Sandra Bullock’s been in the news quite a bit lately. I think I can speak collectively for most Americans that she has our sympathies due to her husband’s betrayal. We all seem to see her as a victim and feel terribly sorry for her. If not, you’re either a Nazi sympathizer or really into tattooed porn stars—clearly not my readership!
Sandra is the kind of victim everybody loves. But as I’ve contemplated this, I’ve realized that not all victims evoke love and compassion from us. I believe there are two very distinct views of victims.
The first group is representative of all the Sandra Bullock’s out there . . .
1. The “Ben and Jerry’s” Victim
These are the victims who are sweet and creamy very much like “Ben and Jerry’s” ice cream. “B and J” victims win our love and adoration instantly. We can’t get enough of them and crave their stories because they inspire us to frostier heights! We feel instantly drawn to them—wanting to scoop them up and lick their wounds like we would a double dip of “Chunky Monkey!”
I think what makes a “B and J” victim so appealing—even delicious—is their sweet self-effacement and a cool and forgiving demeanor. And this is what sets “B and J” victims apart from the rest: they do not whine, pout, or milk the moment.
On the other hand, there are those who, sadly, seem to fall into the second group of victims . . .
2. The “Sour-Milk” Victim
These victims have the same experience of abuse, neglect, persecution and/or trauma as the “Ben and Jerry’s” victim, but with one exception—they take on a victim mentality.
Unfortunately, it seems this group has allowed the hard knocks of life to sour their disposition rather than sweeten it. If you encounter them, you’ll discover that they are constantly going into, in the middle of, or just coming out of a major pity party. Other tell-tale signs of a“Sour Milker” are the need to grumble, mope and, sigh a lot—which tends to stink up any conversation in a hurry! The problem is that these “S.M.’s” think that if they continue to complain about their abuse, that somehow things will magically change. But the only change occurring is the curdling of your stomach when you have to be around them. These victims need to quit crying over spilled milk and start mopping it up with the healing power of God.
Now it may seem easy to identify others who fit into one of these two categories. However, it is really quite difficult to know when you, personally, are in either of these two camps. If you are a “Ben and Jerry’s Victim, then you probably are so humble that you won’t want to give yourself the credit for making the most out of your tragedy. And if you are a “Sour Milker,” then you probably are too busy feeling sorry for yourself to notice how annoying it is to everyone else. So my suggestion would be to pray about it. God will reveal the true attitude of your heart and give you the ability to make “Ice Cream” out of the “Milk Duds” life has handed you.
“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Hebrews 12:2-3 (NIV)
“For God is pleased with you when you do what you know is right and patiently endure unfair treatment.” 1 Peter 2:19 (NLT)
“We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us . . .” 2 Corinthians 1:8b-10 (NIV)