Narcissism = Insolent Pride in the Bible

.

Proverbs 21:24

24 “Proud,” “Haughty,” “Scoffer,” are his names,
Who acts with insolent pride.

.

You may have found this blog because you have a “narcissist” in your life, or  in the life of someone you care about.   At first, you may not have known that you were dealing with a narcissist, but the pain and damage this selfish, arrogant, condescending, domineering person caused might have driven you to search for answers on what was going on, and on how to deal with this difficult person.  As you went online or to books on  Amazon, you read more about who this person is, and how he operates.  And you likely read some explanations as to how he got this way, or advice regarding how to deal with this “narcissist”.  In the process of trying to learn everything possible in your search for answers, you may have decided to explore what the Bible has to say on the subject.

.

While the Bible does not specifically refer to “narcissism” –  which takes its name from Greek mythology – it does speak to the subject.

Continue reading

Share

Narcissist* Traits – Sitting in the Seat of Scoffers / Narcissists as Judge

.

Narcissists will frequently set themselves up as others’ judge.  And not in the sense of being a fair, balanced evaluator of things – more in the sense of “I am superior in mind and values, and whatever I think is right.  And all of the inferior people around me who think or act differently than me deserve to be mocked.”

.

How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!

Psalm 1:1

.

“Sitting in the seat of scoffers” is a word picture that describes someone who is sitting down while bossing others around them – looking down on them and mocking them as they perform their duties.  They sit in judgment as someone who is the only one qualified (in their own minds) to evaluate others due to their inherent superiority.

.

Scoffers / narcissists are ones who believe that they should set the rules, not follow the rules.  They believe that they are inherently better able to judge who is doing something “right” – according to the standards which they themselves have set (of course).  They believe that this one of their God-given roles and duties (not true).   They are the people who believe that they should be the boss or leader because of their superiority  – and should command others to work while they command and monitor them.  Narcissists will “sit”, and not lift a finger to actually work unless they are forced, or unless it somehow gives them an opportunity to do it “for show”.  Actual work is for inferior people.

.

An example of this is shown by the classic Narcissists, the Pharisees (see here and here), in Matthew 23:4 –

.

They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger. 

Matthew 23:4

.

The Pharisees created extra-Biblical rules for others to follow, but were unwilling to follow the rules themselves.  This is a classic example of a narcissist “sitting in the seat of scoffers”.

.

.

  • narcissism is the modern colloquial term for what the Bible calls “insolent pride” – see here

,

Click here to see the initial steps to peace with God

Share

God Will Most Definitely Settle Accounts With The Proud and Lofty …….

.

We discussed here that God will deal with the proud and haughty.  Isaiah makes it clear that, even though it is not obvious to people now, and even though it may seem slow in coming, a specific day of reckoning for the unrepentant proud will come.  Proud mankind will think everything is going well, until the tables are instantly turned.

.

Isaiah 2:12-22

12 For the Lord of hosts will have a day of reckoning
Against everyone who is proud and lofty
And against everyone who is lifted up,
That he may be abased.
Continue reading

Share

Narcissism’s Impact On Job Performance

.

Pride goes before destruction,
And a haughty spirit before stumbling. 

Proverbs 16:18

.

We have seen in these pages that the Bible discusses consequences for insolent pride – but sometimes it is hard to see in real life since it appears that narcissists almost always “get away with it” (see Psalm 73).  One area where we would expect the consequences to be seen would be in the area of job performance.

.

People in many lines of work get their performance evaluated through the eyes of others – thus giving the narcissist the opportunity to manipulate situations to his own advantage.  However, in the field of money management the job performance is summarized in the simple final number of the investment return.  This means that the ultimate job performance is not based on what people think, but on actual results.

.

A study was done using the field of money management as the “hard number arbiter of job performance results” which shows that narcissists (embedded in a broader group of psychopaths) in fact do have lower job performance.  If you’re interested, here is the article which discusses this:

.

Psychopath Hedge Fund Managers Make Less Money

.

Why would a narcissist have lower job performance?  Because they think they know best, are unwilling to listen to wise counsel or anything that might prove them wrong, and in their superiority believe that minimal effort should result in maximum accolades.

.

.

