Victim or Victor?

Our culture’s love for so-called “reality TV” and “survivor” programs may cause us to shake our heads, wondering what all of the fuss is about. Why would we tune in week after week to see who will be voted off the island, get fired, or be “deselected” by a potential mate?

The answer to that question may be complex, but I think part of the answer lies in two things: we feel small and we feel powerless. Watching others portrayed as living large, taking risks, and facing steep odds (winning some and losing some) may identify us with something that looks exciting and feels, at least for an hour or so, important.

There is an alternative, for those of us who believe in Jesus. He has come to call us out of this world and its surreal staged crises into the very real life and death struggle for the souls of men and women, boys and girls you really know.

On the night before He died for them, Jesus challenged his boldly-professing disciples:

“Do you now believe? Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me. I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:31-33 (ESV)

In these powerful words, our Savior reminds us that we are in a life and death struggle with a world in which we are aliens, and that we are not victims, but victors. When we are thinking clearly, we are not forever losing ourselves in fictional struggles or celebrity headlines, believing that our life is small and counts for nothing.

When our spiritual wits are about us, we recall that our lives are significant because He has created and redeemed us. In the battle we are courageous, not cowering; because He has overcome the world, so also do we.

“For everyone who is born of God overcomes the world.
This is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith.”
1 John 5:4

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