A Good Admonition From Ravi Zacharias

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Ravi Zacharias (Facebook Post)
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“Over the years I have discovered that praying with people can sometimes do more for them than preaching to them. Prayer draws the heart away from one’s own dependence to a position of leaning on the sovereign God. The burden is often lifted instantly.

Prayer is only one aspect of worship, but one that is greatly neglected in the face of people who would be shocked to hear what prayer sounds like when the one praying knows how to touch the heart of God. To a person in need, pat answers don’t change the mind; prayer does.”

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Putting “Biblical Perspectives On Narcissism” Into Perspective

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How Christ Conquered Bitterness (John Piper)

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How Christ Conquered Bitterness   by John Piper

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When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. (1 Peter 2:23)

No one was more grievously sinned against than Jesus. Every ounce of animosity against him was fully undeserved.

No one has ever lived who was more worthy of honor than Jesus; and no one has been dishonored more.

If anyone had a right to get angry and be bitter and vengeful, it was Jesus. How did he control himself when scoundrels, whose very lives he sustained, spit in his face? 1 Peter2:23 gives the answer.

What this verse means is that Jesus had faith in the future grace of God’s righteous judgment. He did not need to avenge himself for all the indignities he suffered, because he entrusted his cause to God. He left vengeance in God’s hands and prayed for his enemies’ repentance (Luke 23:34).

Peter gives this glimpse into Jesus’ faith so that we would learn how to live this way ourselves. He said, “You have been called [to endure harsh treatment patiently] . . . because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps” (1 Peter 2:21).

If Christ conquered bitterness and vengeance by faith in future grace, how much more should we, since we have far less right to murmur for being mistreated than he did?

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Putting “Biblical Perspectives On Narcissism” Into Perspective

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Dealing With Narcissists* – David’s Prayer for Deliverance

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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.

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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.

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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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You Are Not Alone – February 2016 Search Terms

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When we are dealing with narcissists, it may seem as though no one else “gets” what we are going through.   But you are not alone.  You may be interested in the search terms which people used in February 2016 to find this blog (please excuse the obvious spelling errors):

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  • narcissist attack
  • can narcissists be christians
  • traits of a contentious woman
  • http://biblicalperspectivesonnarcissism.com/
  • ibiblical charcters that deceive themselves
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  • 10 consequences of pride
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  • proverbs contentious woman
  • god’s view on narcissistic personality disorder
  • narcissism and the devil
  • traits of bitterness god
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  • as a christian how do i deal with a narcississtic sibling
  • what does the bible say about npd in a marriage
  • how to pray for a narcissist
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  • can narcissistic people be redeemed
  • where did the narcissist learn their tactics and why do they do those
  • a narcissist and god
  • biblical wise dealings
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  • how can a narcissist be a christian
  • dealing with a narcist spouse the christian way
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  • 1narcissim and the bible about marriage
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  • 10 consequences of pride.
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  • how to spiritually deal with a narcissist
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Psalm 39 – David’s Musings At Evil People Brought As Part Of God’s Discipline Of Him

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Psalm 39 –  I said, “I will guard my ways
That I may not sin with my tongue;
I will guard my mouth as with a muzzle
While the wicked are in my presence.”
I was mute and silent,
I refrained even from good,
And my sorrow grew worse.
My heart was hot within me,
While I was musing the fire burned;
Then I spoke with my tongue:
Lord, make me to know my end
And what is the extent of my days;
Let me know how transient I am.
“Behold, You have made my days as handbreadths,
And my lifetime as nothing in Your sight;
Surely every man at his best is a mere breath. Selah.
“Surely every man walks about as a phantom;
Surely they make an uproar for nothing;
He amasses riches and does not know who will gather them.

“And now, Lord, for what do I wait?
My hope is in You.
“Deliver me from all my transgressions;
Make me not the reproach of the foolish.
“I have become mute, I do not open my mouth,
Because it is You who have done it.
10 “Remove Your plague from me;
Because of the opposition of Your hand I am perishing.
11 “With reproofs You chasten a man for iniquity;
You consume as a moth what is precious to him;
Surely every man is a mere breath. Selah.

