Narcissist Traits – Setting Themselves Up As Lawgiver


James 4:11-12

11 Do not speak against one another, brethren. He who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks against the law and judges the law; but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge of it. 12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and to destroy; but who are you who judge your neighbor?


Someone who “speaks against a brother” is doing something far more serious than may appear on the surface.  James says that he is actually setting himself up (in his mind) higher than God as the law-setter and judge of what is right and wrong.  He then uses the standard he has created as the basis for passing judgment on others for not matching up to his standard.  This is exactly how a scoffer (aka narcissist) operates.


“When we unjustly judge and censure others, we usurp God’s rights, claiming a superiority over the law as if men were more under our authority than under God’s.  Our brother is not to be governed by our whims, but by God’s law and his own conscience.”  From “A Portrait of God”, Daniel Chamberlin.


This is one more Biblical picture of a hypocrite who is not following God’s righteousness, and instead of submitting to God’s law puts God’s law on trial – with him as the judge of whether God’s law is right or wrong……


if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge of it.”


…… and since he was already willing to lift himself above God in this way, it is a small matter to lift himself up in judgment over  his neighbor – as reflected in his criticism of his neighbor.


As we have seen here and here, this is classic narcissist behavior.


James’ final word puts the narcissist in his place, paraphrasing – “Who do you think you are to set yourself up as Lawgiver by judging your brother.  That’s God’s job, and His job only.”




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


Putting “Biblical Perspectives On Narcissism” Into Perspective



One response

  1. Pingback: Narcissism and The Progression of Fools – Continued « Biblical Perspectives On Narcissism

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