Question:

Hi,

I was wondering what the Bible has to say about those who play the victim card to deceive people.

Answer:

All lying is wrong, regardless of the motivation behind the lies (Proverbs 6:16-19; Revelation 21:8). Thus, to do something with the intent of deceiving people is sinful.

There are various reasons people play at being a victim.

  • They may want the sympathy of others to get them to do things for them. For example, some women play a damsel in distress, knowing that this attracts men. "The woman of folly is boisterous, she is naive and knows nothing" (Proverbs 9:13). Men tend to want to be the knight in shining armor rescuing the damsel in distress; thus, a seductress plays at being innocent and ignorant.
  • Others play at being a victim to avoid responsibility for their actions. A thief may say that he had to steal because he could not afford the item he wanted; though the truth is that he doesn't manage his money properly or is too lazy to get a good job. A homosexual might claim he is born that way, but even it was true (and it isn't), it would not excuse a choice to sin. We are all born heterosexual, but that doesn't excuse fornication.
  • A similar reason for choosing to be a victim is to attempt to reverse the blame. The person pointing out the sin is made out to be a vile person because they lack sympathy toward a victim. Some denominations will claim that they are victims of persecution when their false teachings are exposed.

There was a case where King Saul tried to play the victim: "Now he waited seven days, according to the appointed time set by Samuel, but Samuel did not come to Gilgal; and the people were scattering from him. So Saul said, "Bring to me the burnt offering and the peace offerings." And he offered the burnt offering. As soon as he finished offering the burnt offering, behold, Samuel came; and Saul went out to meet him and to greet him. But Samuel said, "What have you done?" And Saul said, "Because I saw that the people were scattering from me, and that you did not come within the appointed days, and that the Philistines were assembling at Michmash, therefore I said, 'Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not asked the favor of the LORD.' So I forced myself and offered the burnt offering"" (I Samuel 13:8-12). Saul wanted sympathy for his disobedience. He claimed it wasn't really his fault, Samuel was late and Saul wanted God's blessing, though you can't expect God to bless disobedience.

The nation of Israel also soothe themselves in captivity by telling themselves that they were suffering for their ancestors' sins (Ezekiel 18), but the truth was that they were suffering because they continued the sins of their ancestors.

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