12 “Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear to my cry;
Do not be silent at my tears;
For I am a stranger with You,
A sojourner like all my fathers.
13 “Turn Your gaze away from me, that I may [j]smile again
Before I depart and am no more.”

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You Are Not Alone – December Search Terms

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When we are dealing with narcissists, it may seem as though no one else “gets” what we are going through.   But you are not alone.  You may be interested in the search terms which people used in December to find this blog (please excuse the obvious spelling errors):

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  • can a narcissist be a christian
  • can a narcissist change with god in their life
  • biblical perspective on narcissism
  • christian narcissist
  • prayer for healing from a narcsisst
  • christian counselling for narcissism
  • overcoming narcissistic abuse biblically
  • narcissism and satan
  • malignant narcissist mother bible
  • narcissism from a christian perspective
  • how should a christian deal with a narcissist
  • god’s help with narcissistic abuse
  • god healing narcissism
  • narcissism bible
  • god and the narcissist
  • psalms for hope in despair healing
  • how to deal with a contentious woman
  • insolent pride
  • can narcissists come to know the lord?
  • contentious woman
  • all things are possible with god change a narcissistic
  • christian way to deal with a narcissist
  • prayer for a narcissist
  • jesus and narcissism
  • how to handle a narcissistic person biblically
  • narcissist in the bible
  • daily prayer for those who have be abused ny a narcsisst
  • narcissistic unrepentant
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  • what the bible says about narcissistic personality disorder
  • narcissism a tool of the devil
  • christian dealing with narcissistic mother
  • why the narcissist hates you
  • how should christians treat a narcisstic spuse
  • jesus thoughts about narcissists
  • why do narcissists get away with everything
  • how to apply scripture to narcissism

 

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How Can I Heal? – Foundations Of Self-Worth

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By the very nature of who they are, narcissists* tear down our self worth.  They do this through their condescending “scoffing”, or their need to exalt themselves at our expense.  There may be times where they flatter you – but this is just a short term tactic in order to get something.

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In order to be strong in the face of a narcissist’s tearing us down, we need to ignore the narcissist’s opinion and get our self-worth from another source.  Ultimately, the strongest foundation for a consistently positive self-worth is our own view of our value, derived from the one person really cares for us, and who doesn’t change their opinion based on their own self-centered goals.  This foundation for a strong, consistently positive self-worth is to have a clear understanding at all times about how God views you – and it is the best shield against the attacks on your self-worth which come from the N in your life.

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God has uniquely and specially made us……….

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Psalm 139:13-15

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;

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Psalms for Healing – Psalm 42

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Psalm 42

For the choir director. A Maskil of the sons of Korah.

42 As the deer pants for the water brooks,
So my soul pants for You, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God;
When shall I come and appear before God?
My tears have been my food day and night,
While they say to me all day long, “Where is your God?”
These things I remember and I pour out my soul within me.
For I used to go along with the throng and lead them in procession to the house of God,
With the voice of joy and thanksgiving, a multitude keeping festival.

Why are you in despair, O my soul?
And why have you become disturbed within me?
Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him
For the help of His presence.
O my God, my soul is in despair within me;
Therefore I remember You from the land of the Jordan
And the peaks of Hermon, from Mount Mizar.
Deep calls to deep at the sound of Your waterfalls;
All Your breakers and Your waves have rolled over me.
The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime;
And His song will be with me in the night,
A prayer to the God of my life.

I will say to God my rock, “Why have You forgotten me?
Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?”
10 As a shattering of my bones, my adversaries revile me,
While they say to me all day long, “Where is your God?”
11 Why are you in despair, O my soul?
And why have you become disturbed within me?
Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him,
The help of my countenance and my God.

