The strange phenomena of victim-blaming have many puzzled. How can people so easily convince themselves that kicking someone who is struggling is good? Why do most people do it unintentionally?

Often when someone has been harmed, annoyance, blame, and sometimes even anger is directed at the victim by their family and community. At first, it can seem merciless as anyone who suffers harm would want compassion and kindness so why do they not give this to others? When harm happens to others they blame them for it, if not to their face, then behind their backs.

Some think the need to «blame the victim» comes from superstition and a desperate desire to believe the world is good when it is not.

It is a way of feeling in control when we don’t have control. The idea is that if we do everything right, nothing bad will happen. But bad things do happen all the time, to both good and bad people. The idea that someone’s son got killed in a car crash has something to do with their parents parenting, or the child’s recklessness and so on helps us believe that our child will not suffer the same because we are different and do things better. God left their son to die because of some “secret sin” they had. In this way, we comfort ourselves that the bad things that we see won’t happen to us because we did something to prevent it.

It is very common to see victim-blaming with sexual abuse inside a family. Here the family itself is torn apart, some having sympathy with the abuser, others with the victim. Rather than blaming the act of the abuser, the victim is blamed to create meaning behind the hurt. And especially if the victim speaks up, he/she will often be blamed for ruining the family instead of the abuser. In any dysfunctional family situation, if one sibling has harmed another, or in case of selfish neglect, the victim that speaks up is rejected. Blaming a victim is a heartless act that prevents justice and the recovery of those harmed. The only one who is helped by victim-blaming is the perpetrator and the evil itself. By blaming the victim, we at the same time say sin is justified in some way. This is a perhaps unintentional way of warring against God. The moment we defend a sin or bring an excuse for it we defy God and commit idolatry. Like the prophet Samuel said to King Saul when he defended his sin: “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. (1.Sam.15:23)

In the Bible, God never justifies sin. Giving an excuse for sin is defending its existence and its continued existence.

Jesus said: «If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin» (John 15:22)

When Adam and Eve sinned, Eve blamed the serpent, Adam blamed Eve and God. If there is an excuse for sin it means sin is justified. The implications are huge. If an abuser has an excuse for harming you he is basically saying you are worth less than he is. And that is exactly how it feels.

By holding people accountable for their sins God upholds the human worth along with it. Sin always harms someone. For every sin God condemns He also says those harmed should have been treated better, that they were worth better. That the sinner is not worth more than their victim. If you sin against yourself, God says you are worth more than the way we treat ourselves.

«For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. » (Rom.1:18-20)


In God’s word, a whole book has been devoted to victim-blaming. This show God is trying to prevent His people from victim blaming. In the book, those victim-blaming are finding themselves unintentionally running Satan’s errand. The Book of Job is about a righteous man who becomes the victim of a series of events. His children die in a disaster, His wealth is taken from him, and even his health. He basically loses everything.

The story portrays perfectly how victim-blaming happens step by step. First, his three friends come to visit him and grieve with him. They are in shock along with him, but then as a little time goes by they feel the need to find a purpose in everything that has happened. They investigate a reason it happened to find a resolution to their own confusion and fears. In it lies their own desire to feel secure from suffering the same fate. «If Job only had done things right, he would have not had these painful experiences», they say. They start blaming the victim. «Surely», they said, «Job had done something that justified these things happening to him?». «Surely he had some secret sin?» Or, they thought, he had been selfish in his life. Anything that could make it make sense. They tell Job God must be upset with him and that he has to repent of his sins. Job tells them he does not even know what sin they are talking about that could make him deserve such great calamities and so he defends himself. He does not think he is a bigger sinner than his friends who are not afflicted and argues for that. This makes them even more upset with him, and they now become almost angry trying to force Job to admit guilt he does not have.

