It’s Not NPD, It’s A Heart Issue

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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.

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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

  1. Lust / sexual immorality (“the lust of the flesh”)
  2. The desire for things (“the lust of the eyes”)
  3. 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”).

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These three root issues are heart issues, as all things of life ultimately flow from our hearts.

Proverbs 4:23

23 Watch over your heart with all diligence,
For from it flow the springs of life.

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Jesus underscored this when he said.

Mark 7:21-23

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.”

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And James reinforced this:

James 1:14-15

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.

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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.

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Ephesians 4:17-25

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…..

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The starting point for the process described in Ephesians 4 can be found here….

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Putting “Biblical Perspectives On Narcissism” Into Perspective

 

5 responses

  1. Wow, this is right on. I am currently living with a ‘Christian narcissist’ (moving out tomorrow). It didn’t take me long to realize– through his inability to listen to anyone, his contempt for the Bible, his presumption to be God, and his closed heart to God– that this N was totally separated from God and spiritually lost. I told the Lord this, making it clear that I could not reach this guy in any way. The Lord responded that I pray for the N to receive (stress on ‘receive”) a heart than hungers and thirsts for God. God explained to me that a person cannot repent or change if they reject a change of heart which is necessary for them to then be drawn to Jesus for salvation.

    During this time, God led me to Ps. 42:1-2, explaining that the thirst for water in a deer is what draws it to “the water brooks” and so a thirst for God is the only thing that could draw people to Jesus and save them. This N had/has no such such thirst in his heart nor does he want it. In fact, I shared this with him several times, and he just smiled and rejected what I was saying. I’m happy that I have done my part and am on my way out tomorrow. As far narcissism goes, “the heart of the matter is a matter of the heart.”

    “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life” (Pro. 4:23).

  2. Pingback: A Biblical Perspective on “Narcissistic Projection” « Biblical Perspectives On Narcissism

  3. I guess what bothers me about the label is that it makes it seem as if the npd person is more hopeless than the common sinner, as if it is a different category all together. I had a father that could qualify for the label easily and one thing that used to cause me awful pain was how people acted as if because of his serious sins, his life was worthless; he didn`t matter and wasn`t worth wasting the time and effort on. Even Christians seemed to believe that God could and would do nothing to change his heart and that it was all up to my dad`s will. That sure raises some theological questions. It is commonly taught that God will not violate our will and that the Holy Spirit is a gentleman and will not force. Could have fooled me, as far as Paul`s conversion goes. God got in Paul`s face and struck him blind, forcing him to be dependent on others. He overruled Paul and rerouted his destiny. I suppose Paul could have still refused and God would have allowed it at the end. But that hardly fits the common truth held by most Christians as to God being held up by our wills .

    When my father died, I reached out to a relative who I thought would understand and I was told not to waste my tears on him because he was basically a waste of skin and not worth crying over. I know that my father beat and cheated on my mother and that this relative had seen sadistic and cruel behaviour that at the time I hadn`t thought about, including his abuse of me and others that got worse over time. But the idea that he was worthless and should just be thrown away still broke my heart. It was as if his life didn`t matter.

    I do think however that there is something to this notion of insolent pride. I`d call it also reactive rebellion and resentment towards God for not rescuing when they needed it. I think this is why N`s or even bpds who have suffered abuse have a hard time trusting God. They see God as the one who authorized the suffering and deprivation they went through, which is bad enough, but also as the one who chose not to answer their pleas for help or respond by rescuing. The questions generated by abuse experienced aren`t all sinful reactions per se. God DOES permit horrible atrocities to happen to defenseless children and He doesn`t stop them. Often a supposedly biblical person will say `God will judge the abuser`. as if that answers the whole issue. In the meantime that person is broken, warped and unable to function in THIS life and needed help in this life. It seems a bit pharisaical to say the least. The question remains. Why did God allow this and not answer when I cried for his help? I often wonder about Jòb`s experience and what it is that Job knew of God that we moderns don`t, in that even when all his children were killed in freak accidents he did not turn against God in bitterness.

