Narcissists tend to consider themselves indispensable, the “key” to the success of the enterprise at hand, whether it’s running the operation to handing out pencils. Their insolent pride starts with their own importance, and then imputes that to the importance of their role and also to the larger enterprise.
It is (proud) human nature to think our _____ is best, but N’s take this to an extreme. This inflated view of themselves assumes they are more important than others and even God.
Paul told the Athenians at the Areopagus,
The God who made the world and everything that is in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made by hands; nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things;
N’s tend toward work and professions that allow themselves to “play God” (politics, etc.), but they can pursue their superiority no matter what venue they find themselves – even as simple as how to arrange the tables and chairs for the church social function.
It is one thing to have a healthy sense of responsibility and value the task at hand. But, feeling as though our enterprise is the most important and that we are indispensable to it opens the door to all kinds of unkind and abusive behavior. It can result in the N treating people with a haughty, superior attitude –
- criticizing others for not doing things the way they would have
- demanding that everyone around make their piece of the work the top priority
- making sure that everyone is there to serve them and their needs
- praising those who fall in line with their self-serving plans, and snubbing those who don’t
- feeling justified in lashing out when things don’t go their way
As Paul told the Athenians, if we truly understand that 1. it is God’s priorities that really matter – to love Him and others, 2. that He is the source of all accomplishment and 3. that He does not “need” our service, it would put ourselves and our service (even if it is “secular work”) in the right perspective – humbly and kindly serving in collaboration with others, with God and not ourselves at the center.