Narcissist Tactics – The Shaming Wife

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Proverbs 12:4

An excellent wife is the crown of her husband,
But she who shames him is like rottenness in his bones.

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The first line of Proverbs 12:4 is a marvelous, positive example – but since we are studying narcissism in particular we are going to focus here on the second line.

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While a contentious wife may operate in private, a shaming wife operates publicly, putting her husband to shame in front of other people.  There are two ways that a wife could do this.  One way would be inappropriate public behavior that dishonors both herself and her husband.  You can easily think of your own examples, and they are not necessarily the actions of a narcissist / one with insolent pride.

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The second way a wife could shame her husband is through the narcissistic move of denigrating (ie – putting down, criticizing) her husband in public.  Why might she do this?   Continue reading

Narcissist Tactics – Sniping At Those of Whom They’re Jealous (Pharisee Case Study)

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Luke 5:29-32

29 And Levi gave a big reception for Him in his house; and there was a great crowd of tax collectors and other people who were reclining at the table with them. 30 The Pharisees and their scribes began grumbling at His disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with the tax collectors and sinners?”31 And Jesus answered and said to them, It is not those who are well who need a physician, but those who are sick. 32 I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”

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The Pharisees were jealous that Jesus, instead of themselves, was getting the attention and honor from a great crowd at this reception organized especially for Him.  Rather than recognize their own jealously, they began to sneeringly condemn and criticize everyone else at the reception.  They took a condescending, judgmental, holier-than-thou attitude toward the entire crowd by labeling them all as sinners, and then arrogantly judged Jesus for not separating from the guests.  They showed their insincere cowardice by whispering against Jesus behind his back instead of directly addressing him with their concerns.   This was all an arrogant outflowing of their jealously – cloaked as “holiness”.

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Jesus knew about the Pharisees grumbling to His disciples.  He could have rebuked them for the jealously at the root of their comments, or for their insolent pride at looking down their nose at virtually everyone in the room.  However, instead of getting down in the mud with the Pharisees, He pointed them and anyone else listening to a much higher point – the need for everyone who was willing to recognize (by admitting they were spiritually “sick”) their need for repentance.  The Pharisees in their pride would, of course, not recognize their need, and therefore would not receive healing.

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This was a subtle rebuke to the Pharisees’s self-centered blind jealously, and in the process, Jesus communicated to His listening disciples His willingness to engage with people for their benefit.  And in the process, He demonstrated Proverbs 26:4-5:

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Proverbs 26:4-5

Do not answer a fool according to his folly,
Or you will also be like him.
Answer a fool as his folly deserves,
That he not be wise in his own eyes.

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Putting “Biblical Perspectives On Narcissism” Into Perspective

 

 

 

Narcissist Tactics – They Mock and Make Excuses (Pharisee Case Study)

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Luke 16:13-15

13 No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”

14 Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, were listening to all these things and were scoffing at Him. 15 And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God.

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[Please see here and here for more on how we know the Pharisees were narcissists].

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This is one of the clearer examples of how narcissists work.  In their hearts, the Pharisees were focused on money and the “finer things of life” that it would bring.  But in their pride, they also wanted to be highly thought of by men for their piety (including the all-sufficiency of God).  Jesus called out their hypocrisy and created a dilemma for them with His statement that they could not make both God and money number one in their lives – with the clear implication that they had chosen money over God.

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The narcissistic Pharisees had two ways of dealing with this.

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First was to mock (or scoff at) the One telling them they could not have it both ways.  Their intent was to tear down, from a position of “superiority”, and discredit the one getting in way of their greed and pride.

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Proverbs 9:7-8

He who corrects a scoffer gets dishonor for himself,
And he who reproves a wicked man gets insults for himself.
Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you,
Reprove a wise man and he will love you.

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Amos 5:10

10 They hate him who reproves in the gate,
And they abhor him who speaks with integrity.

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Second was to make justification (in modern terms – making excuses), or to construct a clever series of reasons, for what they were doing for the purpose of making people around them agree with them and continue to think highly of them.

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But Jesus made it clear to them that even though they may get away with fooling men, they were not fooling God.  God could clearly see what was in their hearts, and would judge them based on that – and not based on what the Pharisees had gotten men to believe.