    I had for a long time thought that my father needed love and to have someone believe in him. However at various time he did have that and he still continued shafting others, betraying trust, doing terrible things. He always came first and he always had a rationalization for it that left whomever had been hurt feeling as if their rights were inconsequential because he must always èat first`. He could justify the most sinful things. He had a couple loan him ten grand to ostensibly start a business and he never paid them back. He felt entitled to things and would just take what he wanted. He used bullying, manipulation, shaming and intimidation to control others. Yet no matter what, the center of him was tied to his identity as a worthless piece of crap, a loser who didn`t deserve anything but abuse, and all the bitterness, resentment, hatred, boiling over rage, need for revenge, etc. that went along with it. He died, as far as I know, never having made any attempt to even apologize for his sins against his daughters or his former wife, though he played a bait and switch game of telling one sister how he felt about his sins against the other, thus seeming to be repentant but without following through in actual efforts at restoration.

    I have thought about all of this in the light of the biblical story of jezebel. Based on what I know about her, and that her father was both king and priest of a cult that including gross sexual practices, I am betting her early life probably including perversion or sexual violation and being treated like a thing whose acceptance and security depended on submission to evil. It makes sense if you strip away all the trappings of how we imagine that time period and of royalty. She learned not to trust men, to be determined to never be powerless again, to be in control, and to whatever means she could to protect herself and ameliorate her wounds, and give herself what she felt she lacked. The legitimate became the usher for the totally evil. Yet when another type of jezebellic personality popped up in the bible in revelations, God says `I gave her space to repent`. It doesn`t say I sent deliverance ministers to her or those who would love her to wholeness. It is quite possible that repentance for jezebel would have indeed involved deliverance, and mercy ministry. prayers for healing from some of the gross stuff she had lived with and then had done. The bible doesn`t say. Obviously no matter what, nothing happens without repentance. It`s interesting that God doesn`t see her as someone whose primary problem is how wounded she is, which I have no doubt was the beginning of some of her troubles. He sees her as someone who needs to choose Him first via repentance. I`ve mused and blabbed on enough, my apologies. This is a subject that obviously hits home for me.

  4. Good response, Lil Sheep.Wise stuff. I agree. I always stumble around the issue of suffering. I don’t like it myself, but God has given me shoulders to be able to bear up under a lot of it. But most people don’t have these shoulders, and some people– like little children– have no shoulders for it at all. So, I wonder why others have to put up with it.

    The Book of Job is a lifesaver for people who go through that Black Valley of Suffering. In Job 9, Job says:

    “I say, ‘He destroys both the blameless and the wicked.’ When a scourge brings sudden death, He mocks the despair of the innocent. When a land falls into the hands of the wicked, He blindfolds its judges. If it is not he, then who is it?”

    The obvious answer for most Christians is that “it is satan”… But the question is brilliant because it seems simple but is really after what a person really believes about God and suffering. We all see suffering everyday that God does not stop; but we’d like to think that we still think only good thoughts about God. Not possible. The Book of Job is a good compilation of how God can bring a person’s attitudes and heart towards Him to the fore through suffering. The Book is a blessing because it forces Job to ask hard questions that many have in their hearts but rarely ever ask (unless they go through enough suffering to where asking those questions is their only form of relief). In Job 24:12, Job makes a statement similar to the question above:

    “The groans of the dying rise from the city, and the souls of the wounded cry out for help. But God charges no one with wrongdoing.”

    Anyone of us looking for equity and balance (justice and goodness) on this planet can relate to that. Narcissists have their reasons, and Jezebels do too– sometimes the reasons are wounds, legitimate pain turned to illegitimate destruction of others. And while God judges not so much by actions but by whether or not a person chose or rejected Jesus in their hearts, it still bothers me that suffering is rarely ever curbed or stopped and that it can have such life-long consequences on people. “Repent” is the word for the N or the Jezebel; I think that one word sums up at least what God expects from such people. But there are still questions.

  5. Pingback: How Does Someone Become A Narcissist? Five Possible Ways « Biblical Perspectives On Narcissism

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