Gaining Additional Perspective – Free Books

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This blog mostly digs into the nuts and bolts of how narcissist traits, tactics, how they got that way and what to do with our situations.  But we also need to understand the big question of “where is God in all of this”?

Two books that have been very helpful to me in the past few years.  Both are by John Piper.  The first book is “Spectacular Sins And Their Global Purpose In The Glory of Christ” 

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The second book is “Future Grace;  The Purifying Power of The Promises of God”

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These books do not talk about narcissism or insolent pride at all, but lifted my perspective to see a kind, loving, wise, powerful God who is behind everything and constantly working to show His greatness in and toward us.    They will not give you “all the answers”, but do provide a framework for processing God’s hand in the events of your life.

They are worth a look.  You can get them on Amazon, your Christian book distributor – or get free PDF downloads and/or summaries here by clicking on the links in this post.

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Spectacular Sins, and Their Global Purpose In The Glory of Christ

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Future Grace: The Purifying Power of the Promises of God

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

 

 

 

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Dealing With Narcissists – “Avoid Them” Using An Employment Test

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Proverbs 22:3

The prudent sees the evil and hides himself, But the naive go on, and are punished for it.

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Many of you reading this blog found it through a search for answers in dealing with a narcissist in your life.  You may be in your situation through no fault of your own (you were born to narcissistic parents), through poor relationship choices, or through being duped (deceived) by someone pretending to be something they were not.  Even while struggling in an existing situation, we should know that this will not be the only narcissist (one with insolent pride) you encounter.  More will come your way.

As we discussed here, one way to deal with Narcissists (= “proud, haughty, scoffer”, see here) is to avoid them altogether.  The N’s goal is to conceal themselves until they have wormed their way into your life.  But, as in one application of the principle in Proverbs 22:3, if you are prudent you will learn to recognize them, see the clues, and avoid them.

One area in which this is useful is hiring decisions.  The best way to deal with a narcissist in the workplace is to keep them from getting into your company or onto your team in the first place.

The problem with avoiding the hiring of a narcissist is that they are especially good at presenting themselves in the best light in an interviewing process.   And the interviewing process is typically brief enough that it is hard to sort out fact from fiction in such a short period of time.

I found a simple 10 question test to administer in order to quickly find out how “narcissistic” a prospective employee or team member may be.  You can find it here.  The test is not exhaustive or definitive, but it may give you some indication as to whether you have a potential narcissist on your hands.

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You need to score the test yourself

  1. Put the number in each box
  2. Add up the total
  3. The “narcissism scale” runs from 10 to 50.  The closer to 50, the more narcissistic the candidate, the closer to 10, the less narcissistic the candidate.

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I learned this lesson very painfully a few years back.  It was in an international setting, there was a major language barrier, and I was on my own for a couple months while other staff were out of the country doing other things.  I gave this test to a prospective hire, who scored very close to 50.  I should have heeded the warning and backed out of the business relationship, but felt that I was in too deep to do so.  I was wrong, and should have found a way to exit anyway.  The end result was major difficulty for him and for me.  For security reasons I really can’t share it, but it was bad.

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I urge you, and urge myself, to continue to learn prudence in recognizing N’s and avoiding entanglement, when it is possible.

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Click here for an introduction to what this blog is about

See here for an introduction on how to know God personally

 

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

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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.  The Pharisees and their scribes began grumbling at His disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with the tax collectors and sinners?”  And Jesus answered and said to them, “It is not those who are well who need a physician, but those who are sick.  I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” 

 

Luke 5:29-32

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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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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. 

 

Proverbs 26:4-5

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Click here for steps on how to know GOD personally

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Putting “Biblical Perspectives On Narcissism” Into Perspective

 

 

 

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The Reversal Doctrine (Randy Alcorn, EPM.org)

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All of us stand on the shoulders of those who have come before.  It’s not just what we learn from them, but the example of their lives.   Paul said,

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You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of [referring to Biblical truth], knowing from whom you have learned them…
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2 Timothy 3:14
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One of those “shoulders” among many for me has been Randy Alcorn – someone who has a clear view of our eternal future, which provides the ultimate perspective on the challenges of our current lives.

He provided the following great perspective on his blog, and rather than stumble through my own explanation it is far better for you to hear it directly from him.  The following is reprinted in its entirety from Randy Alcorn’s blog at Eternal Perspectives Ministry

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The Reversal Doctrine

Luke 16:19-31 tells us the story of a rich man, and a poor man named Lazarus. The rich man dressed well, lived in luxury, and was apparently healthy. Lazarus was a beggar, diseased, dirty, and “longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table” (Luke16:21). If I asked, “Who would you rather be, the rich man or Lazarus?” you would presumably reply, “The rich man, of course.”