Click here for initial steps on how to know God personally

 

Share

God’s Plan For A Purpose Of Love

.

We wrestle through much of our lives, often too busy to think deeply about what is going on.  But, occasionally when we face a uniquely difficult situation we may ask ourselves “why”.  Why did God “allow” this problem?  Why is my life the way it is?  We may look at the bigger picture by asking “why did God design life the way He did?”.   The following is not an exhaustive discussion, but something to consider.

.

As you ponder, a key piece is to understand that God has a fundamental plan for a purpose of love, for everyone.

.

….. In all wisdom and insight He [God] made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him [Jesus] ……….. who (God) works all things after the counsel of His will, to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory.

Ephesians 1:8-12

.

Ephesians 1:8-12 explains clearly that God has a plan – for you, me, everyone – for a purpose of love – “the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention”.   This plan is not just spoken of in Ephesians 1.  Isaiah talks about God’s wonderful works, based on His plans formed long ago (i.e. – before Creation), with perfect faithfulness (fully consistent with His nature, including His goodness).

.

O Lord, You are my God; I will exalt You, I will give thanks to Your name; For You have worked wonders, plans formed long ago, with perfect faithfulness.

Isaiah 25:1

.

To arrive at this plan, God thought through every possibility which could exist (“in all insight” – think trillions X trillions X trillions) and chose the optimal one (“in all wisdom”) which would accomplish His purpose of love.  And He executes everything, down to the tiniest detail, according to the plan which he has created (“works all things after the counsel of His will”).

The essence of God’s nature is love, so any plan consistent with that nature would be a plan formed and executed from His heart of love.

.

“God is love” – 1 John 4:8

.

The centerpiece of this plan is the ultimate demonstration of His love (“which He purposed in Him [Jesus]”) through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus to save His enemies from the consequences of their actions.

.

For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die.  But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 5:8

.

To emphasize again, God – out of His core nature of love and an overflowing desire to express that love – came up with the single best plan that would most fully demonstrate that love.  And that plan would be to die for worthless, far-beneath-Him enemies to save them from what they deserved and to replace that with the highest standing possible as eternal citizens of Heaven.

The end of all of this is that we will praise Him for his manifold excellence (“praise of His glory”) which He has shown in every possible way – and of which we have been made a prime beneficiary.  While God’s plan for a purpose of love is general (“for God so loved the world” – John 3:16), it is also specific to you and specific to me.

.

When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?” Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!”

John 21:18-22

.

When we ask why God is allowing a narcissist to wreak havoc in our lives, we can be confident in our belief that it is not random – there is a much bigger plan in play, and the essence of that plan is love.  The proof of God’s goodness is Jesus’ death on the cross for us.  And God makes it clear that if He was willing to do that, why would He not shower us with other demonstrations of His goodness?

.

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?  He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?   

Romans 8:31-32

.

It is impossible for me or anyone else to tell you what God’s plan for a purpose of love is for you.  God is weaving together millions of millions of life circumstances specifically for you.  While the broad themes might be similar, your life and God’s plan for your life is one-of-a-kind.  I have an identical twin brother, and we have a lot in common in our life trajectories – but our lives are not at all the same.  My wife’s life and my life are very different, even though they are lived together.

Why this way?  God’s BIG plan was realized through the singular most important event in history, but the billions x billions of demonstrations and outflowing of that plan through the wide variety of our individual lives further displays God’s glory like additional facets of a diamond.  An 16-sided diamond is good, but a 10,000-sided diamond far more glorious in the light it reflects.

Of course, those who do not believe but reject God and His love have a very different outcome.  They forfeit much of God’s goodness in this present life (they still receive His common goodness given to all mankind), and more importantly experience His wrath reserved for those who reject Him.

.

.

Click here for initial steps to peace with God

 

 

Share

The First Example Of Covert Narcissism In The Bible

.

The lies, manipulation, and deceit of covert narcissism are in many ways far more destructive than the in-your-face approach of overt narcissists.  When a covert narcissist successfully portrays their lie as the truth, they change the life course of everyone who believes their lie. – as well as their intended target.  Most of us want to believe that what we are hearing from someone is the truth, and most of us start by believing the best of others – as this is a more positive way to live.  That makes us more vulnerable to believing the lies of a covert narcissist.