Job is further afflicted by their words. He does not understand how his friends now are justifying all this evil happening to him. Completely grieved Job says to them:

«I have heard many such things; Miserable comforters are you all! Shall words of wind have an end? Or what provokes you that you answer? I also could speak as you do, If your soul were in my soul’s place. I could heap up words against you, And shake my head at you; But I would strengthen you with my mouth, And the comfort of my lips would relieve your grief.» (Job 16:1-5)

The whole book is Job’s dialogue with his friends who are so persistent that Job is to blame for everything that happened to him that Job gets even more afflicted by their “help” and no longer wishes to live. In the end, God Himself interferes and is rough with Jobs friends: «And so it was, after the Lord had spoken these words to Job, that the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “My wrath is aroused against you and your two friends, for you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has. Now therefore, take for yourselves seven bulls and seven rams, go to My servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and My servant Job shall pray for you. For I will accept him, lest I deal with you according to your folly; because you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has.” (Psalm 42, 7-8)

The whole book explains that bad things do happen to good people or people that are not worse than you are and that God desires us to have compassion.

Many people are led by others to feel guilt over the harm that has happened to them and end their lives because of it. To blame the victim is very harmful because a victim then must carry «sins» that are not theirs, that they cannot atone for or apologize for. Instead, the guilt will tear them apart from the inside. Placing guilt in the right place is important to help people recover and find peace.

Victim-blaming is an easy way for us to not have to show others compassion, but according to Jobs’s book, in God’s eyes, we need repentance like Jobs’ friends if we practice this sort of behavior towards someone wounded.

Jesus also addresses victim blaming.

«There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.  And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galileans, because they suffered such things?  I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?  I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish» (Luk 13:1-5) 

Here Jesus does say our actions can bring a blessing because he says if they repent, they might avoid this sort of tragedy. However, at the same time, He says the idea that what happened to them was because they were worse people than those it did not happen to, was wrong. Jesus is saying they are just as bad. Yet they were not afflicted and the others were, and so He confirms that bad things happening is not always a result of someone being a bigger sinner.

Jesus acknowledges that some have caused their own harm. In the story of the paralyzed man at the Bethsaida pool, we see Christ warning him after healing him. «Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee» (Joh 5:14)

With the woman accused of breaking the marriage law, Jesus likewise confirmed she was in her situation because of what she had done. «She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more» (Joh 8:11)

However, in both instances, Jesus in part removes the fullness of the consequence of their actions and frees them. Here He is showing an example that not always punishing the transgressor is the best method. Showing mercy and helping those who have put themselves in a bad situation is following Christ’s example. So even when «victim-blaming» is right, showing kindness and releasing them of their misery can sometimes be better than accusing them. «They did this to themselves let them the rot» is therefore not the most Christian response.

God addresses all the standard ways people victim-blame.

The book of Job is very clever because he is the perfect symbol of common ways people victim-blame. Job lost his family, and he had marriage problems (his wife opposed him and told him to give up his faith), yet there was not a sin he had done to deserve it. Job lost his health, a common area people victim-blame. Many religions see illness as a disease given by God because of something they have done. If a child is born sick, many think the mother has done something during her pregnancy that she shouldn’t have. And sometimes people are sick because of poor lifestyle choices. Yes, some mothers use drugs or alcohol during pregnancy, and can cause the child harm. But from the Bible, we learn that we cannot assume someone is to blame for what happened to them and start attacking the already wounded. Rather we are to try and help and show compassion.

Another group of people often victim-blamed are poor people. Job also represented the poor people when he lost everything he had, all his wealth, and nothing left.

Those who are financially stable often blame those who are not. Especially in the West, they think their wealth is a result of their hard work, 8 hours a day, five days of week. But a man in another country can work in his shop seven days a week, twelve hours a day, and barely have enough to cover his family’s basic needs. Some work in clothing factories with slave pay, and yes, they work much harder than a woman in a fancy clothing store in London. Yet the first doesn’t even have enough to feed her children and the second has a closet full of unnecessary clothing she never even wears. Even in a big city like New York you can have a person work harder and earn less than someone working less and getting paid more. This is life.

The difference between rich and poor is not always the result of who worked hardest and who is lazy. It is a bigger societal problem, and sometimes it is an individual problem.

If someone is afflicted with illness, their whole family will suffer loss.

Not everyone can study themselves to top grades, some have too many issues to deal with, or have cognitive problems. Some who suffer long-term stress might struggle with memory problems because of the effect stress has on their brain. If you come from a poor and loving home, you might still make it. If you come from a poor, ill-stricken, and/or problematic home school might be hard.