We aren’t told that this rich man was dishonest or irreligious or that he was worse than your average person. We don’t know that he despised poor Lazarus; we only know that he ignored him. He lived his life as if the poor man didn’t exist. He didn’t use his God-provided wealth to care for another man in need.

Both men die. Lazarus goes to Heaven and the rich man goes to hell. When the rich man begs Abraham from across the gulf to send Lazarus to relieve his suffering, Abraham replies, “Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony” (Luke 16:25).

Now that you’ve heard the rest of the story, who would you rather be, the rich man or Lazarus? You’d probably like to switch places, wouldn’t you? But that’s Abraham’s point: After death, it’s too late to switch.

This parable represents a strong and often overlooked New Testament teaching, which we might call “the reversal doctrine.” It teaches that in eternity many of us will find ourselves in opposite conditions from our current situation on earth.

In this life, the rich man “lived in luxury every day,” while Lazarus begged at his gate, living in misery. At the moment of death, their situations reversed—the rich man was in hell’s torment and the poor man in Heaven’s comfort.

It would be both simplistic and theologically inaccurate to conclude that Heaven is earned by poverty and hell is earned by wealth. But this parable is not isolated—it corroborates a host of other teachings by Jesus, as well as those of the apostles.

In the song she composed in anticipation of Christ’s birth, Mary said, “He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty” (Luke1:53).

“Blessed are you who are poor,” Jesus says, and “Woe to you who are rich,” precisely because their status will one day be reversed (Luke6:20, 25). The poor in spirit, those who mourn, those who are meek, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness and are persecuted will be relieved and fulfilled and have a great reward in heaven (Matthew 5:3-12). Those praised in this world will not be highly regarded in the next, and vice versa (Matthew 6:1-4, 16-18). Those who are exalted in this life will often be humbled in the next; those who are humbled here on earth will be exalted in Heaven (Matthew23:12).

Those who are poor in this world will often be rich in the next, and those who are rich in this world will often be poor in the next (James 1:9-12). The poor are reassured that the hoarding and oppressing rich will one day be punished and the honest poor will be relieved (James 5:1-6). In Revelation 18:7, a voice from Heaven says of materialistic Babylon, “Give her as much torture and grief as the glory and luxury she gave herself.”

Some of these passages may present us with theological difficulties, but all of them remind us that temporal sacrifices will pay off in eternity and temporal indulgences will cost us in eternity. These are the verses that encouraged Christian slaves and should have served warning to the plantation owners who were profiting from slavery. The reversal doctrine is comforting to the poor and weak, and threatening to the rich and powerful. But it’s a consistent teaching of the New Testament—one that confirms the premise that materialism is not only wrong but stupid. Conversely, trusting God, giving and caring and sharing are not only right but smart.

Someday this upside-down world will be turned right side up. Nothing in all eternity will turn it back again. If we are wise, we will spend our brief lives on earth positioning ourselves for the turn.

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Don’t Let Them Suck You Into Their Drama

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Narcissists are notorious for engaging in self-focused drama, while attempting to suck every one else in.  It’s one of their go-to moves to attract attention.  It might look like this:

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Jesus was well aware of the danger of allowing His narcissists – the Pharisees – to throw Him off His mission.  He engaged with them when they approached Him with a test, but did not make them the focus of His ministry.  He expressed His overall view to His disciples,

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“Let them [the Pharisees] alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit.” 
Matthew 15:14
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“Let them alone” could be considered a version of the pop-psychology concept of “low contact”.  [As stated earlier in this blog, “no contact” and “low contact” greatly depends on the nature of the relationship.]
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One reason that Jesus did not make the Pharisees a focus of His ministry is that they did not feel they had a need, and were not genuinely open to what He had to say (with a few exceptions).   When the Pharisees slyly criticized Jesus for ministering to tax collectors and sinners, He responded:
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Then it happened that as Jesus was reclining at the table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were dining with Jesus and His disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to His disciples, “Why is your Teacher eating with the tax collectors and sinners?” But when Jesus heard this, He said, It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick.   
Matthew 9:10-12
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Jesus correctly focused on His true ministry, and did not let the drama which His narcissists tried to stir up to sidetrack Him.
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Let your Narcissist have their drama on their own time and in their own space, and don’t let them waste your time and life by drawing you in.