.

The Bible illustrates this multiple times, starting with the original narcissist, Satan.  When he first appeared to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, he did not say “I’m a big powerful angel – in fact the most beautiful angel.  I can do great things for you, so you should follow me and let me help you”.  Instead his tool for getting them to follow him started by very subtly and deceitfully undermining a constraint which God had established.

God clearly told Adam and Eve not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and outlined the consequences if they did….

.

15 Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. 16 The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; 17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not [n]eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” 

Genesis 2:15-17

.

Satan did not use the overt narcissist tactic of, “I’m great, follow me”.  Instead he first created doubt by asking a seemingly “innocent” question – “did God really say that?”

 

Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from [a]any tree of the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’” The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 

Genesis 2:3-5

.

Satan’s first question was in fact not innocent because of his underlying intention to drive a wedge between Adam and Eve, and God.  In our interactions with our covert narcissist we might consider such an “innocent” question as simply a request to double back and confirm the truth.  In this case, since God had already clearly stated His boundary, questioning if God really said it was an invitation to disobedience.

After Eve’s not-quite-accurate answer to Satan’s setup question, Satan next directly lied in contradiction to God by saying, “you surely will not die!”  He followed the lie by undermining God’s goodness by implying that God was withholding something good from Adam and Eve through the boundary He had set – “For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil”.

.

Satan used the setup question, the follow-up lie,  and the questioning of God’s motive to turn the desires of Eve’s heart into successfully separating Adam and Eve from their Creator.  We all know the result of Adam and Eve naively falling for this covert narcissist’s (Satan) tactics.

.

How can we avoid being duped by the covert narcissist?

We need to seek to replace our naivete with prudence.  God says twice in Proverbs

The prudent sees the evil and hides himself, But the naive go on, and are punished for it. 

Proverbs 22:3

A prudent man sees evil and hides himself, The naive proceed and pay the penalty. 
Proverbs 27:12
.

When God repeats something, pay attention.  Even though normal people want to take a constructive approach to others, it is important to understand that evil lurks in the heart of man, and not simply believe everything.

One way to do that is to fact check,

.
The first to plead his case seems right, Until another comes and examines him.
Proverbs 18:17
.
A covert narcissist will typically “go first” in his steps to manipulate a situation.  He is the one with the plan, the intention to get what he wants.  By going first he gets to set the agenda, to define the playing field, and to put his target on the defensive.  Those whom the covert narcissist is trying to manipulate for there agenda must realize that these people exist, and not accept everything we hear at face value.
.
One other thing that we can do is to ask God to thwart the covert narcissist’s efforts.  Psalm 5 is one of several Psalms to use as a prayer guide
.
For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness;
No evil dwells with You.
The boastful shall not stand before Your eyes;
You hate all who do iniquity.
You destroy those who speak falsehood;
The Lord abhors the man of bloodshed and deceit.
.
Lord, lead me in Your righteousness because of my foes;
Make Your way straight before me.
There is nothing reliable in what they say;
Their inward part is destruction itself.
Their throat is an open grave;
They flatter with their tongue.
10 Hold them guilty, O God;
By their own devices let them fall!
In the multitude of their transgressions thrust them out,
For they are rebellious against You.   
Psalm 5:4-6, 8-10
.
I believe that most covert narcissists would be overt narcissists if they got the chance.  But in the meantime we should have a goal of becoming far more discerning to identify the covert narcissists in our midst and be alert to their tactics.
.
.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

.

 

Share

How Do You Know There’s A Covert Narcissist In Your Midst?

.

One subject we have not talked about much is the difference between overt and covert narcissism.  At its most basic:

.

  • An overt narcissist is an in-your-face braggart and bully
  • A covert narcissist plays the victim, and uses manipulation and deceit to get what they want,

.

There is not a clear line between the two – an overt narcissist may use manipulation and deceit, and a covert narcissist may be a bully if they get the chance.

As the covert narcissist is far more subtle, they are harder to spot.  How can you recognize one in your midst?  Look for non-stop drama and wide-spread conflict that you can’t quite identify nor be sure of the source.

Proverbs 22:10 makes clear that scoffers – a Biblical term for narcissist – are a source of contentiousness:

.