We don’t know why someone is failing, and we cannot always choose to victim-blame. Not every rich person deserves their wealth and not every poor person deserves their poverty.

Thus, in the story of Job we don’t see a lazy man afflicted upon himself poverty, we see circumstances out of his control reducing his position in life. We see a man who worked hard, and lost his wealth because of things like «fire», «wind from the wilderness», «war», and «thieves» and yet nothing of it was self-afflicted. (Job Chapter 1)

Then his ability to work was hindered by a horrible disease leaving him in constant pain, unable to be active as before (chapter 2).

Then he is mentally pulled down by his friend’s victim-blaming to the point of despair (from Chapter 4).

Yet in all this, we learn, Job was innocent in the tragedy that struck him. There was no «hidden sin» that caused it. No doom from God because he was a worse man than everyone else, rather God had said he was a righteous and good man. Very few can boast of having God say how wonderful they are like Job could. Yet all this happened to him. (Job.1:8)

The prophet Isaiah says: “The righteous perish, and no one ponders it in his heart; devout men are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil” (Isa.57:1)

Job in his misery uttered: “Why do the wicked prosper, growing old and powerful? They live to see their children grow up and settle down, and they enjoy their grandchildren. Their homes are safe from every fear, and God does not punish them” (Job 21:7, see also verses 8-17).

Psalm says: “For I was envious of the arrogant As I saw the prosperity of the wicked.” (Psalm 73/3)

Jeremiah also noticed how he, God’s prophet, suffered and those who rejected God sometimes prospered:
“Righteous are You, O Lord, that I would plead my case with You; Indeed, I would discuss matters of justice with You: Why has the way of the wicked prospered? Why are all those who deal in treachery at ease?” (Jer.12;1)

The Bible is clear that those that prosper are not necessarily good men and those that fail are bad.

A lot of people suffer natural disasters, war, and other evil men’s cruelty. Yet they are struggling because of another’s sins and not because of their own. Yemen is a good modern example of how war has left the country in a hunger crisis. They did not end up there because they were lazy. The war destroyed their livelihood.

The God of the Bible shows an expectancy for us to help those in need rather than dwell on how and why they are in need.

In God’s Torah, He made it a law for His faithful followers to always help the poor. God gave them responsibility for those less fortunate because whether someone’s reduced situation is because of their own sins or not, we are to show mercy and help. If we don’t and insist on victim-blaming, we are just making excuses to be selfish.

Jesus told about His second coming and how symbolically speaking, he would separate man into two groups. One He would ask why they did not help Him when they saw Him in need and they would reply they never saw him in need. And then Jesus says: «Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me» (Matt.25:45) Here we see those claiming to know Jesus and follow Him, even uplifting Him as king more than willing to do something for Him. Yet those in reduced circumstances they look down upon and instead of helping them they have judged them as not worthy of compassion. Now the situation is turned, Christ identifies with the same people they rejected to help.

Christ was the ultimate example of how someone innocent must pay for other people’s crimes. How He was «despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not». This did not happen because he was a greater sinner. He had not sinned. «Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed» (Isa.53:3-5)

Jesus was innocent, we were guilty, yet He was stricken and hung on that cross instead of us. Bad things happened to Jesus because of Satan’s sin, because of our sins. Satan would have us believe Christ deserved what came to him because that would in part justify him for doing it.

When Satan started his rebellion, many would be afflicted as a result, not just himself.

Lazarus and the rich man

Jesus tells another story attacking victim-blaming when he makes a parable of a poor man called Lazarus going to heaven, while a rich and adored man goes to hell.

«And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,  And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.  And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;  And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.» (Luk 16:20-25)

Here we see Jesus going against the idea that the poor sick man is a sinner and the rich deserving of the good things befalling him. In the parable the rich show no compassion to the poor and in the end, God will not allow the poor to show mercy to him. He is getting what he gave.

Victim-blaming is so deeply rooted in our hearts and even in Christ days, that these statements would be considered turning things around.

