REAL PEOPLE | REAL TALK | REAL HOPE

No More Victims

As we moved into a new phase of ministry for our church, I struggled with what teaching would be the best to get things moving.  It's not every day that your ministry changes locations and names, while attempting to transform itself into a new face in the community where you serve.  It's a big deal.  And big deals should come with big messages.  Right?

And...I had nothing.

I wanted to communicate something inspiring, but helpful.  Something that would help us transform ourselves, then transform our community.  But, all the old sermons seemed like exactly that...old sermons.  I scrolled through my social media news feeds, looking for inspiration.  And I found it.

Honestly, I found a lot of things on social media.  Most of it was, shall I say...negative.  Not just negative.  Much of the content that I saw was people offended by this or hurt by that.  With each new post, there was another person claiming transgression against them.  I discovered a world filled with victims.

I don't want to be a victim.  Nobody wants to be a victim.  Of anything.

But, our social media says otherwise.  It reveals a world dominated by people whose very identities are caught up in their victimization or in victimizing others.  When I look at the news feeds and compare them to the teachings of Christ, they just don't jive.  I decided then and there that I would teach my church family the one thing that Christ absolutely, positively came to do for them.

Christ came to be the ultimate victim, so there would be no more victims.

That's right.  The demonstration of Jesus 20 centuries ago was one of a perfect man that was victimized in every unjust way you can imagine, but did not let it become His identity.  When we think of Jesus, do we picture a cross or an empty tomb?  Do we celebrate Good Friday or do we celebrate Easter?  Is He beaten and dead or is He alive and thriving?

If He is able to overcome being a victim, then we all are.  After all, we are His children.

So, I have some tips for those of you that would rather be a victor (as Christ was) than a victim:

1.  What I give to others freely cannot be taken from me.
I realize this is against human nature and the American Dream.  But, Jesus gave His life freely, stating no one could take it from Him.  You may have thought Him murdered, but it was self-sacrifice.  When the decision is in your own hands, then you are not a victim.

2.  Victims make other victims.  Stop the cycle by treating others with compassion.
It is natural to want revenge on those that have treated you badly.  However, it is Christ-like to want the best for everyone, even those that seek to hurt you.

3.  No one will pass me if I am already at the end of the line.
Status and position are something the world teaches us to jockey for.  For every winner, there are a multitude of losers.  The only way to truly win is to not play the game.  Move to the back of the line.  Believe it or not, people actually gain respect for those that don't run the rat race.

4.  I am defined by who I am, not what I have done, nor what has been done to me.
I know that you have been hurt.  If that hurt continues to define you, then you will never heal.  It's like a scab that you keep peeling off to show others how badly you were injured.  You are not your affliction.  You are not a victim.  Stop viewing yourself that way.

Could you imagine what the world would look like with no victims?  Shrink it down a bit.  What would our community look like?  Our homes?  Our families?

It would be a better place.  You might even call it heaven.  As Jesus prayed, "Let Your kingdom come, let Your will be done ON EARTH as it is in Heaven."  

Amen.

"43 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." - Mark 10:43-44


Matt Monyhan

Matt Monyhan is the Lead Pastor of Real Family Church. He has been in ministry for almost 2 decades and is a husband and father of 2 sons.