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Click here for initial steps on how to know God personally

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Dealing With Narcissists* – Avoid Them

Based on recent responses to the book – A Biblical Perspective On Narcissism – there seems to be confusion by some regarding the proper response to a narcissist.  Some believe that the book simply advocates “being a dormat and pray”, while others are disappointed that the book does not take a hard-line position of “no contact”.  Yet others believe that the book advocates for adult children of narcissistic parents to remain obedient.  None of these are a correct reading of the what the book says.  The proper response to narcissists is far more nuanced – depending on the relationship and bringing the all-knowing, all-powerful God of the universe into the middle of the equation.

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The general Biblical principle is to “avoid them”.

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But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these. 

2 Timothy 3:1-5

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Jesus said “leave them alone” (Matthew 15), and Paul said “do not become slaves of men” (I Corinthians 7:23).

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That is the general principle, but how you apply it depends on the relationship and circumstances.   David fled from King Saul, while Jesus engaged the Pharisees from time to time even while maintaining His own mission undeterred by their attempts to derail Him.  Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego left it to God to rescue them from the hands of King Nebuchadnezzar.

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For a current example, my youngest son currently works in a crew of only 2 people – with the other crewmate being a highly narcissistic co-worker who seeks to lord it over him and throw him under the bus whenever something goes wrong.  He could immediately quit, but he needs the job.  Yes, ultimately he needs to get away from that guy, but also needs God’s wisdom, guidance and help on how to wisely navigate the change.  In the meantime, son #3 needs to put on the “full armor of God” in dealing with his co-worker (Ephesians 6).

Another example would be if you recognize you have a narcissistic teenage son.  You would not immediately kick him out the house, right?  But you would need great wisdom in how to pray and manage the relationship.

In a clear case, if you have a highly toxic narcissistic best friend, it would be wise to avoid them.  In another example, if you are an adult child of a narcissistic parent you can “create space” (i.e. – avoid) as part of managing the relationship.  You have no obligation to obey them and “make them happy”, but you do need to show proper honor even while you live your own life.  In my own case, when I realized in my 20’s that I could not please my mom no matter what I did, I gave up bothering with it.  I still was kind and helpful as appropriate, but I stopped letting her expectations drive what I did – while managing my interface with her.

Each circumstance is different, but you can find ways to “create space” – sometimes permanently, but often using case-by-case wisdom as the circumstances require.  It is always appropriate to ask and trust God to help you create that space, whether small or large, frequently or infrequently.  The son of a family friend is married to the most toxic person I’ve ever become aware of.  She is absolutely destroying his self-worth, and controlling every communication he has with the outside world.  There is a lot to discuss about what needs to happen, but God gave him a break when she decided to go the UK with her mom on a trip.

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Each relationship in our lives comes with some level of responsibility.  From “little to no” responsibility in the case of a first time acquaintance or random passerby, to “total” responsibility in the case of a newborn child born to us.  Narcissists will try to make us feel more responsible than we should for their “happiness/success/well-being”.  In each case we need to wisely understand what our actual responsibility is in the relationship (not just what the N says it is), and “create space” (avoid) in ways consistent with our actual responsibilities.

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Most of us simply want relief, but God has a bigger picture in mind  Relief will ultimately come, and God will judge the narcissist – but He also wants us to grow into better people in and through the process.

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*narcissist is the current secular term for what the Bible calls “insolent pride”.  See here for more.

 

 

 

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Dealing With Narcissists – Boundaries and Consequences, Not Rebukes

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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. 

Proverbs 9:7-8

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Judgments are prepared for scoffers, And blows for the back of fools. 

Proverbs 19:29

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As we saw in a previous blog, if you rebuke a scoffer (aka narcissist) he will simply try to “trash” you in order to totally discount your validity and therefore the validity of what you’re saying.    They do this to make sure that they can stay on the pedestal which they have created for themselves.

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So what can you do?  Even though they may not respect you, they may respect (or alternatively, try to avoid) enforceable boundaries.   “Preparing Judgments” implies setting up consequences for violations of some clear standard.  So, rather than reproving a narcissist / scoffer, try the following:

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  1. Define a clear standard or boundary for the narcissist
  2. Explain to the narcissist a clear consequence (“judgment”) if the standard or boundary is violated
  3. Clearly and consistently execute the consequence if or when the standard is violated

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The narcissist will likely test this a few times to see if you’re serious.  But if you consistently apply it, and if the consequence or “judgment” is painful enough, the narcissist will learn over time to avoid triggering the consequence.

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It is important to understand this is one possible tool to use in dealing with narcissists, and how you apply it will depend on the situation and the relationship.

