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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Narcissist Traits and Tactics – Psalm 12

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There are several Psalms that describe and address those with insolent pride (aka narcissists – see here).  Psalm 12 is one of those Psalms.   It describes them strutting about with the insolently prideful attitude that no one can tell them what to do (“who is lord over us”).  They flatter and speak lies , believing that they can get what they want through manipulating people and situations by what they say (“with our tongue we will prevail”).  Classic narcissistic approach.

But it also invites the Lord to cut them off, and describes how, ultimately, God will protect His people from these evil people.

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12 Help, Lord, for the godly man ceases to be,
For the faithful disappear from among the sons of men.
They speak falsehood to one another;
With flattering lips and with a double heart they speak.

May the Lord cut off all flattering lips,
The tongue that speaks great things;
Who have said, “With our tongue we will prevail;
Our lips are our own; who is lord over us?”
“Because of the devastation of the afflicted, because of the groaning of the needy,
Now I will arise,” says the Lord; “I will set him in the safety for which he longs.”

The words of the Lord are pure words;
As silver tried in a furnace on the earth, refined seven times.
You, O Lord, will keep them;
You will preserve him from this generation forever.
The wicked strut about on every side
When vileness is exalted among the sons of men.

Psalm 12

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* Narcissism is the modern colloquial term for what the Bible describes as “insolent pride” (see here)

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Narcissistic* Traits Case Study – Acting As Judge (Pharisees)

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The Pharisees are a prominent example of Insolent Pride / Narcissism in the Bible (see here and here).  They were described as “scoffers” in Isaiah 28, and “scoffers” are one of the “names” given to those with insolent pride – [“‘Proud’, ‘haughty’, ‘scoffer’ are his names who acts with insolent pride” – Proverbs 21:24].  And insolent pride = narcissism (see here).

A prime characteristic of a scoffer is that they set themselves up as judge over others, based on an arbitrary standard of their own creation.   They will not try to keep their own standard, as they see themselves as above the rules.  And they will change the standard as necessary to suit their primary objective of being “above” others (that’s one of the reasons its an “arbitrary” standard).  The imperative of scoffers / insolent pride / narcissists is to maintain their superiority over others.

Here are some examples of the Pharisees acting as judge:

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When the Pharisees saw this, they said to His disciples, “Why is your Teacher eating with the tax collectors and sinners?” 

Matthew 9:11

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The Pharisees set an implied arbitrary rule as to who “righteous” people should eat with, and then judged Jesus against that rule]

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Then the disciples of John *came to Him, asking, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast, but Your disciples do not fast?” 

Matthew 9:14

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The Pharisees took something they were doing (fasting), and turned it into a standard they could use with which to judge others]

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But the Pharisees were saying, “He casts out the demons by the ruler of the demons.” 

Matthew 9:34

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Rather than carefully exploring how Jesus was able to cast out demons, the Pharisees jumped to the conclusion that since Jesus’ power could not be from God (based on the Pharisees’ own pre-determined view), it had to come from Satan.  Since falsely attributing Jesus’ miracles to Satan’s power would clearly undermine Jesus’ ministry, the Pharisees were quick to take the opportunity to do this.

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But when the Pharisees saw this, they said to Him, “Look, Your disciples do what is not lawful to do on a Sabbath.” 

Matthew 12:2

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The Pharisees were interpreting the law according to their own opinion, and using their interpretation as the basis for judging Jesus]

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But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “This man casts out demons only by Beelzebul the ruler of the demons.” 

Matthew 12:24

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Once again, rather than honestly exploring the true source Jesus’ ability to cast out demons, the Pharisees were quick to judge and condemn Him, based on an interpretation that would most fully demean and undermine Jesus.

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See here for initial steps on how to know God personally

* Narcissism is the colloquial secular term for what the Bible refers to as “insolent pride”.

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Narcissist Traits – Discarding The Tools of Their Treachery

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Narcissists (or those with insolent pride, see here), frequently “use” others as tools to achieve their goals.  Once the narcissists have gotten what they want, they easily discard the people they used without any further consideration.  An example is how the narcissistic Pharisees (see here and here) treated Judas after Judas had betrayed Jesus.

