Growth Sequences of a Victim

(Extracted from Arthur Burk’s “Overcoming Your Victim spirit”, Plumbline Ministry)

Although deliverance is usually advisable in cases of habitual victimization, the primary focus should always be on healing the mindset. However, the deception cannot be renounced and the truth embraced until the victim sees where he has been deceived and what the truth is.

The following categories illustrate different behaviours that are illustrative of changing mindsets. Each list is presented as a generalized continuum. It begins with behaviour that represents severe deception and severe demonic bondage. It moves through the neutral zone and ends with behaviour that represents a masterful grasp of the Dominion Mandate.

These lists are intended to be a diagnostic tool to give you a general idea of where you may be walking in deception. Don’t allow the devil to use them to condemn you. Everyone walks in some victimization. It is the nature of fallen man. No one has fully grasped the magnitude of our Dominion mandate and walked it out in every area of life. Don’t compare yourself to others. Merely identify approximately where you are now and move forward.


1. You invite abuse because your boundaries are totally non-existent
2. Your boundaries exist but are easily violated by anyone
3. You defend a small number of boundaries
4. You establish moderate boundaries and defend them against most incursions, but an experienced predator still can violate your boundaries with impunity
5. you effectively defend your boundaries against all intruders
6. you enlarge your boundaries to reflect a higher level of personal dignity
7. you walk with such authority and dignity that people instinctively respect your boundaries without your actively defending them. There are no more incursions
8. when you are around, predators pull back from everyone without your having to do anything. People are safer and have larger boundaries when they are around you because dominion is so deeply ingrained in your spirit.


1. you endure overt physical, sexual, emotional, spiritual and financial abuse and you protect the perpetrators
2. you reject physical or sexual abuse but tolerate emotional, spiritual and financial abuse
3. you reject all abuse but you tolerate neglect
4. people offer you nurture, comfort or pleasure, but you decline it because you don’t feel worthy to receive something that cost someone else
5. you can accept someone protecting or nurturing your body or spirit but not your soul
6. you initiate caring for your own body and spirit
7. you can stop people from abusing your time
8. you stop people from exploiting your expertise without giving you reasonable reimbursement
9. you take responsibility to nurture your own soul
10. you can play with absolute abandon when it is appropriate
11. you expect others to want to protect and nurture you because you are worth it
12. They do!


1. You attract dihonour everywhere you go. People who are normally gracious with others are drawn into taking cheap shots at you to your face
2. dishonor is pervasive at home because you have accepted it in the past. It may be physical and sexual degradation. It usually included verbal slams that pretend to be humor and an utter disregard for your time and possessions.
3. you dishonour yourself by participating in the crude humor, by voluntarily highlighting your own failures, and by denigrating your own achievements, even to the point of untruth.
4. Whenever someone around you is unhappy, you apologize for and own their pain, even though it is usually not your fault.
5. You begin to recognize the truth, that dishonour is optional and abnormal
6. You stop dishonouring yourself
7. You stop the gross verbal abuse from others
8. you begin to experience some dignity as God intervenes in circumstances around you just to protect and affirm you.
9. You grow in dignity as God communicates with you regularly and personally
10. You learn to partner with God as you act on the promptings of His Spirit
11. You discern God’s unique call on your life and begin to walk it out.
12. You become so skilled in using your gifts and spiritual anointing that you are much in demand by those with pressing needs
13. Leaders seek you out for ministry to and with them.
14. Honour naturally flows toward you in formal or informal settings


1. you are truly unaware that there is any other way to live. The blind spot is comprehensive, all encompassing. Abuse is utterly normal to you.
2. You see others living without abuse but don’t even question your situation.
3. You begin to react to the pain other people suffer at the hands of your predator and you attempt to run interference for them to protect them.
4. you acknowledge to yourself and then to someone else that there is a predator in your life and his behaviour is unacceptable according to the laws of God and man.
5. You acknowledge that you are unable to change the predator through your love, your endurance or your reasoning.
6. You acknowledge that the pain of making a change is less than the pain of not changing.
7. You acknowledge that although God does allow us to suffer some pain, it is wrong before God (sin) for you to tolerate this abuse, even though you may be willing to.
8. You acknowledge that God has not promised to protect your predator from the consequences of his sin, even though you may wish him no harm
9. You see flight as a possible righteous (i.e. Biblical) option
10. You see invoking civil or spiritual authority against your predator as a righteous (i.e. Biblical) option in some circumstances.
11. You see yourself as someone worthy of receiving help from God or man because you are a steward. You have Kingdom work to do, therefore it is reasonable for someone to help position you to do that work. Even so, you feel like a debtor and look forward to serving well enough that the debt can be discharged.
12. You are able to embrace the abstract truth that God (and other people) loves you as a person, not just for what you do.
13. You realize that the debt of love is not payable. You continue to do good things, but now you do them out of the joy of partnering with Jesus, not out of debt or duty.
14. You start to recognize that God the Father gives you many gifts throughout the day that are not strategic for the Kingdom. They are unadulterated expressions of His love. He does that for you because that’s what fathers do for their beloved children.