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Please see Putting “Biblical Perspectives On Narcissism” Into Perspective for an overview of what this blog is all about

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See here for initial steps on how to know God personally

 

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Dealing With Narcissists* – Be Wise As Serpents, Innocent as Doves

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There are many opinions on how to navigate relationships with narcissists.  Typical “conventional wisdom” might include
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  1. “Fight fire with fire”
  2. “Don’t let people run all over you”
  3. “I deserve to be happy”
  4. “I don’t get mad, I get even”
  5. “I’ll make him pay for what he’s done to me”
  6. [Fill in your own version]
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One of the most popular books on the subject of dealing with narcissists on Amazon is called
Needless to say, that sounds more like a narcissist vs. narcissist underhanded power play – and not a pursuit of the kind of love to which God calls His people.  “Winning” against a narcissist who is torturing you might seem right, but Proverbs warns:
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There  is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death. 
Proverbs 14:12
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God emphasizes this by repeating it
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 There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death. 
Proverbs 16:25
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Things which may seem like the right course to take – in the absence of Biblical wisdom – can lead to our own demise.
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Dealing with narcissists is not about doing what seems right,  but about actually being right – having true (Biblical) wisdom and understanding about the narcissist, the situation, and how to respond in the right way.  Toward this end, Jesus gave a particular instruction very appropriate for dealing with the world around us, particularly narcissists:
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“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves. 17 But beware of men…… “
Matthew 10:16
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 Jesus had earlier used the term “wolves”, specifically referring to narcissists.
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 “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.”
Matthew 7:15
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It might “seem right” to treat a narcissist the same way that they treat us.  But if we act like them, we are no longer “innocent as doves”.   It is important that we maintain our integrity in order to honor God in the process of dealing with our narcissist.  In this context “innocence” means “pure” (maintaining integrity).  It does not mean “naive”.   On the contrary, we are to be the opposite of naive in our dealings with the narcissist – extra wise, extra alert, and extra shrewd.  But we are to do it with a pure heart and with integrity.
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* Narcissist is the modern colloquial term for what the Bible calls “insolent pride”.  See here.
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Dealing With Narcissists – David’s Prayer To Save The Afflicted From The Proud and Wicked

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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.

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Psalm 10

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Why do You stand afar off, O Lord?
Why do You hide Yourself in times of trouble?
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In pride the wicked hotly pursue the afflicted;
Let them be caught in the plots which they have devised.
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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.”
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Dealing With Narcissists* – David’s Prayer for Justice

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Psalm 94

O Lord, God of vengeance,
God of vengeance, shine forth!
Rise up, O Judge of the earth,
Render recompense to the proud.
How long shall the wicked, O Lord,
How long shall the wicked exult?
They pour forth words, they speak arrogantly;
All who do wickedness vaunt themselves.
They crush Your people, O Lord,
And afflict Your heritage.
They slay the widow and the [d]stranger
And murder the orphans.
They have said, “The Lord does not see,
Nor does the God of Jacob pay heed.”

Pay heed, you senseless among the people;
And when will you understand, stupid ones?
He who planted the ear, does He not hear?
He who formed the eye, does He not see?

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Dealing With Narcissists – Two Times The Power Through Our Weakness

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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

Jeremiah 9:23-24

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

2 Chronicles 16:9

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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.

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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

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

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“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.” 

Matthew 11:16-19

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Solving Intractable Problems

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Some of life’s problems seem intractable – unsolvable.  While some of these problems are not our fault, we are a major contributor to others.  We make problems far worse when we take things into our own hands and look everywhere except to God for solutions:

The sorrows of those who have bartered for another god will be multiplied; 

Psalm 16:4

What do we do with unsolvable problems?  We can despair and lose hope, just waiting for life to end so that we can escape into the brighter hope of heaven.  Or we can take a path of faith, realizing that as long as we have breath and God is involved, the final chapter of our lives has not been written.  This path of faith realizes that nothing is impossible with God.

 

27 But He [Jesus] said, “The things that are impossible with people are possible with God.” 

Luke 18:27

This was illustrated by Abraham and Sarah having their first child when he was 100 and she 90 years old.

Is anything too difficult for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, at this time next year, and Sarah will have a son.” 

Genesis 18:14

God’s ability to “fix things” does not mean that He will put everything back the way they should have been before we “veered off course”.  And it does not mean that He will create the future that WE want, according to our plan – an attitude that indicates we still are trying to force God to serve us in our goals, rather than us allowing Him to be Lord.  It does mean, however, that He can give us joy, satisfaction, and purpose by weaving our past into a fruitful, loving future.

Godly, even Biblical “wisdom” is helpful and essential in finding our way forward.  But we also need to bring God directly into the equation.  We have discussed previously (here and here) this essential aspect of bringing God into the middle of things.

