5. You Have Self-Awareness of Your Weaknesses without Claiming a Victim Mentality
Slide 5 of 5
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 ESV
Paul was once a religious leader who persecuted Christians to the point of imprisonment and death. God spoke to him and told him he was wrong.
Through persecuting followers of Christ Paul was also persecuting God himself. Paul lived the rest of his life knowing he had caused suffering to hundreds of people. Paul did not blame God, fellow leaders, or anyone else for his behavior.
God forgave him and Paul pursued a life of sharing the forgiveness of God with others, never once feeling sorry for himself, but understanding that in his weakness, God strengthened him.
We all have flaws and are “works” in progress. You cannot expect immediate maturity, yet you also cannot spend your days mourning every mistake and influencing others to see you in a constant victim-like state. This places the blame for your behavior on others and not on yourself.
An emotionally healthy person understands that he makes mistakes regularly, yet knows with God’s help, he can improve. It is easy to make others feel sorry for you, but growth happens when you take your mistakes, determine in the next situation your behavior will be different, then follow-through.
A wise pastor once said, “The only problem you have is you.”
While we all tend to attempt to change the people around us, the only real influence you have for change is within yourself. When a challenging situation arises, reflect on your reaction.
Ask God to help you understand your feelings. Process those feelings with God to help diffuse your emotions and shift your perspective.
Set boundaries with other people and activities that have a negative impact on your emotions.
Remember you are responsible for your own behavior. Set boundaries to keep your behavior within your control. Cultivate a few friendships with those who can speak to you with honesty and wisdom to keep you accountable on your path to emotional health.
Finally, give yourself grace in knowing that you are a work in progress. You will make mistakes, but do not become victim minded. Like Paul, accept your weaknesses, but know that God can strengthen you to effectively handle challenging situations and circumstances that may arise.
Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/Motoki Tonn