6 “Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.
2 “So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.
There is a clear warning to those who continue down path of the progression of fools
A worthless person, a wicked man,
Is the one who walks with a perverse mouth,
13 Who winks with his eyes, who signals with his feet,
Who points with his fingers;
14 Who with perversity in his heart continually devises evil,
Who spreads strife.
15 Therefore his calamity will come suddenly;
Instantly he will be broken and there will be no healing.
Proverbs 29:1 explains that this sudden calamity does not just happen at the first “mistake” the person made, but actually comes after the wicked person has repeatedly rejected God’s warnings to change his ways.
29 A man who hardens his neck after much reproof
Will suddenly be broken beyond remedy.
One example of God’s gracious patience in giving many reproofs and even final “notice” was King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon in Daniel 4. God gave Nebuchadnezzar a dream with a warning to change his ways. Then God gave him an entire year to repent and change, but Nebuchadnezzar did not. After the year God lowered the boom and took decisive action to humble him.
One implication of this for those suffering at the hands of narcissists and fools is that while in our weariness of dealing with it we want it FIXED NOW, God also is gracious and patient with them while at the same time providing grace to us. But, He will ultimately deal with them.
We discussed here that God will deal with the proud and haughty. Isaiah makes it clear that, even though it is not obvious to people now, and even though it may seem slow in coming, a specific day of reckoning for the proud will come. The proud will think everything is going well, until the tables are instantly turned.
12 For the Lord of hosts will have a day of reckoning
Against everyone who is proud and lofty
And against everyone who is lifted up,
That he may be abased.
The unbelieving Narcissist* will receive a greater degree of judgment based on the spiritual light which has been given him……..
20 Then He began to denounce the cities in which most of His miracles were done, because they did not repent. 21 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles had occurred in Tyre and Sidon which occurred in you, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22 Nevertheless I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you. 23 And you, Capernaum, will not be exalted to heaven, will you? You will descend to Hades; for if the miracles had occurred in Sodom which occurred in you, it would have remained to this day.24 Nevertheless I say to you that it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for you.”
……And the unbelieving Narcissist* will receive a greater degree of judgment based on the evil which he has done
1 Thessalonians 2:16
16 hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved; with the result that they always fill up the measure of their sins. But wrath has come upon them to the utmost.
Therefore, if you demonstrate truth and godly responses to a Narcissist, and the N responds with evil, he will be multiplying for himself the level of his own eternal judgment in 2 different ways – simultaneously rejecting the light and adding to the amount of evil he has done. Very serious stuff, indeed.
- Narcissism is the modern colloquial term for what the Bible calls “insolent pride” – see here for more
9 Better is he who is lightly esteemed and has a servant
Than he who honors himself and lacks bread.
Thus says the Lord God concerning Edom—
We have heard a report from the Lord,
And an envoy has been sent among the nations saying,
“Arise and let us go against her for battle”—
2 “Behold, I will make you small among the nations;
You are greatly despised.
3 “The arrogance of your heart has deceived you,
You who live in the clefts of [b]the rock,
In the loftiness of your dwelling place,
Who say in your heart,
‘Who will bring me down to earth?’
4 “Though you build high like the eagle,
Though you set your nest among the stars,
From there I will bring you down,” declares the Lord.
It is easy for a proud person to think that he can build a strong enough wall through his wealth or fame to prevent himself from being humbled by God. Of course, a proud person does not consciously think in terms of being humbled by God (as he rarely acknowledges God), but in terms of “bad things happening” to him. But as God demonstrated through Nebuchadnezzar, He is able to humble anyone. And as He declares here with Edom (family line of Esau, another N), it does not matter how much an N tries to guard against it, if God decides to humble an N, He will make it happen.
- Narcissism is the modern colloquial term for what the Bible calls “insolent pride” – see here
1 Corinthians 13:4-8
4 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never fails…….
We would normally think that the opposite of narcissism / insolent pride is humility – which is true. But, insolent pride is also the opposite of genuine love. According to the verses above, love
- Is kind
- Is not jealous
- Does not brag
- Is not arrogant
- Does not seek its own
- Is not provoked
- Does not take into account a wrong suffered
These are the polar opposites of the traits shown by narcissists. As we will discuss going forward, the contrast between narcissism and genuine love is fundamental to helping us understand:
- the real (eternal) consequences which narcissists have chosen for themselves
- why God allows them to wreak havoc
- how God wants us to respond and deal with them
- why it is important that we look at our own hearts even while we are struggling with the N in our lives
- Narcissism is the modern colloquial term for what the Bible calls insolent pride – see here
5 But they (scribes and Pharisees) do all their deeds to be noticed by men…..
In the Narcissists’* drive to be exalted by others, their focus is completely on what other people think of them, rather than on the genuine substance of things. In fact, they will go out of their way to even suffer some pain – such as with fasting – if the end result is the praise and recognition of man. To a narcissist, wickedness in their heart does not matter as long as things look good to others. They particularly will focus on “putting on a show” of their “goodness” so that others will see it and think well of them.
