Since confession is good for the soul, here it is…I’m a whiner.
If it were a sport, I’m sure I’d be up for the gold.
I’ve trained very hard over the years to focus my heart, mind, soul, and strength on all the negative junk of my life. And, if there isn’t enough negative stuff going on, I’ll invent some future negative event that could possibly happen and focus on that.
It’s called a victim mentality. And I didn’t realize just how deeply it permeates every nook and cranny of my life.
The foundation for me is fear. It’s fear of all the ways I could mess it up. So I focus on all the negatives as proof that I am screwing it up.
It’s so human isn’t it? I’m so afraid of doing it wrong that I keep my eyes peeled for all the signs that I’m messing it up. And what we look for, we find.
Yeah. Brilliant, Einstein.
Another layer to the victim mentality is the need for security and comfort. Something that plagues just about every American.
I focus on what I don’t have, what I’m not doing, and what I feel is lacking.
Our public media have become highly effective peddlers. They’ve trained us to do this. At the heart of every marketing campaign is the concept that what you have isn’t adequate and you need something more of what they have to sell. They prey on our insecurity and discomfort and tell us that if we just had more of THIS product, then everything would be utopian.
They do it because we fall for it and because we fall for it, they do it. It’s a big reason why so many Americans are overweight, over-indulgent, over-stressed, and frankly just plain exhausted.
The pursuit of more comfort and security was never meant to satisfy us.
But, I whine because I think I don’t have all I need.
And now I’m whining about being a whiner.
See, I told you…world class complainer right here.
These things are stealing me blind. They are thieves who pillage my peace and joy. The victim mentality is robbing me of my full inheritance in Christ.
And I’m not alone. I hear the same thing in many coaching sessions. Little seeds of discomfort and complaint and fear.
- It makes us turn back at the first big obstacle we run into in the dream journey.
- It makes us spend countless hours worrying about stuff that may or may not happen.
- It makes us expend precious energy pining away about what we think we lack OR relentlessly pursuing the work, stuff, or relationships that will finally make us feel whole. Or both.
HOW DO YOU STOP THIS CYCLE?
1. Recognize the culprit. The victim mentality usually shows up in whining, worry, and/or by overindulgence in food, work, church, unhealthy relationships, material stuff or whatever else. Choose your poison. For me it’s food and work.
2. Confess and repent with a sincere heart. You may not have the power to stop it, but you do have the power to ask God to help you.
3, Pursue more and more of Jesus’ love. We were created to love and be loved by God. Nothing will ever fill us but knowing that Jesus really, really, really loves us. All it takes is a simple, heart-felt, consistent prayer that says, “Jesus, I want to know more of your love.” EVERYTHING good flows from there.
4. Cultivate an attitude of thankfulness. A thankful heart opens the gate to peace and joy.
5. Cultivate a life filled with giving. Nothing ever fills us up like pouring out of our abundance of Jesus’ love.
We can break this destructive cycle. Lips filled with praises are like honey to the soul.
“But I will hope continually and will praise you yet more and more.” Psalm 71:14