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Prisoners of the past – Part 1

By Rev. John Okene
09 December 2018   |   3:23 am
A lot of people, today, are living their past in the present. Whatever transpired in their past is currently affecting the present, thereby mortgaging their future.


Text: Psalm 116:10-11
A lot of people, today, are living their past in the present. Whatever transpired in their past is currently affecting the present, thereby mortgaging their future.

We will look at various concept associated with this topic, such as the prisoner’s past, a victim, victim’s mindset and others. When we talk about Prisoner of the past, it means someone that has a victim mentality or mindset. A Victim is someone that has been harshly or adversely treated through hardship, oppression or injury or neglect. By this statement, I mean a victim is someone who has been adversely treated by privation, being oppressed by another individual or group of people or being inflicted by physical, emotional and psychological injury. Such a person would have faced disappointments, rejection or abandonment; hence he or she becomes a victim of circumstances.

What is a Victim’s mindset: a victim mindset is whereby a person, who was once a victim, continues in the old pattern of thought after the episode of the victimisation has ended. A victim mindset is a mindset in which a person who was once a victim of poverty, oppression, neglects or as a result of being injured emotionally or otherwise continues to be imprisoned in his or her mind, even after the oppression has ended. For example, a lady might get married to a husband who violently abused her. And after a long period of domestic violence, she may go for a divorce. But due to the emotional trauma she experienced with the ex-husband, she may not want to have anything to do with the opposite sex, because of the pattern of thought in her sub-consciousness, which makes her to think that all men are abusive.

An experiment was conducted using a rat. The rat was kept in a closed container and placed on fire. When the rat started feeling the heat from the fire, it started jumping but couldn’t get out of the container. At a point, it stopped jumping. The container was later opened, and more heat applied, but the rat refused to jump out because it has conditioned its mind to believe there was no way out of the container. Similarly, some people have received their deliverance, but have refused to walk out of the prison that held them bound, because their mind have been conditioned as a result of continuous victimisation. Although the victimisation episode has ended, they are still prisoners of the past. Someone might be a victim of poverty, and for a long time, barely had food to eat. If you take the person to a place where he can have access to free food, you will find him unconsciously hiding the food he will need for the next day. Despite being in the midst of plenty, he still has the lack or scarcity mentality, thereby making him a prisoner of his past. One of the greatest prisons known to man is the prison of the mind. When the mind is incarcerated, your life is held captive in your past and you begin to live your yesterday today. The past is a good place to reflect on, but it is not a place to dwell. Your past can be your guide. A man that dwells on his past is heading for destruction.

In Psalm 116:10-11, the psalmist David, being a victim of deceit and betrayed by his friends and men around him, in haste concluded in his mind that all men are liars. As a result of continuous victimisation by men around him, a pattern of thought was established that concluded all men are not to be trusted. As a result of such mindset, a defence structure was built around him unconsciously, so much so that whenever he saw any man, he became aggressive towards him. That is what is happening to a lot of persons who had been victims in the past. They tend to be aggressive to the perceived victimiser. Such persons subject innocent people in their present life to a life sentence of crimes they did not commit.

I decree that if you are imprisoned by your past, be liberated now in Jesus name.

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