Why God Allows Narcissists To Wreak Havoc – Foundations – God’s Plan For A Purpose Of Love, Part 2

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See here for the road map for this discussion, and see here for Part 1

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God’s plan for a purpose of love IS based on a plan – which God wisely developed, and detailed right from the start.

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Isaiah 46:8-10

“Remember this, and be assured;
Recall it to mind, you transgressors.
“Remember the former things long past,
For I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is no one like Me,
10 Declaring the end from the beginning,
And from ancient times things which have not been done,
Saying, ‘My purpose will be established,
And I will accomplish all My good pleasure’;

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The only way that God could “declare the end”, “from the beginning””in ancient times” (an understatement for eternity past), would be to work out right from the start all of the details of His plan, and be able to guarantee the execution of each of those details.  Any other way would cause the plan to veer off course.  Think about some of your own plans that you made in your life – they never worked out exactly as planned because there were always details that you were simply not able to control.  This did not happen with God’s plan.  He wisely planned all of the details and controlled them, so that He could declare right at the start what would be the outcome of His plan – the fullest expression of His nature (love, justice, etc) and strength.

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Why God “Allows” N’s To Wreak Havoc? – Foundations – God’s Plan For A Purpose of Love

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Click here for the road map on this discussion about Why God Allows Narcissists* To Wreak Havoc

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Ephesians 1:8-12

….. In all wisdom and insight He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He (God) purposed in Him (Jesus) ……..11 …… who (God) works all things after the counsel of His will, 12 to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory.

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God’s will is based on a loving purpose (“kind intention”).  That loving purpose is based on His inherent nature (“God is love” – 1 John 4:8).  And He executes everything, down to the tiniest detail, according to the plan which he has created (“works all things after the counsel of His will”).

The end of all of it is that we will praise Him for his manifold excellence (“praise of His glory”) which He has shown in every possible way – and of which we have been made a prime beneficiary.

When we ask Why He is allowing a Narcissist to wreak havoc in our lives, we can be sure that it is not just some random thing going on – there is a much bigger plan in play, and the essence of that plan is love.

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Why God Allows N’s To Wreak Havoc – The Road Map

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Romans 8:28

28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose……

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[Note:  After spending much time on descriptive aspects of who narcissists are like their “traits” and “tactics”, we are finally getting into the “why’s”  and “how’s” – Why God allows narcissists to wreak havoc, and How narcissists got that way]

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Part of successfully navigating the Narcissist* in our life is to understand some possible reasons why God is allowing this to happen to us.  The purpose is to not ask “WHY ME?”, but to better discern His loving will and ways for the purpose of getting in sync with God – for our good and His glory.

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When God orchestrates something in our lives, there is not just one reason He is doing it – He is simultaneously intricately stitching together many, many things in our lives and the lives of others as part of His Tapestry.  So, while we are attempting to understand what’s going on in a situation, we must also realize that at the end of the day we must trust Him – because we will never fully know and understand this side of Heaven.  There is a place for both understanding and at the same time a place for childlike trust in a loving Heavenly Father.

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But in the interest of gaining some degree of understanding as to “why” God allows N’ to wreak havoc in our and others’ lives, we are going to attempt to work through the following during the next few weeks:

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Why God Allows Narcissists to Wreak Havoc

  • Introduction & Foundations
    • God’s Plan For A Purpose of Love, Part 1
    • God’s Plan For a Purpose of Love, Part 2
    • Providence – God’s Detailed Plan For A Purpose of Love
    • “You Meant It For Evil, But God Meant It For Good”
    • Viewing Our Circumstances Through The Lens of God’s Goodness
  • How God Uses Narcissists (Even For Good)
    • To motivate us to seek Him
    • To force us to seek true wisdom
    • To test our loyalties
    • To refine us
    • To show us the folly of seeking our own way
    • To develop in us His ultimate goal of genuine love
    • As part of His plan for others to know God personally
    • To direct us
    • To give us ultimate happiness
  • Post Script
    • God deals with His “tools”

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Stay tuned……

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  • Narcissist is the modern colloquial term for what the Bible calls “insolent pride” – see here
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Anxiety Is A Form Of Pride

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[A daily devotional by John Piper originally published by BibleGateway.com.  Reprinted under permission]

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God Cares for You    by John Piper

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:6–7)

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Why is anxiety about the future a form of pride?

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God’s answer would sound something like this:

I — the Lord, your Maker — I am he who comforts you, who promises to take care of you; and those who threaten you are mere men who die. So your fear must mean that you do not trust me — and even though you are not sure that your own resources will take care of you, yet you opt for fragile self-reliance, rather than faith in my future grace. So all your trembling — weak as it is — reveals pride.

