A victor acts a certain way and a victim another. Victors enjoy their spoils. They celebrate. They laugh. They throw parties. Victims diminish into the background, shy and reclusive for fear of being hurt. A victor wants to taste victory again. A victim wants no part in any endeavor where he may not win, choosing to isolate himself and villanize others.

Christ won, and he shares his victory with us, and yet we live like victims.

We must learn to live in victory, to walk in victory, to enjoy the spoils of war.

One of the simplest ways to enjoy the victory we have in Christ is to look at your life and consider all that you should be, but aren’t, negatively. For example, I recently spoke to a woman whose husband had an affair and left her alone with her children. She was devastated. She told me, “I should hate him and hate [the woman he ran off with], but I don’t. I can’t forgive them yet, but I’m already convinced I will be able to. Maybe soon.” This woman, by all rights, should have been bitter, hateful, resentful, and full of spite. She should have identified herself as a victim. But she didn’t.

That’s victory—to know that even though you’ve been hurt, you’re still willing to forgive.

To find solace, even though you should be riddled with hate.

To have peace, even in the midst of life’s conflicts.

Every time you should be something bad, and you’re not, that’s victory.

Adapted from Christus Victor, available in the Westwinds bookstore.