Dealing With Narcissists – Jesus, Simon, and the Woman

.

While Jesus often taught about how to respond to life situations from a “Heavenly perspective”, He also frequently demonstrated it.  One example that is relevant to our study on how to deal with narcissists is when Jesus was invited to dinner by the Pharisee, Simon.

.

Luke 7:36-50

36 Now one of the Pharisees was requesting Him to dine with him, and He entered the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 37 And there was a woman in the city who was a sinner; and when she learned that He was reclining at the table in the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster vial of perfume,38 and standing behind Him at His feet, weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears, and kept wiping them with the hair of her head, and kissing His feet and anointing them with the perfume.

39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet He would know who and what sort of person this woman is who is touching Him, that she is a sinner.”

40 And Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” Continue reading

Dealing With Narcissists – Fact Check Everything, continued

.

Proverbs 18:17

17 The first to plead his case seems right,
Until another comes and examines him.

.

In the perfectly robust way that God designed His Word, a specific point of Biblical wisdom can often be applied to a wide variety of circumstances. Continue reading

Dealing With Narcissists – Focus On What You’re Doing, Instead Of What They’re Saying

.

Matthew 11:16-19

16 “But to what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the market places, who call out to the other children, 17 and say, ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.’ 18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon!’ 19 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.”

. Continue reading

Foundations – HE Knows Your Need

.

Others frequently state things far better I.  Following is one instance.

.

HE Knows Your Need  

by John Piper, DesiringGod.com

.

“Do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.” (Matthew 6:31–32)

.

“Jesus wants his followers to be free from worry. In Matthew 6:25–34, he gives at least seven arguments designed to take away our anxiety. One of them lists food and drink and clothing, and then says, “Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all” (Matthew 6:32).

Jesus must mean that God’s knowing is accompanied by his desiring to meet our need. He is emphasizing we have a Father. And this Father is better than any earthly father.

I have five children. I love to meet their needs. But my knowing falls short of God’s knowing in at least three ways.

First, right now I don’t know where any of my children are. I could guess. They’re in their homes or at work or school, healthy and safe. But they might be lying on a sidewalk with a heart attack.

Second, I don’t know what is in their heart at any given moment. I can guess from time to time. But they may be feeling some fear or hurt or anger or lust or greed or joy or hope. I can’t see their hearts. They don’t even know their own hearts perfectly.

Third, I don’t know their future. Right now they may seem well and steady. But tomorrow some great sorrow may befall them.

This means I can’t be for them a very strong reason not to worry. There are things that may be happening to them now, or may happen tomorrow, that I do not even know about. But it is totally different with their Father in heaven. Our Father in heaven! He knows everything about us, where we are, now and tomorrow, inside and out. He sees every need.

Add to that, his huge eagerness to meet our needs. Remember the “much more” of Matthew 6:30, “If God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you?”

Add to that his complete ability to do what he is eager to do (he feeds billions of birds hourly, around the world, Matthew 6:26).

So join me in trusting the promise of Jesus to meet our needs. That’s what Jesus is calling for when he says, “Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.””

.

Putting “Biblical Perspectives On Narcissism” Into Perspective

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

.

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.”

.

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”.

.

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.

.

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:

.

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.

,

Putting “Biblical Perspectives On Narcissism” Into Perspective

 

 

 

The Fruit of Weakness – David and Saul

.

David to Saul (a narcissist) – I Samuel 24:10-12

10 Behold, this day your [Saul’s] eyes have seen that the Lord had given you today into my [David’s] hand in the cave, and some said to kill you, but my eye had pity on you; and I said, ‘I will not stretch out my hand against my lord, for he is the Lord’s anointed.’ 11 Now, my father, see! Indeed, see the edge of your robe in my hand! For in that I cut off the edge of your robe and did not kill you, know and perceive that there is no evil or rebellion in my hands, and I have not sinned against you, though you are lying in wait for my life to take it. 12 May the Lord judge between you and me, and may the Lord avenge me on you; but my hand shall not be against you.

.

Saul to David – 1 Samuel 24:18-20

18 You have declared today that you have done good to me, that the Lord delivered me into your hand and yet you did not kill me. 19 For if a man finds his enemy, will he let him go away safely? May the Lord therefore reward you with good in return for what you have done to me this day. 20 Now, behold, I know that you will surely be king, and that the kingdom of Israel will be established in your hand.

.

As we discussed here, purposefully allowing ourselves to be weak, rather than resisting, in the face of an attack from a narcissist, allows God to act and provides a stronger testimony to the narcissist and others.

David was a prime illustration of this in allowing himself to be weak in the face of the narcissistic onslaught from Saul.  Even though God had anointed David King, and David had done nothing wrong, and even though he had the strength with his “mighty men” to take Saul head-on, David allowed Saul to chase him, and trusted God to 1.  protect him, 2.  deliver him from Saul, and 3.  establish him as king in God’s time.   Even when David had the chance to kill Saul – which would end it all and fulfill by his own hand God’s declaration that he would be king – David chose to let God act and fulfill His word, rather than taking things into His own hands.