The blind man

The other form of victim-blaming that is not covered in Jobs’s book is the idea that if someone is in a pathetic state God is punishing them because of something their parents did. Jesus addresses this attitude when they meet a blind man outside of Jerusalem.

«And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him» (Joh 9:1-3) 

In no way were they to think that his situation made him and his family a bigger sinner than they were. When the blind man, now seeing was brought to the council to be questioned by the religious leaders they were provoked by him showing faith in Christ and responded in anger. «They answered and said unto him, Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us? And they cast him out» (Joh.9:34) Whether they knew of sin in the family and thought his blindness was the cause of that, or they assumed sin in the family, we don’t know. Both the disciples and the Pharisees seem to know something about this man’s family in how they spoke of him. What we do see here is that Jesus takes away this argument. If he was born blind because of sin, why was he now chosen by God to see? By their own logic, he now must have done something good to deserve it. The Pharisees did not want to admit that and so they instead deemed Christ healing him as not of God.

One of the arguments for judging in this manner is taken from the ten commandments which says: «for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me and shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments» (Exo.20:5-6)

This is a prediction of how a society that abandons God and faithfulness to the principles of God’s law will have more tragedy and misery than a society that listens to God. This is not so much a curse as it is prophetic. Selfishness harms the children who again are likely to suffer. It is basic knowledge. Our own bad actions curse ourselves and our offspring. They are a symptom of our choices. They are not forced to continue abusive behavior, but they will suffer and be harmed by their parent’s decisions whether they do as they do or not.

We know that every generation can choose for themselves because God reveals his thoughts in other places, like in Ezekiel when God is accused of bringing misery upon Israel. God answers them: «What mean ye, that ye use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge? As I live, saith the Lord GOD, ye shall not have occasion any more to use this proverb in Israel. Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die» Then God says if a man sins, and his son do not repeat them, the curse stops right there. The father is judged and the son is not. And likewise the other way around. A father is not punished by God for his sons sins. (Ezekiel 18: 1 -32) Everyone is held accountable for their own action regardless of their upbringing.

It is because children and their children often repeat the mistakes of their father and mother, that trauma is being paid forward, and the judgment against them continues. In no way was God’s law therefore to be used to victim-blame, but as a warning that our actions do have long-lasting, generational consequences.

Ironically one of the sins spoken of in Ezekiel is tied to victim-blaming. Here God plainly states that their unwillingness to care for those in reduced circumstances is a sin (Eze 18:10-13). Those who receive God’s blessing «hath not oppressed any, but hath restored to the debtor his pledge, hath spoiled none by violence, hath given his bread to the hungry, and hath covered the naked with a garment» (Ezek.18:7) And so the serious sins God is referring to that they did is to victim-blame rather victim-help.

Even the early Christian church struggled to understand these things.

James writes:

«For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment;  And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts? …But ye have despised the poor» (Jas 2:2-4.6)

Spite Christ’s parables and corrections, the desire to admire success and look down upon those who struggle was not easily corrected in Christian hearts. So, it is still.

Popular preachers

Within the churches victim-blaming also concerns preachers. If a preacher is popular and loved, if his ministry is successful financially, it draws more and more people to them. Some of the prosperity preachers fill tens of thousands of people with their crusades and rallies. Everyone wants to be a part of their success because their success is thought to have to be a blessing from God. People come hoping to get closer to God.

They think: Why else would so many follow them, why else would they have such fine clothing and houses if God had not blessed them?

While another preacher with a half-empty small church does not even get the funding needed to keep the electricity in the church going. From such a church people are more likely to leave.

Some ministries have lots of money, others barely anything. This is assumed to be blessings and curses. God is thought to have «left» the poor ministry which is why it is poor.

This is not Christian mentality but of “the flesh”. It is seen in the world. It is not because the most popular girl at school is prettier than others all the boys fall in love with her. Same with a popular boy. She/he can have a terrible personality and still be admired. The feeling of “love” the boys/girls feel is really the attraction to position and success. The boy/girl who gets to be with the popular girl/boy will experience an elevation of position. They don’t understand why they experience butterflies when seeing the person thinking it is love-related when it is not.

