Narcissist* Traits – They Lack Perspective On What’s Important

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Matthew 23:23-24

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin [see note], and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others. 24 You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!

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[Please see here, herehere, and here for more about how we know that the Pharisees were narcissists* with insolent pride]

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Narcissists* often lack a sense of proportion or perspective on the relative importance of things.  They can easily take the smallest detail and blow it up into the MOST IMPORTANT THING EVER.   There are three possible reasons for this:

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One is simply that since narcissists are the center of the universe (in their own hearts), whatever they are thinking about at the moment automatically becomes “the most important thing ever”, even if it is some small detail.

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A second and possibly more important reason is that they will try to use “excellence” in some minor detail as a cover for complete failure on a bigger responsibility which lies before them.  They will then exaggerate the importance of the minor detail to make it more important than the actually important thing.  They do this in order to justify their neglect of what is actually important.

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The Pharisees rejected God’s true heart, which they had read in Micah,

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Micah 6:8

He has told you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justice, to love kindness,
And to walk humbly with your God?

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and replaced it with a myopic focus of their own making – overemphasis on small details of possible ways to implement the law.

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A third reason is that narcissists lack the wisdom needed to distinguish between important and non-important things.

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Proverbs 14:6

A scoffer seeks wisdom and finds none,
But knowledge is easy to one who has understanding.

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Another way to describe this lack of perspective is to say that narcissists* lack good judgment.
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[Note:   Mint, and dill, and cummin were tiny things.  To obsess on tithing at such a small level, while ignoring the very important things showed a real lack of perspective on what was important]

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* Narcissist is the modern colloquial term for what the Bible calls “insolent pride”.  Please see here for an explanation.

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