David’s testimony spoke volumes to Saul, with Saul admitting to himself and publicly what he probably already knew in his heart, that David would surely become the King.  David’s allowing himself to be weak and leave things in God’s hands, ultimately showed God’s strength to the nation of Israel, and was a testimony that Saul could not refute.

And, in the end, God dealt with Saul and David became king.

.

Additional reading:  “Saul Hunts David”

.

Putting “Biblical Perspectives On Narcissism” Into Perspective

Dealing With Narcissists – Two Times The Power Through Our Weakness

.

Jeremiah 9:23-24

23 Thus says the Lord, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; 24 but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the Lord.

.

2 Chronicles 16:9

For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His……..”

.

Narcissists* are driven to set themselves up in a position of power over us in some form.  By extension, they seek to put us in a position of weakness versus them.  Our natural response is to resist, and to somehow defend ourselves against them.  This ultimately makes it a power play between us and the narcissist, even if it is of the passive-aggressive variety.  The unappealing alternative to resisting is to become a doormat of the narcissist, and allow them to damage us as they run roughshod over us.

.

God’s way is for us to be powerless in our own strength, but to then let Him take on the narcissist with His power.  This allows us to be humble and learn trust, while He more fully shows His power, love, and goodness through protecting us.  In this way, “He gets the glory, and we get the help”. Continue reading

Dealing With Narcissists – The Narcissist Pastor

.

As we previously discussed in the blog entry Narcissistic Personality Disorder* In The Clergy, the pastorate attracts its fair share of narcissists*.  A church leader with this trait can ultimately be very destructive to a church.  They will operate like the Pharisees, and God’s dealing with them will almost guarantee that the church will not be successful in the end.

.

So, what should you do if you realize that you are in a church with a full-blown narcissist as the pastor? Continue reading

Dealing With Narcissists – The Narcissistic Adult Mother

.

I have been a little “stuck” on how to move forward with this study on Biblical perspectives on narcissism.  There are subjects which I have started and not finished, and several more subjects to yet work through.  Several people have written to me asking for more practical advice on how to deal with specific situations.  Until now, I have avoided this, partly due to the fact that without finishing the foundational understanding of God’s plan of love, and His using evil for good as part of that plan, some practical solutions will not make sense to many readers.  In addition, it is very difficult to provide counsel remotely, as it is difficult to understand the true situation.

.

However, I recently received the following comment from “M” (in Africa, I think), Continue reading

Dealing With Narcissists – Let God Defend You Through His Goodness

.

Psalm 119:41-42

41 May Your lovingkindnesses also come to me, O Lord,
Your salvation according to Your word;
42 So I will have an answer for him who reproaches me,
For I trust in Your word.

.

For those of us who have tried to defend ourselves in the face of a narcissist’s* attack, we have typically seen that it does not work.  Any defense we make usually just gives the N additional ammunition.  Continue reading

Dealing With Narcissists – David’s Prayer To Save The Afflicted From The Proud and Wicked

.

In the midst of our pain in dealing with the narcissist in our life, relevant Psalms are not only a source of insight and comfort into God’s ultimate dealing with them, but can at the same time be a great way to express what is in our heart.  Just expressing what we are feeling in a way that is in sync with God’s perspective can itself be a source of comfort.  Psalm 10 is one of those Psalms.

.

Psalm 10

.

Why do You stand afar off, O Lord?
Why do You hide Yourself in times of trouble?
.
In pride the wicked hotly pursue the afflicted;
Let them be caught in the plots which they have devised.
.
For the wicked boasts of his heart’s desire,
And the greedy man curses and spurns the Lord.
The wicked, in the haughtiness of his countenance, does not seek Him.  All his thoughts are, “There is no God.”
.

Continue reading

Dealing With Narcissists* – David’s Prayer for Deliverance

.

One of the questions frequently searched by people that find this blog is, “how do I pray about this situation with the narcissist in my life?”.  This would include, “how to pray for the narcissist”, “how to pray for ourselves in the situation”, and “how to pray for God’s intervention”.  We have already mentioned David’s Prayer for Justice, and David’s Prayer for Protection.  Here is a prayer from David for deliverance.  It is important to understand that effective praying has some requirements – we cannot reject God’s ways on the one hand and at the same time expect Him to “jump through hoops for us” on the other hand.

.

Psalm 40:13-17

13 Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me;
Make haste, O Lord, to help me.
14 Let those be ashamed and humiliated together
Who seek my life to destroy it;
Let those be turned back and dishonored
Who delight in my hurt.
15 Let those be appalled because of their shame
Who say to me, “Aha, aha!”
16 Let all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You;
Let those who love Your salvation say continually,
“The Lord be magnified!”
17 Since I am afflicted and needy,
Let the Lord be mindful of me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
Do not delay, O my God.