Living on a Mediterranean island for years I saw this strange phenomenon never failing. The tourists not knowing the area always went to the restaurant where there was seated most people. If a place was empty, they would get no customers. The restaurant owners caught on to this trend and so they realized to get customers that they needed to have someone seated there and started recruiting family and friends to pretend to be guests. The restaurant’s success was no longer tied to who had the best food but who could first fill some tables. When not knowing the place, the tourist would always go by the masses, in this case, blind leading the blind. Because the other tourists did not know which was the best place either. The first would just sit down and then others would then follow. If the owners had “pretend guests” they were likely to be the ones with a full house by evening.

In both examples here we see the human desire to follow and trust success blindly.

Two male singers, one can have an extreme fan base and the other none. While the one with no one might even be the better singer and have the better songs. But when many follow someone, it creates this illusion of superiority and success that attracts them. Some songs by popular stars are terrible yet the fans are blinded by their admiration for the person’s success, and they look and sound good by that alone. If everyone dislikes someone you are more disposed to dislike them too even though you have never spoken to the person yourself. All this is byways from victim-blaming. Victim-blaming is the chase, desire, and admiration for success and recognition. In the end, it is all rooted in the desire to feel safe and protected. Following a larger group of people can create a sense of being protected.

It should not be this way among Christians. When Christians base God’s presence on these same criteria they do not follow the Spirit but their own human instincts, desires, and fear.

The faulty logic is combated in the Bible. Jesus was poor, not rich. His family was poor, not rich.

His followers were mostly not rich. In fact, one who wanted to follow Jesus was told to give up his wealth before following Him. (Matt.19:21)

For some it can seem God wants His followers to be poor and pathetic, however this is not the reason. The desire for money and influence can a lot of the time affect a man’s ability to think and reason the right way. Many who have great success in life are often pressured to give away good principles to achieve them. When Jesus said: «It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God» it was not because God is against rich people, He Himself made Job, Abraham, Isak, Jacob and Joseph rich. (Mar.10:25) He is against greed, self-boasting, and what money does to many people’s characters. Thinking they are a higher being and entitled to better treatment and better things, does not inspire God to bless them.

A perhaps odd modern study on drivers even revealed this. They found that drivers of expensive vehicles are less likely to stop and allow pedestrians to cross the road. The study was so consistent that they found that the chances of them slowing down and allowing the pedestrians to cross dropped a whole 3% for every extra $1000 that their vehicle is worth.

«Researchers from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas speculated that the expensive car owners “felt a sense of superiority over other road users” and were less able to empathize with lowly sidewalk-dwellers» ( , )

This almost silly study shows a trend that is often seen in many other parts of society. Money can most of the time make someone feel superior to others. Although poor people often blame victims as well, the harm a successful person does can be greater. Christ, therefore, perceived being rich could be a stumbling block for His workers whom He needed to be compassionate.

Paul Piff, a psychology researcher at the University of California did a test where he asked a group of adults to fill out their socio-economic status. Then they engaged them in a game where they were given 10 credits which are equal to the amount of money they get at the end of the game. Then they would meet a stranger and the researcher wanted to see how willing they were to give of their credit to the stranger. The study found that lower-class individuals would give up to 44% av their credits. Piff then explained that the low-class people tended to show more compassion than the high-class test group. ( )

Although these are small tests and not always all tests will show the same results, it does show a trend.

I have witnessed this trend myself among my own family and friends. Those with little tend to have more compassion than those who are the most successful. 

In a church I went to full of rich and successful people I witnessed the only one helping a struggling family was a poor elderly woman.

No matter how we see these types of tests it shows a point that might explain why Christ refused to let a rich young man be one of his disciples at the time. He needed the man to gain a different view of himself and others to represent Him as His disciple.

The man was unwilling, and it says he gave up on following Christ. While other men in the Bible were rich and even blessed by God, other elements of their lives humbled them and made them compassionate. When Abraham saw three strangers from afar off, he hurried to show them hospitality and serve them. Being a stranger in a strange land taught Abraham humility and the importance of caring for other strangers. The trials of Jacob and Joseph helped them remain character aligned with God. David was on the run from King Saul before he became a King. He had suffered hunger, unfriendliness, false accusations, and deception. All this helped David later be humble before God. Even his own sin humbled him.