Drive out the scoffer, and contention will go out, Even strife and dishonor will cease. 
Proverbs 22:10
.
The fact that if you drive them out, contention leaves as well means that narcissists are a source of contention.  Proverbs 26:20 indicates that this contention can be very subtle.
.
For lack of wood the fire goes out, And where there is no whisperer, contention quiets down. 
Proverbs 26:20
.
The Hebrew word for whisperer means “talebearer” or “slanderer”.
Covert narcissists will “whisper” as part of their toolbox to spread rumors, lies, and even true things that undermine others as part of their manipulation of a situation to achieve their own ends.  The “whispering” is a source of contention and conflict, but they do it subtly and quietly so that they seem “innocent” even while they are wreaking destruction.
.
So, if you are in a group that is roiling in conflict, look around and see if you can identify a covert narcissist who is subtly undermining others in order to achieve some goal of self-exaltation or dominance over one or more people.
.
.
.

 

 

Share

The Key To Peace

.

When we are in a difficult and stressful situation, we want solutions.  But it would also be nice to have peace, and even joy in the middle of the situation.  We will try to address joy in another blog post, but let’s start with attaining peace.  Is there a consistent way to have peace even when under stress?

Psalm 131 explains how:

.

Lord, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty;
Nor do I involve myself in great matters,
Or in things too difficult for me.
Surely I have composed and quieted my soul;
Like a weaned child rests against his mother,
My soul is like a weaned child within me.
O Israel, hope in the Lord
From this time forth and forever. 

Psalm 131

.

Key principles in this Psalm show us how to be at peace regardless of our circumstances

  1. It starts with a humble heart

Lord, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty; 

Psalm 131:1

.

What is humility?  One working definition is that it is clearly seeing God’s greatness, while at the same time recognizing our lack of greatness – our deep need in every area of life.  Humility goes further to demonstrate our recognition of our needs by going to God for them instead of taking things into our hands.  Humility also recognizes that our fellow man is in the exact same position as us, and rather than looking down our noses we assist them through encouraging them to look to God while at the same time helping them to the extent that we can.

.

2.  A humble heart leads us to let God be God, not attempting to take His place

Nor do I involve myself in great matters,
Or in things too difficult for me. 

Psalm 131:2

.

Psalm 131 lists 2 things not to be involved with, leaving one thing that we should focus on.  The 2 things to not involve ourselves with are:

  1. “Great matters” – includes things which God and only God can orchestrate – this ranges from the geopolitical affairs of the world, to the weather, all the way down to how other people behave
  2. “Things too difficult for me” – includes things beyond our ability to control.  Can you change your spouse?  No, only God can do that.  Can you control every circumstance of your life?  No.  You CAN work hard, take personal responsibility, develop your personal character, and manage your personal response to others.  But many parts of your life are in God’s hands, not yours.

.

Not involving ourselves in these 2 things leaves us free to focus on what remains – things that God has made my responsibility.  The implication is – “do what you can and should, and trust God for the rest”.

.

Focusing on our responsibility and leaving the rest to God requires us to truly trust Him….

    • His 100 percent love for us,
    • His 100 percent knowledge and wisdom in guiding our situation,
    • His 100 percent power to execute His wise plan for us from His heart of goodness
    • His 100 percent consistency and faithfulness

.

This is what Proverbs 3:5-6 talks about when it says,

.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight. 

Proverbs 3:5-6

.

Trusting in God means that we do not take HIS things into our own hands, which often makes things worse and results in a life where we feel that we are careening off the walls.

.

God does give us prayer as a means to link His will with our hearts, and to give us an outlet for the anguish of our needs.  God’s goal in EVERY situation is for us to know Him more, so that we more clearly see His greatness.  Taking every need to Him in prayer is a key to doing this.

.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 

Philippians 4:6-7

.

Leaving God’s things to God leads to peace and contentment.  Psalm 131 describes it this way.

.

Surely I have composed and quieted my soul;
Like a weaned child rests against his mother,
My soul is like a weaned child within me. 

Psalm 131:3

.

Please click here for the initial steps to peace with God

Share

Narcissist Tactics – A Story Of Manipulation

.