Some examples are:
17 Do not rejoice when your enemy falls,
And do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles;
18 Or the Lord will see it and be displeased,
And turn His anger away from him.
As we said previously, one key to having peace in the midst of dealing with a difficult narcissist is the understanding that God is a Just Judge, and will, in the end, give to the narcissist everything that they deserve. This trust that God will deal out the proper consequences can give us the freedom to focus on our own inner peace and happiness (which ultimately comes from Him), as well as “doing what is right” in our situation. If we are a genuinely loving person, we will not take delight in what God does to the the narcissist – but we will be at peace with it.
5 ……He who rejoices at calamity will not go unpunished.
* Narcissism is the modern colloquial term for what the Bible calls “insolent pride” – see here
23 ……. The Lord preserves the faithful
And fully recompenses the proud doer.
7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.
Jeremiah 17:10 – “I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give to each man according to his ways, According to the results of his deeds.
12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds.
We may intuitively understand that enemies of God will ultimately be judged. But, it is very clear that everyone, even His friends will be judged. Paul wrote to the Christians in Corinth:
2 Corinthians 5:10 – For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
So, whether the narcissist we are dealing with is a total enemy of God, or claims to be a Christian, he will ultimately receive his full consequences from God for his actions toward us. However, while there is a 1 to 1 relationship between actions and consequences, there will be a difference in consequences based on his “standing” when he faces judgment. This watershed is found in Psalm 32:
32 How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven,
Whose sin is covered!
2 How blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity,
And in whose spirit there is no deceit!
Three questions related to this are:
- Does God give 100 percent of the consequences “deserved” by the narcissist? Or said another way, even though God says that a narcissist will get consequences, does he get “full consequences” or only partial consequences (and as a result, partially “gets away with it”)
- Is there a 1 to 1 relationship between the narcissist’s specific actions and the resulting consequence given by God? In other words, does God precisely give a full and complete matching consequence for every single act of evil committed by the narcissist?
- What in fact are the consequences given to the narcissist for his actions?
Proverbs 15:11 – Sheol and Abaddon lie open before the Lord, How much more the hearts of men!
8 Pay heed, you senseless among the people;
And when will you understand, stupid ones?
9 He who planted the ear, does He not hear?
He who formed the eye, does He not see?
10 He who chastens the nations, will He not rebuke,
Even He who teaches man knowledge?
11 The Lord knows the thoughts of man,
That they are a mere breath.
As we said here, one fear that we may have in our dealings with a narcissist (one with insolent pride) is that the narcissist might be “getting away with it”. Holding on to this fear prevents us from releasing things to God and turning our focus to our own heart, actions, and responsibilities – rather than on what the narcissist is doing. Our fear that the narcissist will receive no consequences is based on two separate fears: 1. That God does not see what’s going on, and 2. That even if He does see, He is not going to do anything about it.
Even though a narcissist / one with insolent pride may work very hard to conceal their true goals, motives, and tactics for achieving what they want – and even though they may fool most people most of the time – God fully sees what they’re doing and the evil in their hearts that is driving their actions. And He will not let them get away with it, but will judge them and provide the exact consequences needed.
Letting God do His job frees us to learn and do a much wiser and more peaceful way of dealing with the narcissist.
131 O Lord, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty;
Nor do I involve myself in great matters,
Or in things too difficult for me.
2 Surely I have composed and quieted my soul;
Like a weaned child rests against his mother,
My soul is like a weaned child within me.
.Romans 14:12 – So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God..1 Peter 4:5 – but they will give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead..Galatians 6:7 – Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap..Hebrews 10:30 – For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge His people.”.
Proverbs 13:10 – Through insolence comes nothing but strife, But wisdom is with those who receive counsel.
Original Word: זָדוֹן
Part of Speech: Noun Masculine
Phonetic Spelling: (zaw-done’)
Short Definition: arrogance
arrogance (3), arrogant (2), insolence (2), insolent pride (1), presumptuously (2), pride (1)..
* Narcissism is the modern colloquial term for what the Bible calls “insolent pride” – see here for more