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Now when morning came, all the chief priests and the elders of the people conferred together against Jesus to put Him to death; and they bound Him, and led Him away and delivered Him to Pilate the governor.

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Then when Judas, who had betrayed Him, saw that He [Jesus] had been condemned, he [Judas] felt remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” But they said, “What is that to us? See to that yourself!”And he threw the pieces of silver into the temple sanctuary and departed; and he went away and hanged himself. 

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The chief priests took the pieces of silver and said, “It is not lawful to put them into the temple treasury, since it is the price of blood.” And they conferred together and with the money bought the Potter’s Field as a burial place for strangers. For this reason that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day.Then that which was spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: “And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of the one whose price had been set by the sons of Israel; 10 and they gave them for the Potter’s Field, as the Lord directed me.” 

Matthew 27:1-10

In this case, after the Pharisees (chief priests and elders) were more than happy to use Judas as a tool to get what they wanted (the destruction of Jesus), they did not care the slightest about what happened to Judas.  He was just someone to be used as means to their end.  This is consistent with insolent pride – looking down on others as of much less importance, and therefore merely to be used and then easily discarded with no further consideration of their needs.

This principle has a second application in this case.  Judas was not only a tool of the Pharisees, but was also a tool of Satan in Satan’s quest to destroy Jesus.  Satan (a “narcissist” filled with insolent pride, see here) also uses people for his evil purposes, and then drives them to their destruction.

 

* Narcissist is the modern colloquial term for what the Bible calls “insolent pride”.  Please see here for an explanation.

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Narcissist Case Studies – Cain, The First Human Narcissist

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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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“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.”
I John 3:12
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Being “of the evil one (Satan)” is similar to the way Jesus described the Pharisees…..
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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.”   
John 8:44
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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 come from his actions and reactions.  There was a clear sequence……
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……..Evil was in Cain’s heart (repeating I John 3:12)
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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. 
I John 3:12
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…….But Cain still expected God to “like” the offering he made.  However, God views obedience as much more important than the sacrifice (I Samuel 15:22).  When Cain did not get the positive response from God that he wanted, instead of repentance he 1.  became very angry, and 2.  began to mope
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but for Cain and for his offering He had no regard. So Cain became very angry and his countenance fell. 
Genesis 4:5
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……God then told Cain what he needed to do to fix things
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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.” 
Genesis 4:7
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Note:  God’s instructions to the first narcissist (Cain) provides a clue to narcissists (scoffers with insolent pride) on how to deal with what is in their heart.
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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 get rid of the competition who was “making him look bad”.
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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.   Genesis 4:8
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Then he lied about it
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Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” And he said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?” 
Genesis 4:9
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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, he instead of repenting continued to whine, complain, and fight against his judgment – twisting what God said.
Cain first twisted what God had said in Genesis 4:11-12,
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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 (NOT true)
Then he lied about what God had said
“and from Your face I will be hidden” (NOT true)
Then he made a “drama king” kind of statement
and I will be a vagrant and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.”  (a grossly overstated fear)
 Genesis 4:13
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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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Narcissist Case Studies – They Make Fatal Mistakes (Haman)

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Pride goes before destruction,
And a haughty spirit before stumbling. 
Proverbs 16:18
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and
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The way of the wicked is like darkness;
They do not know over what they stumble. 
Proverbs 4:19
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Narcissists (aka those with insolent pride) stumble alot (see here),   Their stumbling often prevents them from making much progress in their self-exalting goals.  But even if a narcissist manages to achieve  or maneuver his way to a top position, his insolent pride can still blind his judgment to the point of making a fatal mistake (See “They Have Poor Judgement”).

In our final post about Haman for awhile, we clearly see this.  Once he had been promoted to the king’s right hand man, Haman thought he was invincible.  As a result, he felt he was free to destroy the entire population of Mordecai’s ethnicity, the Jews, with no consequences to himself. Continue reading

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Obsessing About The One Thing He Doesn’t Have

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Continuing in our case study of Haman.  Even though Haman had achieved “everything”, he was obsessed with the one thing he didn’t have – Mordecai’s recognition of Haman’s “glory”.   That is typical of narcissists* – they can have everything going “right” in their world, but in the middle of that will obsess about one little slight that they think they have received from someone.

