Don't Pull the Victim Card—It'll Ruin Your Life

No matter what difficulties we've faced, playing the victim only leads to ruin. This devotion explains.

Years ago, I was required to have sessions with a Christian counselor as part of some ministry training. She concluded that certain mistreatment in my past should have caused serious life-long problems, and she was surprised that I was only mildly affected.

It's become increasingly popular to see ourselves as victims, and many counselors will encourage that prognosis.(1)

But I've been blessed to have some wonderful non-official "counselors." They had wisdom and experiences that helped me put my difficulties in perspective. For example, there was my friend Jane who suffered a childhood of abuse, victimized by sex offenders, criminals, and irresponsible adults.

I first met her when she was in her 40’s, and she was a fun, pleasant, unselfish person. She had every reason to live as a victim, but she refused. The Lord was her strength.

She and others like her have taught me that Christians are never victims: 

“If God is for us, who can be against us? …Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? …No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” ~ Romans 8:31-39

God never causes people to sin against us, but He uses even bad things for our good (Romans 8:28). Sadly, we'll never experience those good things if we keep playing the victim card.(2)


(1) This is not a judgment of all counselors, but we must be aware of the victim mentality promoted in some counseling. Much of the Boundaries counseling is based on being a victim.

(2) A person who "pulls or plays the victim card" never moves beyond past difficulties, remains bitter, excuses their bad behavior, and thinks they're the victim when they're not. You might say it's an aggressive form of self-pity, and it ruins a person's life far more than any abuse they suffered.

Helpful resources 

✱For more encouragement on this subject, see: 
✱For some inspiring examples of people who were seriously victimized yet lived beautiful lives for the Lord, see: 

No matter what difficulties we've faced, playing the victim only leads to ruin. This devotion explains.

Bible Love Notes


  1. I have had thoughts on this victim mentality since becoming a Christ follower. Especially the kind where one blames the parents for certain behaviors. Once you know where the behavior came from and maybe even why; you now own it. You cannot blame anymore, that's just being a child. My own issues include cynicism and a general lack of mercy. Both of these are from my father. I assume the behavior came from his own father but not knowing my grandfather I can only guess. I've found my walk with the Lord and in general hanging around other believers very hard. They're all so nice and kind and loving where I tend to see faults in people instantly, followed up by judgement. But gone are my days when I excuse myself by saying I inherited my 'judgeyness" from my dad. Now I seem to be in a constant state of listening very hard to my spirit for guidance and often still praying for forgiveness for being such a meanspirited sinner. In regards to the article I realize my potential for pulling the victim card is minor compared to the terrible things done to people in this world but thought it was worth a mention. Our heavenly father is there for us, we are and can do nothing without Him and His love.

    1. Dear Mary,

      I think you've made the most important step in overcoming this problem - you've admitted it's your problem and the Lord can help.

      It's true that our parents and our circumstances heavily influence us, but we can renew our minds in God's Word and become the person He wants us to become.

      I pray for you as you climb this mountain, leaving behind the cynicism and judgmental attitudes that are part of your "old woman"

      "You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness." Ephesian 5:22-24

      God bless you!