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The Twin Pillars of Recovery

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“Your lovingkindness and Your truth will continually preserve me”  in Psalm 40 below describes the twin pillars of protection and/or recovery in times of distress – in this case the distress of evil done by a narcissist* / one with insolent pride.    “Lovingkindness” is about emotional support.  “Truth” is about understanding what is really going on and changing our actions to match the reality of what is happening.

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Of course, there are human / secular versions of these twin pillars.  We can get a modest measure of emotional comfort (“lovingkindness”) from friends.  And we can search out things which have been written on narcissism to learn traits and tactics of how narcissists operate –  including a few suggestions on how to handle the situation (“truth”).  But, the secular solutions can only take us so far.  Only God can truly comfort us and give us the emotional support we need (see here, here, and here),  And only God fully understands what’s going on inside the narcissist, and can give us the full understanding of how to deal with them.

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Ultimately it is God who is the true source of both lovingkindness and truth for us.

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Psalm 40:1-5 and 11-12

A Psalm of David.

40 I waited patiently for the Lord;
And He inclined to me and heard my cry.
He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay,
And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm.
He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God;
Many will see and fear
And will trust in the Lord.

How blessed is the man who has made the Lord his trust,
And has not turned to the proud, nor to those who lapse into falsehood.
Many, O Lord my God, are the wonders which You have done,
And Your thoughts toward us;
There is none to compare with You.
If I would declare and speak of them,
They would be too numerous to count.

………..

11 You, O Lord, will not withhold Your compassion from me;
Your lovingkindness and Your truth will continually preserve me.
12 For evils beyond number have surrounded me;
My iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to see;
They are more numerous than the hairs of my head,
And my heart has failed me.

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

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Narcissist Case Studies – Cain, The First Human Narcissist

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

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

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

Psalm 23:1-3

23 The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.

He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

The secular literature says that time and distance is the key to healing from the abuse you may have suffered at the hands of a narcissist.  And in one sense that is true.  But ultimately the deepest, most permanent, most forgiving healing will come from the Lord.  “He restores my soul” refers to God healing our minds, our emotions, and our wills to real fullness.  Without God, we may be able to achieve some measure of relief from the day to day pain that we experienced at the hands of the narcissist, but will not be able to fully forgive, be fully at peace in our minds, be fully joyful again.

We will dig deeper into how this works in the future.

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Healing From Narcissist Abuse – The Progression

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There are degrees of pride, from the simple “I’m pretty good, and I did it myself” to the insolent pride spoken of in Proverbs 21:24.

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Proverbs 21:24 – “Proud,” “Haughty,” “Scoffer,” are his names, Who acts with insolent pride.

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This insolent pride is the biblical term for what secular literature refers to as malignant, or toxic, narcissism.  While God hates all pride, it is the “insolent” part which is the most evil, destructive, and “damaging” to us.

For people who are not aware that these type of people even exist, and who kind-heartedly tend to think the best of everyone and want to minister to others, winding up in some type of relationship (see here) with them can turn out to be a wrenching experience.

Based on my own experience and observation, there seems to be a progression in how you internally process this.  These steps of progression may proceed something like:

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  1. Being hurt at the hands of a narcissist, feeling bad, and not knowing why
  2. Being hurt and reacting against the narcissist who is causing the hurt – but not knowing that you are dealing with a narcissist/someone with insolent pride
  3. Beginning to understand narcissism/insolent pride, and the traits and tactics of narcissists – but still angry
  4. Understanding narcissism traits and tactics to a degree that you no longer “react” against them – since you now know their “game”, but instead responding much more calmly and with much more understanding of what’s really happening
  5. Learning tactics and approaches for avoiding narcissists
  6. Learning tactics and approaches for dealing with narcissists that you cannot avoid
  7. Forgiving the narcissist who hurt you
  8. Learning to overcome evil with good

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Romans 12:21 – Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

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One purpose of this blog (see here for the entire list) is to help myself and others like you to make it through this progression.

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