I have been at this for a few months now, and have enjoyed and personally benefited from this path of learning on this particular subject. I feel that we are 30-40% down this road of understanding of the Biblical perspective on narcissism and narcissists, described as “insolent pride” and “scoffers” in the Bible. The emphasis so far has been on identifying the traits and tactics of narcissists, or (scoffers/those with insolent pride). In the future will be discussing much more about:
- How to deal with narcissists / scoffers, from both a practical and “heavenly” perspective
- How narcissists can be healed
- How narcissists’ victims can be healed
- God’s redemptive purposes in this subject
- How some societies have narcissism deeply embedded in their culture and national character
- How God “deals with” narcissists
- and more
Once we have gone through this first round of putting a lot of individual facts and perspectives from the Bible about narcissism on the table, we will go back and start to better organize and synthesize them into a more integrated understandable picture. As I have been working through this, I have noticed that while there are some similarities and overlaps between the secular approach to narcissism and the Biblical approach to narcissism, there are also some differences. The secular approach to narcissism does a good job of discussing narcissistic traits, and the narcissist’s tactics. And it provides a few practical means of dealing with narcissists, such as “low contact”, “no contact”, lowering expectations, setting boundaries, etc. In some cases, these are very helpful and match up with the Biblical approach to the subject. But the secular approach to the subject of narcissism does not dig very deeply into the “heart” side of narcissism, the causes of narcissism, or the distinctions in handling narcissism depending on the relationships. The Bible talks much more about these and other similar subjects. We’re going to keep digging until we’ve reached as close to the bottom of this subject of narcissism and narcissists as possible.
One final note. I have tended to use the modern terms of narcissism, narcissist, narcissistic rather than the related Biblical terms. This bothers me a little bit to do this, as I would generally prefer to use Biblical language to discuss Biblical topics. However, to reach those who are looking for answers on narcissism, but would only search on that term rather than on the search term of “insolent pride” for example, I have tended to more heavily use those terms which people would more likely use for their Google search on the subject.
One final, final note. I have two main purposes for doing this project. One is that I am in a situation that is highly motivating to learn everything I can about the subject of narcissism, but from God’s perspective. The other is to demonstrate that God has far superior wisdom than anyone else on every subject, including narcissism, and that this wisdom is “there for the taking”, right out of the Bible. All we have to do is look.
* Narcissist is the modern colloquial term for what the Bible calls “insolent pride” please see here for an explanation