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After these events King Ahasuerus promoted Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him and established his authority over all the princes who were with him.  All the king’s servants who were at the king’s gate bowed down and paid homage to Haman; for so the king had commanded concerning him. But Mordecai neither bowed down nor paid homage……….When Haman saw that Mordecai neither bowed down nor paid homage to him, Haman was filled with rage. 

Esther 3:1-5

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This happened more than once.

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9 Then Haman went out that day glad and pleased of heart; but when Haman saw Mordecai in the king’s gate and that he did not stand up or[tremble before him, Haman was filled with anger against Mordecai.  Haman controlled himsef, however, went to his house and sent for his friends and his wife Zeresh. 

Then Haman recounted to them the glory of his riches, and the number of his sons, and every instance where the king had magnified him and how he had promoted him above the princes and servants of the king.   Haman also said, “Even Esther the queen let no one but me come with the king to the banquet which she had prepared; and tomorrow also I am invited by her with the king.

 Yet all of this does not satisfy me every time I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king’s gate.” 

Esther 5:9-13

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By his own words, even though the king promoted Haman to 2nd in command in the kingdom, Haman said, “yet all of this does not satisfy me every time I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king’s gate”.

One prime characteristic of one with insolent pride (narcissists) is that they want it ALL, they are never completely satisfied, they want to be unquestionably #1 with no exceptions, they want everyone’s love and admiration.  This drive is so entrenched in their hearts that they obsess over any “slight” that challenges it.

A story circulated a years ago about a famous, obviously narcissistic politician who could be in a room of admirers, but would spend an entire evening trying to win over the one person in the room whom he sensed had less than complete admiration.  He could not tolerate less than complete admiration.

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When they are slighted it can lead to anger, and even retribution, as Haman’s case study shows.

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* Narcissist is the modern colloquial term for what the Bible calls “insolent pride”  please see here for an explanation

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Narcissist* Case Studies – Haman

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As mentioned recently, the person called Haman in the Old Testament book of Esther was most likely a narcissist (scoffer, one filled with insolent pride).  How do we know that Haman was a narcissist?  Look at some of the descriptions:

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10 Haman ……. went to his house and sent for his friends and his wife Zeresh. 11 Then Haman recounted to them the glory of his riches, and the number of his sons, and every instance where the king had magnified him and how he had promoted him above the princes and servants of the king. 12 Haman also said, “Even Esther the queen let no one but me come with the king to the banquet which she had prepared; and tomorrow also I am invited by her with the king. 

Esther 5:10-12

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This is clear narcissistic self-aggrandisement.  See here and here and here for more.

In his insolent pride, Haman created a plan to get rid of Mordecai’s people, the Jews.  The book of Esther is an illustration of how God prepares a slippery slope leading to sudden destruction for such people, as described in Psalm 73.

Setting the stage as part of God’s rescue plan and the revelation of Haman’s evil plan arising from his insolent pride, God actively worked behind the scenes.  We often assume that God does not see and hear our cry for help, totally blind to what He is actually doing.

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During that night the king could not sleep so he gave an order to bring the book of records, the chronicles, and they were read before the king. It was found written what Mordecai had reported concerning Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king’s eunuchs who were doorkeepers, that they had sought to lay hands on King Ahasuerus.

The king said, “What honor or dignity has been bestowed on Mordecai for this?” Then the king’s servants who attended him said, “Nothing has been done for him.”So the king said, “Who is in the court?” Now Haman had just entered the outer court of the king’s palace in order to speak to the king about hanging Mordecai on the gallows which he had prepared for him. The king’s servants said to him, “Behold, Haman is standing in the court.” And the king said, “Let him come in.” 

Esther 6:1-5

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Typical of narcisissts, Haman delusionally assumed that he was the one whom the king was preparing to honor, oblivious to the reality of what was taking place.

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So Haman came in and the king said to him, “What is to be done for the man whom the king desires to honor?” And Haman said to himself, “Whom would the king desire to honor more than me?”

