“But to what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the market places, who call out to the other children, and say, ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.’ For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon!’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.”
At the end of Jesus’ description of “this generation” as a group that couldn’t be pleased, He gave a simple but profound solution for dealing with them when He said that “wisdom is vindicated by her deeds”.
Jesus was saying “don’t worry about making these narcissists happy (because you won’t be able to anyway), but instead focus on doing the right things in wisdom – and the fruit of that will speak for itself and ultimately provide all the vindication you need. So, don’t focus on them – instead focus on walking your own path of doing what is right, irrespective of what the narcissist is saying.
Jesus demonstrated this Himself. He didn’t spend a lot of time obsessing about the narcissistic Pharisees around Him who were focused on undermining and ultimately destroying Him. Jesus interfaced with them and dealt with them from time to time, but mostly focused instead on His own God-given path and plan.
Do not fret because of evildoers,
Be not envious toward wrongdoers.
For they will wither quickly like the grass
And fade like the green herb.
Trust in the Lord and do good;
Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.
Delight yourself in the Lord;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him, and He will do it.
He will bring forth your righteousness as the light
And your judgment as the noonday.
Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom………
And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
James 3:13, 18
- Narcissism is the modern colloquial term for what the Bible calls “insolent pride” – see here
- Putting “Biblical Perspectives On Narcissism” Into Perspective