I am currently dealing with a counseling situation, elements of which I have seen before in a missions context.  The short version is that a narcissist has subtly manipulated a group of people in her (I would call it evil) attempt to undermine and dominate her husband.  Her insolent pride arose from growing up in a tough situation, resulting in deep underlying fear which has resulted in an ongoing attempt to control her world in insolent pride.  The book The First Will Be Last:  A Biblical Perspective on Narcissism explains this more fully.  While we can be empathetic to her root causes, and pray for healing, she is also responsible for her own responses to her early trauma.

.

Like in other cases, the narcissist has spread lies and half-truths to turn everyone against the husband.  And as usual, he in this case is not perfect or blameless. In addition, he responded to the manipulation against him in frustration and and anger.  Both of these helped the N more easily succeed in painting herself as a saint and her husband as the bad guy.

.

Most people, especially in a Christian context, expect those they are talking with to be truthful.  As a result, we naively tend to believe what we’re being told without fact-checking it.  This is contrary to what God warns us in Proverbs

.
The first to plead his case seems right, until another comes and examines him.
.
Proverbs 18:17
.
This has made it far easier for the narcissist to manipulate the situation.
.
There are examples in Scripture of narcissists manipulating others to become tools in reaching their goals.  The primary one is how the Pharisees (Biblical examples of narcissists, see here) manipulated Pilate to do their dirty work.  John 19:1-16 describes the entire sequence, but the following statements by the Pharisees demonstrate how they manipulated and bullied Pilate to accomplish their goals
.
Jesus answered, “You [Pilate] would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above; for this reason he who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.” 12 As a result of this Pilate made efforts to release Him, but the Jews cried out saying, “If you release this Man, you are no friend of Caesar; everyone who makes himself out to be a king opposes Caesar.” 
.
John 19:11-12
.
and
.

And he [Pilate] *said to the Jews, “Behold, your King!”  So they cried out, “Away with Him, away with Him, crucify Him!” Pilate *said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.” 

So he then handed Him over to them to be crucified. 

John 19:14-16

.

The chief priests did not truly see Caesar as their king.  They said that to manipulate and force Pilate into doing their bidding.  Pilate did not take the time nor had the courage to dig into what they were really doing, with the serious consequence of becoming complicit in the death of Christ.  As we saw earlier, Jesus said that the chief priests had the greater sin, but He did not let Pilate off the hook.

.
Back to our counseling situation – what is the husband to do if the narcissistic wife successfully recruits others against him?  Lies against you are virtually impossible to fight on your own.  We must always remember that we can have the God of the Universe as our defender if we are righteous before Him.  The husband first must look to himself and own his mistakes, and yield to God.
.
Who can say, “I have cleansed my heart,
I am pure from my sin”? 
Proverbs 20:9
.
The process starts with looking internally, and rather than defending yourself admit that there is some measure of sin in your own heart.  If you have done something wrong confess and ask forgiveness, even if the N will use that against you.
.
But once that is done, boldly ask God to work on your behalf to protect and defend you
.
  1. Ask God to humble the N
  2. Ask God to expose the N’s lies and manipulations
  3. Ask God to defend your reputation (to the extent He sees it is necessary)
  4. Ask God to thwart or counteract specific moves the N makes …
  5. Ask God to bring you specific encouragement and blessing

.

Psalm 17 illustrates this:

Hear a just cause, O Lord, give heed to my cry;
Give ear to my prayer, which is not from deceitful lips.
Let my judgment come forth from Your presence;
Let Your eyes look with equity.
You have tried my heart;
You have visited me by night;
You have tested me and You find nothing;
I have purposed that my mouth will not transgress.
As for the deeds of men, by the word of Your lips
I have kept from the paths of the violent.
My steps have held fast to Your paths.
My feet have not slipped.

I have called upon You, for You will answer me, O God;
Incline Your ear to me, hear my speech.
Wondrously show Your lovingkindness,
O Savior of those who take refuge at Your right hand
From those who rise up against them.
Keep me as the apple of the eye;
Hide me in the shadow of Your wings
From the wicked who despoil me,
My deadly enemies who surround me.
10 They have closed their unfeeling heart,
With their mouth they speak proudly.
11 They have now surrounded us in our steps;
They set their eyes to cast us down to the ground.
12 He is like a lion that is eager to tear,
And as a young lion lurking in hiding places.