The remedy? Turn from self-reliance to God-reliance, and put your faith in the all-sufficient power of future grace.

We see anxiety as a form of pride in 1 Peter 5:6–7. Notice the grammatical connection between the verses. “Humble yourselves . . . under the mighty hand of God . . . [verse 7] casting all your anxieties on him.” Verse 7 is not a new sentence. It’s a subordinate clause. “Humble yourselves . . . [by]casting all your anxieties on him.”

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This means that casting your anxieties Continue reading

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The Emptiness of Pride

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[From time to time I pass on articles that are helpful in our quest.  The following is John Piper’s daily devotion at BibleGateway.com]

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Look to Jesus for Your Joy – John Piper

“They do all their deeds to be seen by others . . . and they love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces and being called rabbi by others.” (Matthew 23:5–7)

The itch of self-regard craves the scratch of self-approval. That is, if we are getting our pleasure from feeling self-sufficient, we will not be satisfied without others seeing and applauding our self-sufficiency.

Hence Jesus’s description of the scribes and Pharisees in Matthew 23:5–7.

This is ironic. Self-sufficiency should free the proud person from the need to be made much of by others. That’s what “sufficient” means. But evidently there is a void in this so-called self-sufficiency.

The self was never designed to satisfy itself or rely upon itself. It never can be sufficient. We are but in the image of God, not God himself. We are shadows and echoes. So there will always be an emptiness in the soul that struggles to be satisfied with the resources of self.

This empty craving for the praise of others signals the failure of pride and the absence of faith in God’s ongoing grace. Jesus saw the terrible effect of this itch for human glory. He named it in John 5:44, “How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?” The answer is, you can’t. Itching for glory from other people makes faith impossible. Why?

Because faith is being satisfied with all that God is for you in Jesus. And if you are bent on getting the satisfaction of your itch from the scratch of others’ acclaim, you will turn away from Jesus.

But if you would turn from self as the source of satisfaction (repentance), and come to Jesus for the enjoyment of all that God is for us in him (faith), then the itch would be replaced by a spring of water welling up to eternal life (John 4:14).

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The Opposite Of Narcissism Is Love – Intro

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1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails…….

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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

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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:

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  • 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

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  • Narcissism is the modern colloquial term for what the Bible calls insolent pride – see here

 

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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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Why Does God Allow Narcissists* to Wreak Havoc? – Introduction

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Why does God allow narcissists* to wreak havoc?  This is a tough question.  Its a cousin to the question, “why does God allow Satan to hang around and cause so much destruction in the world, when HE could wipe Satan out at any time of HIS choosing?”

There is a significant amount of discussion required in order to provide the proper context for a full answer.

But a partial shorthand answer is:

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Proverbs 16:4 – The Lord has made everything for its own purpose, Even the wicked for the day of evil.
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Romans 8:28 – And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.   
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Ephesians 1:8-12In all wisdom and insight He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him 10 with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him 11 also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, 12 to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory.
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In summary, God has made narcissists* for our good, and His glory.
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Seven possible purposes for God allowing narcissists into our lives are:
  1. For testing, to see where our hearts lie
  2. For disciplining / chastening
  3. To motivate us to prune things in our lives
  4. For our refinement to conform us more into the image of Christ
  5. To help us gain wisdom
  6. To provide an example and contrast between God’s way of humility and Satan’s way of pride
  7. To provide an opportunity to show Himself strong on our behalf, as HE rescues us out of the narcissists’ hands

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Some of the above can actually be a matter of one thing leading to the next.  A failure in #1 can directly lead to #2, and #3.  Responding positively to #2 and #3, can lead to #4 and #5, which can subsequently lead to #6 and #7.

We will discuss #1 through #7 much more fully in the future, with the proper Biblical foundation.

 

* Narcissism is the modern colloquial term for what the Bible calls “insolent pride”.  See here for an explanation.

 

 

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Narcissism and the Sovereignty of God – Intro

Psalm 103:19

The Lord has established His throne in the heavens, And His sovereignty rules over all.
Narcissists can be very, very harmful to others.  They can be harmful to “the work”, whatever work that may be – whether in an office, ministry, mission field, etc.  This harm results from their putting their needs above the needs of others.
There are ways to deal with narcissists to try to mitigate or reduce the damage.  But there are times – in the case of Haman in the book of Esther, for example – where the narcissist is in such a position of power over you that you have no choice but to trust God’s loving sovereignty in the situation.
This is a big subject.   And it has to do with the difficult question of why God allows,evil in the world.  And how He uses it for our good.
But, its something that has to be discussed in a biblical review of narcissism.  And that’s the subject of this section.
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