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They might get short term kudos from men for how wonderful they are, but they would ultimately have to answer to God for the evil in their hearts.

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Putting “Biblical Perspectives On Narcissism” Into Perspective

Narcissist Traits – Creating Rules That Become “Doctrine”……

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…….Or “How Cults Are Created”

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Matthew 15

You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you:

This people honors Me with their lips,
But their heart is far away from Me.
But in vain do they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.’”

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Jesus was quoting Isaiah 29:13 as he spoke to the hypocritical, narcissistic Pharisees (see here and here about how we know that the Pharisees were narcissists / those with insolent pride).  The Pharisees are a good case study on the behavior of religious leaders who are narcissists:

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Continue reading

Narcissist* Tactics – He Who Hates Disguises it With His Lips

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Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you……
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Proverbs 26:24-26

24 He who hates disguises it with his lips,
But he lays up deceit in his heart.
25 When he speaks graciously, do not believe him,
For there are seven abominations in his heart.
26 Though his hatred covers itself with guile,
His wickedness will be revealed before the assembly.

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When a narcissist* flatters you, he is not lifting you up but is instead laying a trap of some sort.  So, what you see and what is really happening are two completely different things.  In the same way, a scoffer (narcissist) who hates you will disguise that hate – for awhile.  He may speak graciously to you face-to-face, but in his heart he is plotting to somehow “get you” – and when he gets the chance to trash you publicly he will take it – “his wickedness will be revealed before the assembly”.

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* narcissism is the modern colloquial term for what the Bible calls “insolent pride” – see here for more

Narcissistic* Traits – One Reason Why They Lie

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There is a simple explanation for why (at least one of the reasons, there are others) that narcissists* lie

1  –  They want X – something that is “bad” because

  • It is selfish
  • It is immoral
  • They need to hurt others to get it
  • Etc

2  –  They also want respect, praise, and exaltation from men

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The only way that they can get both #1 and #2 at the same time is to deceive or lie to others about #1.  They need to lie in order to conceal their selfish or evil goals and motives – and the actions that they may take to achieve them.

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Continue reading

Narcissist* Tactics – “I Was Just Kidding”

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Proverbs 26:18-19

18 Like a madman who throws
Firebrands, arrows and death,
19 So is the man who deceives his neighbor,
And says, “Was I not joking?”

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A classic narcissist tactic is that when they are caught in a deception or some other maneuver, they quickly try to deflect blame back to the victim.   (Deception is one of the prime tools in the narcissists’ toolkit (see here)).    Often the deceiver will tell their victim, “you misunderstood me” – in effect blaming the victim for the problem.  But, in the above case, the person caught in his deception has an even worse “defense”, trying to get out of it by saying “I was just kidding”.

In the above proverb:

  1. Madman = man who deceives, gets caught, and thinks he can slide out from under the problem by simply saying “just kidding”
  2. Firebrands, arrows, and death = deceiving (hurting) his neighbor + and adding “insult to injury” by trying to pretend he did not with a totally lame excuse.

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Discussing further:

  1. The man deceived his neighbor – the reason for doing it is not stated
  2. He got caught in his deception.  If he had not gotten caught, he would have kept silent because he was “getting away with it”
  3. He needed to come up with some excuse.  In this case he said “I was just joking”.  Often, narcissists say “you misunderstood me” (ie – it’s YOUR fault)
  4. The proverb calls this person like a madman who just hurls destruction (firebrands, arrows, death) at others.  Very destructive but also pretty insane in what he is doing and how he is going about it.  How can someone who intentionally deceives someone close to them (neighbor), and gets caught in the deception, possibly think that he can get out of the trouble he is in simply by saying “just kidding”?  It’s not rational (ie – a bit insane) that he thinks that he can escape with such a lame excuse.

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*Narcissism is the modern colloquial term for what the Bible describes as “insolent pride”.  See here for a further explanation.