God does not need someone to be poor to be compassionate, but sometimes challenges can help them get a different perspective on themselves and others.

Prosperity preachers go against the Bible teachings on the errors of victim-blaming and make people believe the rich and successful are blessed by God and those who are in reduced circumstances or fail in life are cursed. This mentality affects their relationship with God. If their prayers are not immediately heard, they think it is because they failed to show «enough faith» when praying or some other fault. Rather learning that sometimes God has other reasons not to give us what we ask Him off.

We do ourselves a great disfavor if we look to successful preachers to give us the word of God, as they might distort it and leave us with a shipwrecked faith.

Victim-blaming to our own destruction:

Victim blaming is such a serious offense in the Bible that few of us understand its long-term effects. From what the Bible shows us, in the worst case, our idea that blessings are seen in various forms of success, can lead us astray.

Peter held a sermon that helped bring three thousand people to the church. But equally righteous Stephen held a speech with a similar message that resulted in hatred and his death.

It is tempting to think that if a sermon is perceived negatively by the larger group the minister must have caused it by an unloving tone or look. If they had «done it differently» they would have won more people to the gospel and their church.

Jesus himself received hate when he had sermons. It is true he sometimes preached to thousands, but a few days later it is said: «From that time many of his disciples went back and walked no more with him» (Joh.6:66)

A preacher’s success is not tied to how many people are reached, but the sincerity of those reached.

The truth stings, it can hurt. «or wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it» (Matt.7:13-14)

Many preachers boast of their education and connections in life, but the Bible shows God placed the biggest task ever given to man upon Mary, a young and inexperienced woman. «For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:  That no flesh should glory in his presence.» (1.Cor.26-29)

Someone full of themselves thinking themselves better than others can rarely represent Christ right, and thus they are not as often chosen by God.

Spite Christians know this principle, having read the Bible, yet they run to the popular preachers that boast of themselves. Knowing the truth and combating victim-blaming is so hard that most people lose this battle. We deceive ourselves and cause ourselves to be deceived.

Paul said: «And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment:  They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. (Heb.11:36-38) 

It is victim-blaming that also caused these to be rejected. We fear the same calamity to befall us and so we instinctively create a distance to any preacher that might suffer for speaking the truth. Deserting the truth, claiming we should not provoke by telling the truth, we think the peace and lack of persecution towards us is because of our own cleverness. That we are closer to God because we by our actions avoid any uncomfortable confrontation as Christians. However, we are only fooling ourselves. Truth and God’s presence are not measured by popularity and prosperity. And thus, we victim-blame our way to destruction.

Jesus, aware of this self-deception said: «Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets» (Luk.6:26) If no one hates you in your church, if no one has anything bad to say about you, it is not because you did something right. For are you better the Jesus Himself? He was mocked, ridiculed, verbally and physically attacked. Even his own home congregation in Nazareth wanted to kill him.

Again, let us look at what Isaiah prophesied about Jesus: «He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. » (Isaiah 53:3-4) Perhaps even here we see the dramatic result of victim-blaming. Was it because he was «a man of sorrow» he was rejected as «smitten of God»? Was that why He was rejected by those He came to save?

Christ did not choose to be poor and rejected. It was a result of man’s sin towards Him. It was because He was not appreciated. God did not remove the consequence of their sins. Thus, His apparent misfortune was our sin, not His. And had the Jews in his time understood this they might have received him.

A despised preacher without money and a small following might give us life-giving truth, while the prosperous one might harm us spiritually. Yet most are likely to give their money to the prosperous one and are themselves part of the problem of why the truth-teller is poor.

As Jesus will say to them: «I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not» (Matt.25:43)

Then they will argue and say: «Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? » And Jesus will answer: «And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity».

Some people are unfortunate in life not because of something they did wrong, but because of something they did right. And the sin of their poverty and failure is given to those who afflicted them.

Because God’s servants are often in struggling situations throughout time, it can be close to impossible for a person who victim-blame as a way of life to see and recognize God’s chosen and seek their life-saving message and prayer.

