Life is about making choices. Some we make are good and some are bad. However, whether we make good or bad choices we need to guard our heart from being a victim or martyr to those choices and the struggles that come as a result of those choices. Some of the struggles from bad choices last years and years, long after the choices we have made. Such as a Christian woman marrying an unsaved man and then finds herself struggling with the decisions and lifestyle of her lost husband.
What can happen is our struggles, trials, and emotional depressions from our bad choices make us a victim or martyr and thus it becomes our identity. It is no longer what we chose or did, it is who we are.
Example: Debby and I have moved a lot and have lived in a lot of different States. Some of those choices were made by the jobs I had and some made by me. Some of the places we can say was definitely the will of God and some was the will of man. Debby and I must choose each day to live in the present with the presence of God and look forward to the future by His grace as overcomers. Otherwise we could use the current struggles generated from our past decisions as an excuse to be a martyr or victim, instead of the spiritual overcomers the Word of God calls us. We must not allow our struggles and trials from our past choices to become our identity.
The martyr or victim syndrome is based on if my current decisions or choices are made based on my unhealed past. Too many believers justify their current emotional, mental and spiritual condition on what decisions were made years ago. Over and over in our minds we struggle with the "What if" or "Only if" statements. Having been raised in a physical and verbal abusive alcoholic home, I went through this. What if I were born to different parents? Only if so and so had not happened to me? It took me over 8 years as a believer to deal with my past so that I no longer lived in it and used it to make excuses for my current emotional, mental and spiritual failures.
If I am currently struggling from my bad decisions or choices or the bad decisions and choices of others that affected me, then I can excuse my words, deeds, and thoughts as a victim to my past. If I am currently struggling from my past decisions or choices, or those of others that affected me, I can excuse my current words, deeds, and thoughts as me being a martyr to my past.
What would be the final outcome if I made the choice of walking as a martyr or victim of my past? FAITH starts being affected. Walking as a martyr or victim goes against the Word of God, therefore the Father will seek to correct us because we are His children. The correction process, which is in Heb.12, if not embraced and acted upon with a repentant heart will cause the heart to grow colder and callous.
Then there comes a drifting farther away. Then there comes a justification as to the spiritual condition. Then comes a moving away from or repositioning of one's self from those that maintain the integrity of God's Word and their Christian walk. Then there comes a deepening of the love for the world and the ways of the world and justifying it by calling it Christian liberty. Then there comes spiritual idolatry and adultery by going after the pagan ways of pagan gods. All of this because of us allowing the past to still drive the school bus of our thoughts and emotions.
Whatever our past, God's Word is true and heals. It took me 8 years to see the truth of it. We can roll those struggles of our past on the Lord Jesus Christ, place them under the blood, and choose to be an overcomer.
1 Peter 5:6-7 ESV Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, (7) casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
Charles Morris. Founder and Senior Pastor of RSIM USA.