But there is one more thing – some will call it radical, others will not.  When we consider that earthly battles are actually spiritual battles…

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.   

Ephesians 6:12

.. we may need to kick our “crying out to God” up a notch and consider fasting with our prayer.  This does not automatically make the answer come faster, but does show an added level of seriousness.

 In those days, I, Daniel, had been mourning for three entire weeks. I did not eat any tasty food, nor did meat or wine enter my mouth, nor did I use any ointment at all until the entire three weeks were completed…

… Then he said to me, “Do not be afraid, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart on understanding this and on humbling yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to your words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia was standing in my way for twenty-one days;  

Daniel 10:2-3, 10-14

This added seriousness of fasting might be more natural than we think.  In times of severe distress many of us tend to lose our appetite (others may binge eat or drink).   Why not use that loss of appetite as additional impetus to show God our sincerity through fasting?

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Click here to see the initial steps to peace with God.

 

 

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Psalm 91 – Security Of The One Who Trusts In The Lord

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Psalm 91

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91 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
My God, in whom I trust!”

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For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper
And from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with His pinions,
And under His wings you may seek refuge;
His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.

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You will not be afraid of the terror by night,
Or of the arrow that flies by day;
Of the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
Or of the destruction that lays waste at noon.

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A thousand may fall at your side
And ten thousand at your right hand,
But it shall not approach you.
You will only look on with your eyes
And see the recompense of the wicked.

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For you have made the Lord, my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place.
10 No evil will befall you,
Nor will any plague come near your tent.

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11 For He will give His angels charge concerning you,
To guard you in all your ways.
12 They will bear you up in their hands,
That you do not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread upon the lion and cobra,
The young lion and the serpent you will trample down.

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14 “Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name.
15 “He will call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will rescue him and honor him.
16 “With a long life I will satisfy him
And let him see My salvation.”

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Narcissists Are Quick To Take Credit For Other’s Work

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Most of us have likely observed a narcissist who focuses on taking credit instead of getting a job done well – even to the extreme of  taking credit for something they had absolutely nothing to do with.  It’s infuriating when it happens, and makes you wonder if they are intentionally lying or just delusional.  It could be either – most of my experiences have been of the delusional variety.  This is consistent with the fact that their heart drives their mind.

The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart. 
Luke 6:45
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Because their root heart attitude is “I’m best” or “I’m better than you”, the narcissist’s heart believes that if  something good happens it must have been them, and if something bad happens it must have been you.

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Many times you can’t argue with or fight their assertion, because it’s a “he said, she said” situation that is unprovable.  I once had a lady take credit for an answer to prayer I mentioned.  I was highly suspect, but it was not something to argue about – I just let it go and left it in God’s hands.

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There may be a time that you really need to set the record straight.  But be aware that you’re doing this vs. someone who will pull every trick in the book to not be wrong.  It would be wise to be very, very, very selective on when you fight the battle.  In most cases, it is better to simply trust God to defend you or to make it work all out for your good in the end.  When you bring the sovereign, loving, powerful God of the universe into the equation, it changes how you approach your response.

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You can step back and ask God to humble their hearts, and to enlighten their eyes so that they would see themselves in comparison with God’s greatness (they are small, He is big).  And you can pray specifically that God would help you and deal with, fix, and overcome the specific negative circumstances created by the N’s proud and evil response.  Rather than make your fight with the N, tactically use the circumstance as an opportunity for God to show His love and power and grace in working on your behalf.

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This may sound trite.  Our natural instinct is to fight for our justice and win.  But letting God fight the battle in their heart, and exercising His great power to defend and counteract the effects of their evil action (or better yet to use that evil action for our even greater good), is often a wiser, more peaceful course of action.

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Back to a narcissist possibly taking credit for our work.  Can we toot our own horn if we do something good?  In the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30) the guys given ten talents and five talents came back with tangible, measurable results.  They didn’t boast of their results, but were pleased to present to their boss tangible results.  Jesus didn’t rebuke their presentation of those results.  He only rebuked the “no results”.  (This was a business reference illustrating investing in God’s kingdom).  There is a difference between boasting and presenting facts.

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Measurable, identifiable results can be one means of countering a narcissists false claim.  Proverbs says,

The first to plead his case seems right, until another comes and examines him.
Proverbs 18:17

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The narcissist may be the first to plead his case, but if you calmly present your provable, measurable, tangible results, you can let the facts speak for themselves in response – without getting into an unwinnable contest with a lying narcissist.

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Click here for initial steps on how to find peace with God.

 

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