Narcissist* Traits – Using “Faith” As Justification For Personal Ambition

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Among narcissists* in the Christian community, there are sometimes those who will use “faith” as justification or cover for their personal ambitions.  And they will quickly accuse those who oppose their plans as having “a lack of faith”, or possibly use other manipulative means to clear out the opposition and continue with their plans.  One such other manipulative method would be for the narcissist to say “I heard this straight from God”…..who can question “God’s leading”?  (Actually it is still possible to question based on scripture, the counsel of others, etc., but the narcissist will fight very hard to not be challenged in any way or by any means).

These narcissistic actions are consistent with narcissist’s tendency to use any means available to them to achieve their goals – including religious means.  This was discussed in the following blog entries:

“Narcissistic* Traits – Outwardly Righteous, Inwardly Rebellious

“Narcissist* Tactics – Saying Whatever They Have To, To Get What They Want” 

“Narcissistic* Traits – Religious, But Not Truly Moral or Righteous”

 

The narcissist’s way is not God’s way.  In fact, the narcissist’s way of pride and self-exaltation is the exact opposite of God’s way of humbly serving others.  Narcissist’s actions give unbelievers an excuse to hate Jesus.  But God will ultimately deal with these narcissists.

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Matthew 7:15-19

15 “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will[know them by their fruits. [Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? 17 So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

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

Narcissistic* Traits – Discarding The Tools of Their Treachery

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Narcissists (or those with insolent pride, see here), frequently “use” others as tools to achieve their goals, and then once the narcissists have gotten what they want, they easily discard the people they used without any further consideration.  An example is how the narcissistic Pharisees (see here and here) treated Judas after Judas had betrayed Jesus.

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Matthew 27

Now when morning came, all the chief priests and the elders of the people conferred together against Jesus to put Him to death; and they bound Him, and led Him away and delivered Him to Pilate the governor.

Then when Judas, who had betrayed Him, saw that He had been condemned, he felt remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” But they said, “What is that to us? See to that yourself!”And he threw the pieces of silver into the temple sanctuary and departed; and he went away and hanged himself. The chief priests took the pieces of silver and said, “It is not lawful to put them into the temple treasury, since it is the price of blood.” And they conferred together and with the money bought the Potter’s Field as a burial place for strangers. For this reason that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day.Then that which was spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: “And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of the one whose price had been set by the sons of Israel; 10 and they gave them for the Potter’s Field, as the Lord directed me.”

In this case, after the Pharisees (chief priests and elders) were more than happy to use Judas as a tool to get what they wanted (the destruction of Jesus), they did not care the slightest about what happened to Judas.  He was just someone to be used as means to their end.  This is consistent with insolent pride – looking down on others as of much less importance, and therefore merely to be used and then easily discarded with no further consideration of their needs.

This principle has a second application in this case.  Judas was not only a tool of the Pharisees, but was also a tool of Satan in Satan’s quest to destroy Jesus.  Satan (a “narcissist” filled with insolent pride, see here) also uses people for his evil purposes, and then drives them to their destruction.

 

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

Narcissist Case Studies – Cain, The First Human Narcissist

While it may not be obvious through a cursory look, Cain was likely the first human narcissist (Satan was the very first narcissist, see here).   Let’s go through the Biblical evidence:

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The first clue that Cain was a narcissist with insolent pride is found here:

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1 John 3:12 – not as Cain, who was of the evil one and slew his brother. And for what reason did he slay him? Because his deeds were evil, and his brother’s were righteous.
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Being “of the evil one (Satan)” is similar to the way Jesus described the Pharisees….. “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”  Since the Pharisees were narcissists (see here and here) just like their father, Satan (see here and here), describing Cain in the same way as the Pharisees puts him in the same category.
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The other clues on Cain’s narcissism and insolent pride from his actions and reactions.  There was a clear sequence……
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……..Evil was in Cain’s heart
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1 John 3:12 – not as Cain, who was of the evil one and slew his brother. And for what reason did he slay him? Because his deeds were evil, and his brother’s were righteous.
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…….But Cain still expected God to “like” the offering he made (but God’s view is that obedience is much more important than the sacrifice (I Samuel 15:22).  When Cain didn’t get the positive response from God that he wanted, rather than repenting he 1.  Got very angry, and 2.  Started moping
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Genesis 4:5 – but for Cain and for his offering He had no regard. So Cain became very angry and his countenance fell.
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……God then told Cain what he needed to do to fix things
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Genesis 4:7 – If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.”
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[Note:  God’s instructions to the first narcissist (Cain) is a key for narcissists (scoffers with insolent pride) to know how to deal with their own narcisisstic tendencies.]
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….. Cain had a decision.  He could take God’s instruction to “master” the sin inside him.  But instead of repenting and seeking God, he decided to accept what was in his heart and to instead get rid of the competition who was “making him look bad”.
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Genesis 4:8 – Cain told Abel his brother. And it came about when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him.
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……Then he lied about it
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Genesis 4:9 – Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” And he said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?”
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……When he got caught in this 3rd infraction (evil heart, murder, lying about the murder) and was going to receive final judgment from the Lord, instead of repenting (its never too late until you die), he still was whining, complaining, and fighting, and twisting what God said.
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Genesis 4:13 – Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is too great to bear!   14 Behold, You have driven me this day from the face of the ground [twisted what God had said in Genesis 4:11-12]; and from Your face I will be hidden [a lie – God didn’t say that], and I will be a vagrant and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me [not true – drama king kind of statement].” 
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Cain’s response to his judgment was a classic narcissistic response to the consequences of his actions.
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Narcissist* Tactics – They Also Target Their Enemies’ Friends

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One tactic of Narcissists (scoffers, those with insolent pride) is to not only try to destroy their perceived enemy – but they also try to isolate them by driving wedges between their enemies and anyone who might possibly help them.

 

John 9:22

22 His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews; for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone confessed Him to be Christ, he was to be put out of the synagogue.

John 12:42

42 Nevertheless many even of the rulers believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they were not confessing Him, for fear that they would be put out of the synagogue;

 

see here and here for an explanation on how Pharisees were classic Narcissists.

 

3 John 1:9-10

I wrote something to the church; but Diotrephes, who loves to be first among them, does not accept what we say. 10 For this reason, if I come, I will call attention to his deeds which he does, unjustly accusing us with wicked words; and not satisfied with this, he himself does not receive the brethren, either, and he forbids those who desire to do so and puts them out of the church.

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

 

Narcissist Tactics – Entrapment to Destroy

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Luke 20:19-26

19 The scribes and the chief priests tried to lay hands on Him that very hour, and they feared the people; for they understood that He spoke this parable against them. 20 So they watched Him, and sent spies who pretended to be righteous, in order that they might catch Him in some statement, so that they could deliver Him to the rule and the authority of the governor. 21 They questioned Him, saying, “Teacher, we know that You speak and teach correctly, and You are not partial to any, but teach the way of God in truth. 22 Is it lawful for us to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” 23 But He detected their trickery and said to them, 24 “Show Me a denarius. Whose likeness and inscription does it have?” They said, “Caesar’s.” 25 And He said to them, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” 26 And they were unable to catch Him in a saying in the presence of the people; and being amazed at His answer, they became silent.

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We have been using the term “Pharisees” in our depiction of that group of scoffers (narcissists) who were opposed to Jesus, but that was a broader category that also included specific job titles such as “scribes” and “chief priests”.  We can see here and here that the Pharisees were clear examples of narcissists.  There are several lessons on how narcissists operate from the above narrative:

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  1. The scoffers (narcissists) were actively trying to get rid of the threat to their supremacy
  2. The scoffers (narcissists) were trying to entrap Jesus by presenting a no-win situation, on a subject that could get Him in deep trouble with the authorities if He answered wrong
  3. They sent others to do their dirty work (this time)

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Notice the flattery these Pharisees / scoffers / narcissists used as part of their work to ruin Jesus.   In verse 21, “Teacher, we know that You speak and teach correctly, and You are not partial to any, but teach the way of God in truth.”  This is what is discussed here:

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Proverbs 26:28 – 28 A lying tongue hates those it crushes, And a flattering mouth works ruin.

