across the world. A culture steeped in woke ideologies of social injustice would love to gather you like a chick under its wing of false security from an oppressive world, labeling you a victim. Christian artist and author, John Cooper, puts it this way in his book, Wimpy, Weak, and Woke: How truth can save America from utopian destruction: “It [woke social justice] views every aspect of life through the lens of power plus privilege, the oppressed and oppressors, victims and victimizers. So, men have power because they steal it from women. Tall people steal from short people, thin people steal from fat people. Without a doubt, some men abuse women, but woke social justice treats humans not as individuals but as members of a group identity.”

However, if we truly believe in the power available to us through the cross of Jesus Christ, the idea that we are subject to the whims of this cruel world sounds like complete nonsense. If God is for us, who can be against us (Rom. 8:31b)? That’s not to say that bad things won’t happen and people won’t mistreat us if we are Christians. In fact, Jesus said we will without question be hated because of Him. But He also works all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Rom. 8:28). No matter what we face, through Christ we are no longer oppressed victims. We do not have to label or be labeled by this world’s passing philosophies. We don’t have to live perpetually offended, nor do we have to succumb to accusations that our skin color or gender automatically incriminate us. “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us” (Rom. 8:37).

The power of the cross is not the power that the world seeks. It is the power to live according to what is right and not according to every craving of our flesh (Rom. 8:4). It is the power to love and not to hate. It is the power to do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:8). It is the power to love your enemies, to bless those that curse you, to do good to those that hate you, and pray for those who despitefully use you and persecute you (Matt. 5:44-46). And if you were once a victimizer who has become a follower of Christ, the cross is for you the power to live a changed life (2 Corinthians 5:17).

No matter what you’ve been through or might go through, refuse to be a victim. Be victorious!

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