13 Arise, O Lord, confront him, bring him low;
Deliver my soul from the wicked with Your sword…

Psalm 17:1-13

.

On top of this is to pray that God would “enlighten the eyes of the heart” of the narcissist (Ephesians 1), so that they would have a radical revelation of who God really is, and see themselves clearly in comparison to God’s greatness and glory.  This is the foundation to their healing.  This discussion is way beyond the scope of this blog post, but outlined in the book, “The First Will Be Last:  A Biblical Perspective On Narcissism“.

.

.

Click here for initial steps on how to know God personally

Share

Dealing With Narcissists – David’s Prayer To Save The Afflicted From The Proud and Wicked

.

In the midst of our pain in dealing with the narcissist in our life, relevant Psalms are not only a source of insight and comfort into God’s ultimate dealing with them, but can at the same time be a great way to express what is in our heart.  Just expressing what we are feeling in a way that is in sync with God’s perspective can itself be a source of comfort.  Psalm 10 is one of those Psalms.

.

Psalm 10

.

Why do You stand afar off, O Lord?
Why do You hide Yourself in times of trouble?
.
In pride the wicked hotly pursue the afflicted;
Let them be caught in the plots which they have devised.
.
For the wicked boasts of his heart’s desire,
And the greedy man curses and spurns the Lord.
The wicked, in the haughtiness of his countenance, does not seek Him.  All his thoughts are, “There is no God.”
.

Continue reading

Share

Dealing With Narcissists* – David’s Prayer for Justice

.

Psalm 94

O Lord, God of vengeance,
God of vengeance, shine forth!
Rise up, O Judge of the earth,
Render recompense to the proud.
How long shall the wicked, O Lord,
How long shall the wicked exult?
They pour forth words, they speak arrogantly;
All who do wickedness vaunt themselves.
They crush Your people, O Lord,
And afflict Your heritage.
They slay the widow and the [d]stranger
And murder the orphans.
They have said, “The Lord does not see,
Nor does the God of Jacob pay heed.”

Pay heed, you senseless among the people;
And when will you understand, stupid ones?
He who planted the ear, does He not hear?
He who formed the eye, does He not see?

Continue reading

Share

The Intimacy of Being Consoled

.

If I should say, “My foot has slipped,”

Your lovingkindness, O Lord, will hold me up.

 When my anxious thoughts multiply within me,

Your consolations delight my soul. 

Psalm 94:18-19

.

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit. 
Psalm 34:18
.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. 
Matthew 5:4

.

 For those who have been hurt by a narcissist*, a serious amount of comfort and healing are needed.  While a certain amount of comfort can be provided by friends, there is a limit to what a friend can provide.  Even if your friends have not also been fooled or tainted by the narcissist’s deceptions, they may not really understand the damage the narcissist has done.  But even more fundamentally, no other human can truly feel everything you’re feeling.

Continue reading

Share

The Search for Intimacy, Continued

.

In Part 1 we discussed the fact that most people want intimacy, especially with someone who is somehow beautiful or worthy – as illustrated by the popularity of love songs and people wanting to attach to celebrities.  But selfishness and self-centeredness on both sides of a potential “intimacy connection” makes it very difficult to actually achieve intimacy.  This is especially true in a relationship with a narcissist – their total selfishness and self-aggrandizement makes it impossible to have 2-way intimacy with them, as they really do not care about you – just themselves.  However, since the narcissist is a pro at “doing intimacy” early in a relationship, they can easily reel you in as an unsuspecting person hoping for true intimacy.  Then, when the narcissist’s true selfishness is revealed, you discover that the intimacy you thought you had is nonexistent.  The loss you feel is especially painful since you are worse off than from the time before you met the narcissist.  Going from zero “intimacy” to “100”, back to zero feels worse than if you had just stayed at zero.  Even though the “intimacy” you thought you had with the narcissist was never truly there, the sense of total loss you feel is very real.

.