Then Haman said to the king, “For the man whom the king desires to honor,let them bring a royal robe which the king has worn, and the horse on which the king has ridden, and on whose head a royal crown has been placed; and let the robe and the horse be handed over to one of the king’s most noble princes and let them array the man whom the king desires to honor and lead him on horseback through the city square, and proclaim before him, ‘Thus it shall be done to the man whom the king desires to honor.’” 

Esther 6:6-9

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In his pride, Haman immediately and mistakenly assumed that he was the most deserving of the king’s honor.  His advice to the king on how to honor him was to create an image that effectively exalted Haman to be on the same level as the king in the eyes of the public – wearing the king’s robe, riding the king’s horse, and having someone go in front proclaiming the greatness of the man being exalted.

This is exactly what the original narcissist satan attempted – to be exalted to the same level as his king, in this case God.

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In the end, Haman’s insolent pride led to his sudden downfall.

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

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Their Fall May Come Suddenly

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We are frequently tempted to lament that the arrogant “get away with it” – prospering, thinking far more highly of themselves than they should, and even speaking against God.  This was certainly the case of the Psalmist in Psalm 73

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Surely God is good to Israel,
To those who are pure in heart!
But as for me, my feet came close to stumbling,
My steps had almost slipped.

For I was envious of the arrogant
As I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
For there are no pains in their death,
And their body is fat.
They are not in trouble as other men,
Nor are they plagued like mankind.

Therefore pride is their necklace;
The garment of violence covers them.
Their eye bulges from fatness;
The imaginations of their heart run riot.

They mock and wickedly speak of oppression;
They speak from on high.
They have set their mouth against the heavens,
And their tongue ]parades through the earth. 

Psalm 73:1-9

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But little do they know that when God says “enough”, they will fall from grace with surprising speed.

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When I pondered to understand this,
It was troublesome in my sight
Until I came into the sanctuary of God;
Then I perceived their end.

Surely You set them in slippery places;
You cast them down to destruction.
How they are destroyed in a moment!
They are utterly swept away by sudden terrors!

Like a dream when one awakes,
O Lord, when aroused, You will despise their form. 

Psalm 73:16-20

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We see modern-day examples, but a prominent Biblical example of this sudden “fall from grace” iss Haman (book of Esther), a big-time narcissist.  Haman had been given a position of highest prominence in the kingdom a year earlier, but used that position to orchestrate a national attack against God’s people.  As a result he went from congratulating himself for Queen Esther’s invitation to a private banquet with the king, to being hung on the gallows in less than a week.

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God knows everything, is always aware, and always working in accordance with His purposes and ways.  He is “opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”  He always has the last say, in His way and in His timing.

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 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. 

Galatians 6:7

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We may think N’s are getting away with it, but God says that in the end they will be humbled.

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Narcissist Traits – They Avoid Accountability (Pharisee Case Study)

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Narcissists (the secular term for scoffers or those with insolent pride) act to achieve their self-exalting, self-centered goals, but then aggressively avoid blame when called to account for their actions.  The Pharisees provide a prominent case study.  They stirred up the crowds against Jesus…..

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20 But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas and to put Jesus to death. But the governor said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release for you?” And they said, “Barabbas.”  Pilate *said to them, “Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” They all *said, “Crucify Him!”  And he said, “Why, what evil has He done?” But they kept shouting all the more, saying, “Crucify Him!”

When Pilate saw that he was accomplishing nothing, but rather that a riot was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this Man’s blood; see to that yourselves.” And all the people said, “His blood shall be on us and on our children!”   

Matthew 27:20-25

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But when Peter and other apostles publicly shared the gospel, the religious leaders objected greatly to being accused of their complicity in the death of Jesus.

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27 When they had brought them [Peter and others], they stood them before the Council. The high priest questioned them, saying, “We gave you strict orders not to continue teaching in this name, and yet, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.” 

