In Whom Are Hidden All The Treasures of Wisdom and Knowledge

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Colossians 2:2-3

that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

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I have been wrestling for a while now with how to discuss both the practical Biblical wisdom on narcissism, but also that wisdom’s linkage with the sweeping doctrines of grace, within the limited space of this short-format blog.  Both are in the Bible, and as Colossians 2:3 states, both are summed up in the Person and work of Christ.   God’s practical wisdom is included in His glory (His attributes and power – Romans 1:20) and His grace (His provision of everything needed, at the point of need – 2 Corinthians 9:8).

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God is keenly interested in a love relationship with us – a love which includes providing practical wisdom on how to navigate this thing called life.  However, if we emphasize only the practical wisdom, we may miss the glorious context of His grace.  If we ignore His practical wisdom, we miss a key provision of His grace.  A proper analogy might be a father telling his son frequently of his love, but failing to give his son practical suggestions when needed.  The demonstration of the father’s love for the son would be incomplete.

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In our search for “answers”, we may initially seek out the practical living parts of the Bible.  I too, for a long overemphasized “wisdom for practical Christian living”.  The outcome was not satisfactory due to my weak understanding of the God who loves me.

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The story of Gideon and his victory over the Midianites in Judges 6-8 is an example of finding wisdom in the details while not missing the larger message of God’s glory.  God went through two rounds to get the number of warriors down from 30,000 to 300.  Much has been made of the practical wisdom applied in the process which God used to separate the courageous and prepared warriors from those who were fearful or lacked watchfulness.  Yes, there are things to be learned from the selection process.  But the far larger point of the story was that God wanted to show that He won the battle on behalf of the Israelites through an unconventional non-battle “battle” using a handful of men.  He was showing Himself strong on behalf of men – it was His purpose, His power, His glory which mattered instead of the strength of man.

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While this blog is a bottom-up research into what the Bible says about narcissism, it is not intended to be “reductionist” – distorting the big picture by pretending that individual bits of wisdom comprise the entire answer.

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From Dictionary.com

reductionism (noun)

“the theory that every complex phenomenon, especially in biology or psychology, can be explained by analyzing the simplest, most basic physical mechanisms that are in operation during the phenomenon”

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“the practice of simplifying a complex idea, issue, condition, or the like, especially to the point of minimizing, obscuring, or distorting it”

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As we have said before, each blog post is intended as a single brick to be laid in the building up of a complete picture.  While practical wisdom can and definitely should be part of our dealing with the narcissists in our lives, it is far more important to understand and discern God’s purposes in it all, and to understand that He is the key to the solutions – with His practical wisdom as one part of the whole picture.

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Please see Putting “Biblical Perspectives On Narcissism” Into Perspective for a further discussion of what this blog is about.