 

 

Narcissistic Traits – “I would never have done it that way”

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Matthew 23:29-30 – 29 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, 30 and say, ‘If we had been living in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partners with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’

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The Pharisees were saying, “I would never have done it the way they did it.”  This is a classic statement from a narcissist / scoffer (see here and here how the Pharisees were narcissists / scoffers with insolent pride).   In this situation these narcissists were doing two things at the same time

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  1. They were setting themselves up as judge of other’s actions (see here for scoffers – Narcissists as Judge)
  2. They were setting themselves up as superior to the other person.  But as typical of the Narcissist, the superiority was only in their own minds – not in reality – and didn’t actually have to be demonstrated.  Its very easy to say after the fact “I would never have done that”, when you don’t have to actually prove it through your actions.

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And they were so arrogant that they were willing to trash their own ancestors in order to exalt themselves.

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But Jesus turned the tables and called them on it:

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Matthew 23:31-32 – 31 So you testify against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. 32 Fill up, then, the measure of the guilt of your fathers.

 

Narcissist Tactics – How They Attack

Psalm 56:1-6 (NASB)

 

56 Be gracious to me, O God, for man has trampled upon me;
Fighting all day long he oppresses me.
2 My foes have trampled upon me all day long,
For they are many who fight proudly against me.
3 When I am afraid,
I will put my trust in You.
4 In God, whose word I praise,
In God I have put my trust;
I shall not be afraid.
What can mere man do to me?
5 All day long they distort my words;
All their thoughts are against me for evil.
6 They attack, they lurk,
They watch my steps,
As they have waited to take my life.

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I am still pondering this, so the following is a “work in progress’

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This sounds like a Messianic Psalm – where at one level David is talking about his own situation, but at a prophetic level God is referring to the Pharisees vs. Jesus.  If that’s the case, we saw from

http://biblicalperspectivesonnarcissism.com/2013/12/21/narcissist-case-studies-pharisees-foundations/

http://biblicalperspectivesonnarcissims.com/2014/03/03/narcissist-case-studies-pharisees-how-we-know-they-were-narcissists-part-2/

that the Pharisees were filled with insolent pride, were scoffers, and in today’s terminology were narcissists.    Here are some key traits and tactics:

Fighting all day long he oppresses me.

The Pharisees (narcissists) made their fight against Jesus almost a full time occupation.

For they are many who fight proudly against me.

The fight was a fight to gain supremacy

5 All day long they distort my words;
All their thoughts are against me for evil.
6 They attack, they lurk,
They watch my steps,
As they have waited to take my life.

This describes pretty clearly how the narcissistic Pharisees approached things in their fight against Jesus – distorting his words, thinking “evilly” on how they could take him on, lurking and watching until they could see an opportunity to destroy him.  So, to summarize traits and tactics of a narcissist who has decided to destroy you:

  • He will totally obsesse about destroying you
  • He will distort most of what you say
  • His thoughts toward you will only be evil thoughts on how he can destroy – he will not think any positive thoughts toward you (part of his obsession to destroy you)
  • He will attack you when he can, but he will also lurk, watch, and wait for the right opportunity to stick in the proverbial knife

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But, as we will discuss more in the future, ultimately we have to trust Him for protection from this kind of attack

Psalm 56:11 – In God I have put my [a]trust, I shall not be afraid.  What can man do to me?

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Psalm 127:1 (NASB) – Unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman keeps awake in vain.

Narcissist Traits and Tactics – They Are Deceivers (and Liars)

Isaiah 28:14-15

14 Therefore, hear the word of the Lord, O scoffers,
Who rule this people who are in Jerusalem,
15 Because you have said, “We have made a covenant with death,
And with Sheol we have made a pact.
The overwhelming scourge will not reach us when it passes by,
For we have made falsehood our refuge and we have concealed ourselves with deception.”

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Proverbs 21:24

Proud,” “Haughty,” “Scoffer,” are his names, Who acts with insolent pride.
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Isaiah 28:14-15 is referring to the Pharisees during Jesus’ time (we will demonstrate that more fully in the near future).  But, by calling these people “scoffers”, the passage in Isaiah clearly indicates that they had “insolent pride”, which is the scriptural term for narcissism.    And verse 15 also indicates that falsehood and deception were central to their mode of operating.
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