At the end of the day, there is only one person who is truly non-selfish, who genuinely loves us, who wants our best, who wants to know us, who wants us to know Him, and who is the most beautiful person we could ever be around.  God’s better way is to center our search for intimacy on the one relationship where intimacy is definitely possible – with Him – and then springboard from that intimacy to greater intimacy with those around us.   The intimacy with Him makes us to be less selfish, more beautiful, more compassionate ourselves – and those changes in us become the basis for greater intimacy with others.  As we become more beautiful and attractive ourselves, others will seek to be around us and closer to us.

.

O Lord, You have searched me and known me.

You know when I sit down and [b]when I rise up;
You understand my thought from afar.
You scrutinize my path and my lying down,
And are intimately acquainted with all my ways. 

Psalm 139:1-3

.

One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the Lord And to meditate in His temple. 
Psalm 27:4
 .
We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. 
I John 3:2b
 .
 We love, because He first loved us. 
I John 4:19
.
So, the road to intimacy starts with God.  And that provides the basis for intimacy with others.  And while this will likely not result in intimacy specifically with a narcissist in our life, it will provide the truest, deepest intimacy with the greatest person possible.  That will enrich our lives and result in a beauty that is attractive to others.
.

As we will see in future posts, this intimacy with God is also directly connected getting to maximum comfort and healing of hurts that have resulted from our dealings with narcissists.

.

Additional Reading – to get started on the path to true intimacy

.

 

Click here for initial steps on how to know God personally

 

 

Share

The Search for Intimacy, Introduction

.

Many, if not most people feel a deep inward need for intimacy.  This desire can influence a lot of our decisions – it is real, and strong.  If you doubt that, just look at the success of love songs or love story movies over the years.  Of course the intimacy desired is with someone who is somehow “beautiful”.

One reason narcissists can so easily reel in unsuspecting people especially in a dating relationship is that they are very good at “doing” intimacy early in the relationship.   And they push hard for instant intimacy.  The narcissist’s “intimacy imperative” could be due to their strong drive to win you over quickly in order to achieve their  ultimate self-serving goals.   But, they could also be genuinely searching for  intimacy themselves in order to fill gaps in their own soul – even though their narcissism will ultimately undermine the intimacy they seek.

When the narcissist has won you over, and then inevitably shows their true colors of selfishness and self-exaltation, it is an especially painful  loss since you lost the intimacy that you thought you had finally found.  The “intimacy” was never on a true foundation, but the sense of loss is nonetheless very real.

It is helpful to understand that it is partially our desire for intimacy that makes us vulnerable to the narcissist.  This inward desire for intimacy is ok – and God-given.  But instead of being a source of intimacy as we originally thought, the narcissist was actually the last person who was going to provide that intimacy.  Our desire and search for intimacy contributed to our pain and sense of loss, but as we will see ahead is also the best way forward out of that pain.

Continue reading

Share

Dealing With Narcissists – Two Times The Power Through Our Weakness

.

23 Thus says the Lord, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; 24 but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the Lord

Jeremiah 9:23-24

.

For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His……..” 

2 Chronicles 16:9

.

Narcissists* are driven to set themselves up in a position of power over us in some form.  By extension, they seek to put us in a position of weakness versus them.  Our natural response is to resist, and to somehow defend ourselves against them.  This ultimately makes it a power play between us and the narcissist, even if it is of the passive-aggressive variety.  The unappealing alternative to resisting is to become a doormat of the narcissist, and allow them to damage us as they run roughshod over us.

.

God’s way is for us to be powerless in our own strength, but to then let Him take on the narcissist with His power.  This allows us to be humble and learn trust, while He more fully shows His power, love, and goodness through protecting us.  In this way, “He gets the glory, and we get the help”. Continue reading

Share

Narcissistic Projection – Part 2, An Example

.

Please see A Biblical Perspective On “Narcissistic Projection” for Part 1

To recap Part 1*, scoffers are hypocritical judges who accuse others of the very things of which they are guilty.  This action is the Biblical equivalent of what the secular world calls “projection”.  From Wikipedia:

“Psychological projection is a theory in psychology in which humans defend themselves against their own unconscious impulses or qualities (both positive and negative) by denying their existence in themselves while attributing them to others. For example, a person who is habitually rude may constantly accuse other people of being rude. It incorporates blame shifting.”

.

An example of this is in Mark 3: Continue reading

Share