North Point 
Alliance Church 
English Ministry

Rev. Stera Chan
Pastor Lawrence Choy
+852 2807 5200

2/F Phase 2, Maximall
233 Electric Road
North Point, Hong Kong

Blessed Are Those Who Repudiate Victimhood!

By Rev. Lawrence Chan

May 26, 2024

       I was studying 1 Peter 3:1-12 recently with a couples fellowship when a discussion on victim mentality sparked. What 1 Peter impresses people most is its exhortation for believers to be consecrated in daily lives following the example of Jesus and with our identity as both saints called by God and strangers on the earth. Even when we should meet with harm and persecution, we are to live out our faith steadfastly by doing good and being faithful to the Lord. In the Chinese Bible, there are at least seven instances in this book where believers are directly exhorted to “do good.” Four of them are in chapter 3. “Turn from evil and do good” is the way of life for saints. To practice this, we need to repudiate “victim mentality”! 

      Differences, divergent views and contradictions are inevitable in family life and in ordinary interpersonal relationships. The prevention of conflicts depends on how we interpret the other party’s words and actions and a careful consideration of our responses. I remember how a well-respected pastor recounted his experience years ago at a restaurant. The restaurant was full of customers but servers were few. The pastor time and again asked the servers to take their order but the servers did not even take a glance at them. The pastor was a bit angry within. Then a server came near. The pastor’s wife said to the server: “Hectic time in the restaurant, isn’t it. I appreciate your hard work!” At this, the busy server immediately stopped and thanked the pastor’s wife for understanding and promised to come back to help them as soon as possible. 

      This pastor’s sharing resurfaces in my heart from time to time and reminds me that whenever I find other people’s speech or actions inappropriate, or even lacking respect or are hurtful for me, I will need to restrain myself and try not to retaliate. Rather, I will try to hear the “unspoken” message behind the speech or action, understand and do my best to give a gentle response. Of course, I am not able to do this all the time. All I can do is to always pay attention to the Holy Spirit’s prompting. The Spirit helps us turn from evil and do good. If we are obedient to the prompting of the Holy Spirit, we can first tell the Spirit how we have been wronged or hurt, and through Him who gives us strength, “keep [our] tongue from evil” (1 Peter 3:10). A quiet heart can “visualize” the situation of others and let there be love, then “seek peace and pursue it” (3:11). 

        You may say: “If I am hurt occasionally, I can tolerate it. But if my family members persistently hurt me, how can I not defend myself?” It is true that defending oneself is human nature. It is only fair to draw a boundary psychologically and in interpersonal relationships so we will not get hurt persistently. We need to learn how to draw the line sensibly. Nevertheless, having a line does not mean we “repay evil with evil or insult with insult” (3:9). For instance, if the “secondhand smoke” of a smoking neighbor enters your home, what you should do is not to produce another form of filthy gas and blow it back to your neighbor’s home. Rather, you should send the smoke away using the principle of convection. We need to consider what positive result we want to achieve before taking any action. Revenge creates a vicious cycle with consequences for those involved to suffer. 

        Brothers and sisters, it is truly a blessing to repudiate victim mentality, turn from evil, and do good.