Those who have been hurt by a narcissist that appears to “get away with it” can really struggle with bitterness and a deep desire for “justice” to be done. This often results in a continued obsession with the narcissist and what he/she has done, and a corresponding inability to “move on” or focus on your own following after God.
Narcissists are pros at shifting blame, covering up, lying their way out of things, and making you think it was your fault – all the while seeming to never really receive consequences for their actions commensurate with the pain which they have inflicted. Especially when they just flippantly move on to their next target. One aspect of coming to a point of peace in what happened to you at the hands of the narcissist is understanding clearly that in the end God will deal with them – and we can and should leave that to Him.
19 Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.
This statement in Romans echoes God’s original word in Deuteronomy
35 ‘Vengeance is Mine, and retribution,
In due time their foot will slip;
For the day of their calamity is near,
And the impending things are hastening upon them.’
God claims that dealing out consequences to people is His turf, not ours. One reason He claims this turf for Himself is that He is far better at executing justice than we are – in the timing, nature, and purpose for that justice. By letting Him handle the “vengeance” part, we can focus more on the forgiveness part – which is essential to our ultimate healing and honoring God in our lives.
God does not say that He might get around to dealing with people – He promises that He will do it. So part of turning retribution over to Him is to believe that when He says He will handle it, that He will. But He will do it in His way, and in His timing. I have seen cases where God obviously dealt with those who had injured me (at least in my mind – the actual injury was probably far less than I imagined it to be….), but He did it in His time (in a couple of cases it was years later) and through completely different sources. We want a 1:1 direct retribution, but God works at a far higher and more complex level than we can imagine.
8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.
9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts than your thoughts.
Of course, to accept God’s statement requires an acceptance of the reality of God and who He is. Without that, you’re on your own, and will likely find it difficult to ever fully heal from the wounds which the narcissist inflicted. In fact, whether you believe it or not, God will execute justice anyway – because He said He would. You just won’t have the benefit of the internal peace that comes from knowing it.
God did not say that He will execute justice in the way we want, or in the timing we want. So, when we turn it over to Him, we also need to let Him do it His way, and in His timing. It may be 30, 40, 50, 60, 70 years in coming, but it will come. God’s dealings with the narcissist may come more in eternity than in time, and will be different in intent and nature based on whether the narcissist is a believer or unbeliever.
Narcissists are ultimately on a slippery slope….
16 When I pondered to understand this,
It was troublesome in my sight
17 Until I came into the sanctuary of God;
Then I perceived their end.
18 Surely You set them in slippery places;
You cast them down to destruction.
19 How they are destroyed in a moment!
They are utterly swept away by sudden terrors!
20 Like a dream when one awakes,
O Lord, when aroused, You will despise their form.
So, while challenging, we should not fret because of what evildoers are doing – God will deal with them far more effectively than we ever could – but should instead focus ourselves on doing what is right before Him.
* “Narcissism” is the modern colloquial term for what the Bible calls “insolent pride” please see here
for a further explanation