Acts 5:27-28

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We know from here that Pharisees were examples of narcissists / those with insolent pride.  The very people who stirred up the crowds to ask Pilate to release Barabbas and crucify Jesus were the same ones who later tried to avoid being pegged with responsibility for Jesus’ death.  This is a classic narcissist move – seeking to be above accountability for their actions.  Even when there is clear evidence to the contrary.
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While our encounter with the narcissist in our life is far less prominent and far less dramatic, his drive to never be wrong is the same – even in the smallest of things.  He (or she) will blame, deflect, defend, and accuse you of meanness in attacking him – but he will not acknowledge what he’s done or admit to being wrong.
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Note:  The point of this entry is not to say “the Jews killed Jesus”, but to illustrate the narcissistic tendency to avoid accountability for the very actions for which the narcissist is responsible.  The Pharisees were not all narcissists, and the actions of Matthew 27 and Acts 5 were ultimately done by individuals.   See here for an additional discussion on calling the Pharisees “narcissists”.
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Also, there is additional reading on the various Jewish theological schools of thought and practice @ http://www.centralcal.com/crist2.htm
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*Narcissist is the modern colloquial term for what the Bible calls “insolent pride” – see here for more
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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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Continue reading

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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?

Continue reading

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Narcissistic Projection – Part 2, An Example

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Please see A Biblical Perspective On “Narcissistic Projection” for Part 1

To recap Part 1*, scoffers are hypocritical judges who accuse others of the very things of which they are guilty.  This action is the Biblical equivalent of what the secular world calls “projection”.  From Wikipedia:

“Psychological projection is a theory in psychology in which humans defend themselves against their own unconscious impulses or qualities (both positive and negative) by denying their existence in themselves while attributing them to others. For example, a person who is habitually rude may constantly accuse other people of being rude. It incorporates blame shifting.”

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An example of this is in Mark 3: Continue reading

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Narcissist Tactics – Creating Rules , But Acting Above Those Same Rules

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They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger. 

Matthew 23:4

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Jesus explained a key trait of insolently proud, narcissistic people (illustrated by the Pharisees – see here and here and here) to create rules for others which hypocritically not keeping those same rules.  This is consistent with their arrogant “I’m above you” attitude.  Not only do they believe that they have superior wisdom and standing that makes it right and natural for them to tell you what to do, but their high position of “heavy” (in their own minds) responsibility justifies their not keeping those same rules.  After all, in their own mind they deserve a break since they are doing “so much” for you, right?  Both are clear demonstrations of the assumed superiority of their insolent pride.

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The Pharisees used their limited co-opted authority as an opportunity to lord it over those whom they could.  One means they used to do this, as well as to prove their superiority, was to create performance requirements which they could then hang on people.  Of course, due to their own exceptionalism, the Pharisees did not bind themselves by those same rules.  That’s for the little people.

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This is a typical narcissist approach – constantly maneuvering, manipulating, and creating situations where they can exercise their rightful position (in their own mind) as top dog – both by creating requirements for others, and by hypocritically and arrogantly thinking they are above those same requirements.

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God’s way is just the opposite.

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But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant,and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” 

Matthew 20:25-27

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Narcissists full of insolent pride only look at their immediate gain, with no thought for what God values and will reward for all eternity.  They may think they are becoming “first”, but it is only temporary – lasting for this life at most.

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Click here for initial steps to know God personally

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Please see http://biblicalperspectivesonnarcissism.com/2013/10/21/narcissist-case-studies-in-the-bible/  for an introduction to narcissism case studies in the Bible.

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Narcissist Case Study – Uzziah

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When seemingly “normal” people become arrogant and abusive after they get a little power or success, we may reasonably wonder whether the seeds of that pride were latent in their heart prior to their success.  Uzziah, King of Judah is a case in point, as described in 2 Chronicles 26

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26:1 And all the people of Judah took Uzziah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king in the place of his father Amaziah…….

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 He did right in the sight of the Lord according to all that his father Amaziah had done. He continued to seek God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding through the vision of God; and as long as he sought the Lord, God prospered him…….

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……Hence his fame spread afar, for he was marvelously helped until he was strong.  16 But when he became strong, his heart was so proud that he acted corruptly, and he was unfaithful to the Lord his God, for he entered the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar of incense. 

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