1. You don’t minister. You are sure you couldn’t minister. You don’t dream about ministering. You utterly decline to minister when someone asks you to.
2. You refer people in your circle of influence to a good book when they need help.
3. You refer people who need help to someone else who might be able to minister to them.
4. You say you will pray for them and you try to, but you do it mostly out of guilt since you promised, not out of confidence in your effectiveness.
5. You incarnate some truth in your life and begin to casually share that area of personal freedom with others.
6. You experience enough effectiveness in prayer that you feel a tiny bit of holy boldness coming over you on occasion.
7. You allow yourself to be coerced into serving on a ministry team, so long as there are some really spiritual people on the team who pull their weight and yours too.
8. You are forced to admit that there has been some fruit to your ministry in spite of how you feel about yourself.
9. People see you as a prayer warrior and refer others to you for prayer in informal settings.
10. People start to seek you out informally for spiritual counsel.
11. You are willing to formally minister in public, alone, under the scrutiny of others.
12. You have great confidence that the truth you have lived out and the authority you walk in will bring freedom to others.
13. You have such compassion for the needy that any personal inadequacies are swallowed up by your desire to set the captives free.
14. You are so consumed with passion for the Kingdom that you cry out fervently for greater power and anointing, not to mask your inadequacies, but to touch more lives in a deeper way for the glory of God.


1. You passively, unquestioningly absorb the values promulgated by the culture of a dysfunctional family: don’t trust, don’t feel, don’t talk.
2. God sovereignly intrudes in your life with a message about different values. He pursues you until you are able to embrace that message and reject the culture of professional victimization.
3. You bring with you most of the values of your birth culture. From time to time God, other people, or circumstances challenge the validity of one of your values and you change it into a Kingdom value.
4. You begin to take the initiative to seek out the full range of Kingdom values while vigorously rejecting the culture of birth.
5. God surprises you by causing you to see and appreciate certain positive values of your birth culture. You sort through that culture, embracing your birth culture. You sort through that culture, embracing your God-given roots, while rejecting bad fruit.
6. You seek out and appropriate the generational blessings that you have a legal right to receive from the spiritual trust fund of your birth culture.
7. You become effective at helping others in your cultural stream to change their value system.
8. you can identify the Kingdom values expressed in the culture of a different religious, socioeconomic, racial or national people group.
9. You can translate missing Kingdom values into the language of that other culture.
10. You can change people’s values across cultural lines.
11. You can change the values of an entire culture.


1. You have none, nor any hope of having any and you don’t even realize you have none.
2. Your denial is so deep you are able to pretend that “serving” your predator is personally fulfilling in some strange way.
3. You admit to a small amount of pain.
4. You suppress the pain with endless work.
5. You vicariously enjoy the joy other people experience.
6. You surreptitiously indulge yourself occasionally, so long as it does not cost anyone else (especially your exploiter) any time, money or inconvenience, but you feel guilty for having pleasure when others in the dysfunctional family cannot or are not.
7. You openly indulge yourself occasionally, so long as it does not cost anyone else (especially your exploiter) any time, money or inconvenience.
8. You become more willing to pay the price of someone else’s displeasure in order to have some pleasure.
9. You move into a culture where pleasure is not forbidden by others, merely limited by your circumstances.
10. You remain conditioned by the past, indulging in pleasure sparingly because the critical tapes playing in your mind rob your pleasurable pastime of most of its pleasure. You are doing pleasurable things, but being crippled in your enjoyment thereof because of your identification with the wounded family. Joy is not one of their core values. You are apart from them, but still part of them.
11. You work through the change of values and are more at ease enjoying yourself.
12. You begin to form wholesome, healing relationships that are nonfamily, something that was frowned on in a secretive, controlling, dysfunctional family.
13. More joy comes to you from being in relationship than from doing activities.
14. Your joy derived from relationships develops a rich, complex texture, bringing levels of fulfillment never imagined before.
15. You can enjoy “being” in the presence of God without “doing” anything.
16. You leave a trial of “essence of joy” everywhere you go.
17. Your anointing of joy is so great, it infects the land and buildings where you have been. There is a residual joyousness emanating after you leave.


1. Your total mindset revolves around enabling your predator. You simply don’t even think in terms of your being an independent entity with values apart from being an enabler.
2. You visualize the possibility of being in less pain if you become a better enabler.
3. You visualize the possibility of being in less pain if your predator were changed. You therefore embark on a program to improve him.
4. You dream about changing circumstances since changing people who don’t want to change is yielding poor return on investment.
5. You contemplate changing yourself and decide it is theoretically possible to change some things.
6. You read biographies about people who excel.
7. You are drawn to people who do change, grow, strive for more, etc.
8. You experience some spiritual growth initiated by God. It surprises and pleases you.
9. You do some premeditated spiritual growth and surprise yourself.
10. You concede that your potential may be a little higher than you originally thought, but of course nowhere near so high as what other people say about you.
11. Continual growth becomes normative.
12. The extent of your growth becomes defined by the extent of the hurt in the world around you. Every time you run into a problem that is bigger than your ability to solve it, you crave the knowledge, skills and resources necessary to help that person.
13. You seek God to find out from Him His design of your nature and His call on your life.

Curses and Blessings

1. (Worse case scenario). You are conceived in illegitimacy and are systematically cursed in the womb by family, doctors and clergy.
2. Shortly after birth, generational curses are activated by sexual abuse or spiritual dedication.
3. Your high level of pain triggers more sin and rebellion as you make wrong responses to pain. These cause additional curses from God, civil authorities and victims to accrue to your account.
4. As you do things you don’t want to do, it causes you to turn against yourself and you curse yourself.
5. God causes someone to begin praying for you.
6. You get saved and you get help to begin breaking off curses.
7. Spiritual authorities begin blessing you with their blessings.
8. Spiritual authorities begin imparting to you generational blessings from your own trust fund.
9. You learn and begin to practice the disciplines that will accrue more blessings from God.
10. you learn to privately bless people, social structures, buildings and land with your positional authority in Christ.
11. Blessings begin to pursue you and attach to you even when you feel your cup is already full and running over and you were not looking for more.
12. The discerning seek you out for blessings.
13. Your words are life giving. There is virtue attached to them that is much greater than the data being transferred in a cognitive manner.