When Jesus was carrying His cross to the crucifixion a group of women «bewailed and lamented him. But Jesus turning unto them said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children. …For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?» (Luk.23:27-28.31)

This is the important lesson a trauma survivor needs to remember to consider on their way to recovery. Their failure is not evidence of God’s abandonment or anger. Rather it can be toxic family relations and a trauma response mingling into the Christian faith. Christ was victim-blamed, His preachers are constantly victim-blamed, and He knows the pain and He has empathy with those who are suffering this treatment in life.

Victims blaming ourselves.

The mentality behind victim-blaming can also affect how we treat ourselves. We learn to blame ourselves even when it hurts us and prevents us from moving forward.

Many who suffer trauma are indirectly taught by the victim-blamers that had they done something differently the bad things that happened to them would not have happened.

So, they hurt greatly with regret and start slowly shifting the blame from their perpetrator onto themselves. This will not help the victim heal, instead, they will end up doing self-harm and afflict themselves.

Victim-blaming ourselves does not give us the solution we need to find the strength to solve the problems we are facing.

It also takes part of the blame from the perpetrator and gives him an excuse for the sin he committed. Again, the moment we excuse a sin even if it’s done towards us we are not being Christian, we are rebelling against God.

If we teach the ones who hurt us that they have an excuse to hurt others it might affect how they continue to treat others.

If we think we honor God by taking the blame that belongs to others upon ourselves and then punishing ourselves, we might be deceiving ourselves.

God is a righteous God. He will judge us according to what we have done. But we are not to be sin bearers to acquit the guilty in some assumption that this is “forgiving” and being “a good Christian”.

Although Christ carried our sins to the cross, He never claimed it was His fault we committed those acts. He claimed to be without sin, without fault. He took our punishment, not the accountability for our actions. The lamb was without blemishes or spots. In no way did Christ accept fault for others’ sins as part of His atonement.

Neither do we follow in Christ’s footsteps by taking responsibility for someone else’s actions. If we do, we can even prevent them from giving their sins to Christ as we taught them it was not their fault.

In abusive relations, we hurt ourselves to the unrecognizable by assuming guilt for something we could not change. It can drive some into madness.

For instance, a child does not bear the guilt of their parent’s abuse, not even the slightest. Giving the child blame will only cause harm. When the child as an adult starts to blame themselves it will lead to a dysfunctional life.

Many abused (no matter the abuse) become abusers because they have victim-blamed themselves first. By taking blame and giving their offender a reason or excuse to commit harmful acts they at the same time open for making excuses for committing the same harmful acts themselves.

If you convince yourself you were partly to blame for what happened to you when you weren’t, then you might end up blaming the ones you hurt for what you have done to them. It is a repeating cycle.

There are many bad results from victim-blaming ourselves, all from smaller to more serious mental health issues to turning ourselves into an offender. When we defend someone’s wrong actions we are more likely to defend our own.

Another issue with victim-blaming ourselves is getting stuck in victimhood. Finding peace in calling ourselves the bad guy seems strange to someone who has not experienced trauma and has had a normal happy upbringing. This, however, is a reality for many trauma survivors. Abusers often confuse their victims by making it seem that their victim is the bad one and they are the good guy. The popular modern term for this role change is gas-lighting. Whenever they hurt their victim, they tell them it was caused by something they did first. «You made me do this» or «Because you did that, I had to do this» and so on. Slowly the victim is coached into a distorted reality that they are bad even when they have done nothing wrong.

Things like saying your opinion, choosing what you eat, and other small things most people take for granted and as a human right is made to be some evil that «forces your oppressor to punish you». If this happens often over time, especially to children, they might think they are bad when they are not. They do not choose to victim-blame themselves; they think it is a reality and a truth. In such cases, there must be someone to help them differentiate right from wrong and teach them how to behold life all over again. This can take time; many will never receive help. They go back and forth between victimhood and being «the bad guy» in a mental roundabout with no apparent exit.

And a portion of them will themselves become abusive towards others as they have been taught a false narrative and worldview.

Victim-blaming ourselves can therefore be both a conscious idea of a noble act and the result of «brainwashing». Understanding these things and ourselves is therefore crucial for our recovery and how we treat others.

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