Continue reading

Why God Allows Narcissists To Wreak Havoc – Foundations – God’s Providence

.

Psalm 37:23-24

23 The steps of a man are established by the Lord,
And He delights in his way.
24 When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong,
Because the Lord is the One who holds his hand.

.

 [Please see here for the road map of the discussion on Why God Allows N’s To Wreak Havoc]

.

We discussed here about God’s Plan For A Purpose of Love.  The next question is whether that “big picture” plan for a purpose of love also includes a detailed plan for individuals?  Is God actually in fact orchestrating everything in our lives according to a plan – even the little details of our lives, and even our difficulties with our Narcissist?

.

The Bible indicates that God is indeed intricately involved in the course of our lives……

.

Proverbs 16:9

The mind of man plans his way,
But the Lord directs his steps.

.

..and knows every detail…….

.

Luke 12:6-7

Are not five sparrows sold for two cents? Yet not one of them is forgotten before God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.

and

 Psalm 139

139 O Lord, You have searched me and known me.
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
You understand my thought from afar.
You scrutinize my path and my lying down,
And are intimately acquainted with all my ways.
Even before there is a word on my tongue,
Behold, O Lord, You know it all……..

.

13 For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;
16 Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.

.

..and is thinking about us constantly (10 trillion times per second)

,

Psalm 139:17 How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand.
When I awake, I am still with You.

.

Alistair Begg has some good introductory thoughts about this subject, as well as a clear example of how God orchestrated many details in saving a person (Mordecai) and a group of people (the Jews) from the hands of a Narcissist (Haman) – discussed in the Old Testament book of Esther.  These clips may be a little long for the YouTube generation, but its worth a look.   You will enjoy listening to his practical perspective, as well as his humor and his Scottish accent.

.

.

We can be sure that God is intimately involved in the details of our lives, orchestrating everything – even the “bad” things – for ultimate good.

.

Psalm 23

23 The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

.

 

.

.

.

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

 

Dealing With Narcissists* – Crying Out, Seeking God – continued

.

James 1:5-8

But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord,being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

.

When dealing with an N that is driving us crazy, in addition to crying out “God help me!”, God invites us to ask Him for wisdom.  This is HIS wisdom – not human wisdom – including practical  tips, things of the heart, and even things from God’s perspective.  James says that if you ask for wisdom, He will give it to you – generously.

.

But there is an important qualifier to getting this wisdom – “not doubting”.  The doubting here is not so much doubting as to whether you will receive the wisdom, but doubting as to whether you really want it – whether you really want to do things God’s way even if He gave you the clear right answers.   We know this is through James’ statement in verse 7 – ” For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord,being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”   Double-mindedness is to have two minds or opinions on the same subject – wanting to do things God’s way, but at the same time wanting what we ourselves want.  With that heart, God could tell us the right answer, and we might not even know we received the answer because we were only looking for the answer we wanted to see.  In order to ask for true wisdom in dealing with the situation, to receive it, and to KNOW that we have received it, we must start with the heart attitude that we will act on the wisdom God gives us without interjecting our own “will” into the matter.

.

This invitation to ask for wisdom is in the context of trials, which James describes as tests (we will look into this later).  Of course, our challenge with our narcissist certainly qualifies as a trial and a test.

.

James 1:2-4

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials,knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

.

So go ahead – ask for wisdom in how to deal with your challenging narcissist.  But don’t expect to get what you are asking for unless you are truly serious about doing it His way instead of your own way.  All along being aware of the admonition in Proverbs:

.

Proverbs 14:12

12 There is a way which seems right to a man,
But its end is the way of death.

 

Dealing With Narcissists* – Crying Out, Seeking God

.

Psalm 34:4-7

I sought the Lord, and He answered me,
And delivered me from all my fears.
They looked to Him and were radiant,
And their faces will never be ashamed.
This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him
And saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him,
And rescues them.
.
Often, we will not have any idea what to do with the difficult Narcissist-caused circumstance in which we find ourselves.  After struggling and searching about on our own for answers, we may ultimately reach the end of our rope – where the only thing we are able to do is to cry out to the Lord to help us, to save us, to deliver us.  We may not know what to ask for, but simply to ask God for a miracle.  While we may not see any immediate answers, this crying out to God and asking for help can be the first step of a process where He will bring us to much firmer ground.  We may not even see that this crying out is the first step – until we look backwards months or years in the future.
 .
We probably needed to get to our wit’s end, to be exhausted of all our answers, in order to motivate us to finally look up to Him for help.  And even though we made God our last resort instead of our first resort, He will graciously and lovingly respond in helping us – although it may be a process instead of a bolt-of-lightning miracle.  God has been there waiting to help us all along.

Continue reading

Be Loved, To Love

We Love Because He First Loved Us

Boundlessly Good

God's Motive For All That He Does