1 John 2:16
16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.
According to I John 2:16, ultimately all “sin issues” that people have (“all that is in the world”) can be boiled down to one of three root causes
- Lust / sexual immorality (“the lust of the flesh”)
- The desire for things (“the lust of the eyes”)
- Pride and the desire to exalt oneself (“the boastful pride of life”).
It could also be a combination of one or more as illustrated by the Pharisees’ taking actions to fulfill desires (“lust of the eyes”) that they then covered up so that they would not look bad (“boastful pride of life”).
These three root issues are heart issues, as all things of life ultimately flow from our hearts.
23 Watch over your heart with all diligence,
For from it flow the springs of life.
Jesus underscored this when he said.
21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, 22 deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. 23 All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man.”
And James reinforced this:
14 But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. 15 Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.
Because of these very clear statements, it follows that narcissism, or insolent pride, is at its root a heart issue rather than a “personality disorder”. Therefore, any real, lasting solutions must start at the heart level and work outward from there. So. while there may be tactics in counseling, and while learned patterns, strongholds, sins of the fathers etc. must also be dealt with – the ultimate solution for NPD is a fundamental change at the heart level. Knowing this should help inform how we understand, deal with, and pray through the situation we face with the N in our lives.
17 So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind,18 being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; 19 and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness.
20 But you did not learn Christ in this way,21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, 22 that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old [d]self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, 23 and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.
25 Therefore, laying aside falsehood…..