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:

.

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

.

“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
.
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.”   
John 8:44
.
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.
.
The other clues on Cain’s narcissism and insolent pride come from his actions and reactions.  There was a clear sequence……
.
……..Evil was in Cain’s heart (repeating I 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. 
I John 3:12
.
…….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
.
but for Cain and for his offering He had no regard. So Cain became very angry and his countenance fell. 
Genesis 4:5
.
……God then told Cain what he needed to do to fix things
.
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
.
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.
.
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”.
.
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
.
Then he lied about it
.
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
.
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,
.
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
.
Cain’s response to his judgment was a classic narcissistic response to the consequences of his actions.
.
.
.

 

 

Share

The Good Kind Of Boasting

.

I will bless the Lord at all times;

His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul will make its boast in the Lord;
The humble will hear it and rejoice. 

Psalm 34:1-2

.

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;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

.

Narcissists boast, and if you listen long enough, even covert narcissists will boast.  They frequently boast about what they have done, but might also boast about what others have done in a way that still gives them credit – that they influenced or caused it to happen in some way.

Because narcissists have a self-centered rather than God-centered view of everything, what narcissists will not do is give God the credit He deserves.  They do not realize that everything that anyone is able to do ultimately has God’s enablement as the foundation.

.

36 For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen. 

Romans 11:36

.

It is virtually impossible for someone with strong narcissist tendencies to boast in God and give Him credit for an accomplishment. It’s quite normal to NOT hear others give God credit for things, even in church, but when someone overtly and consistently gives themselves credit for everything, they are giving you a clue that they may be a narcissist.

.

.

See here for initial steps to peace with God

 

Share

A Little Anecdote On Dealing With Narcissists

.

Many years ago I hosted a business colleague from another country.  While driving to visit a company facility he told me a little story that illustrated a way to deal with narcissists.  The colleague was from a little country next to a big country that spoke the same language.  The larger  mother country was known for being very prideful and while in decline still envisioned themselves as great.  Other countries around this big country used to describe them as having a “prestige imperative”.  In other words decisions the big country made were based on whether it made them appear to be a great country or not.

The colleague from the little country told me that the way the little country – who was looked down on by the big country – used to treat people from the big country was to “tell them they’re the king and then take their money”.  The people from the big country would be so wrapped up in the exaltation that they would be blind to everything else.

The point of this story is that many times a narcissist will put so much emphasis on their self-exaltation that they are oblivious to the prudent steps in their lives which actually make for successful living.

This is one application of the Proverb

.

Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, But humility goes before honor. 
Proverbs 18:12
.
.

 

Share

Narcissist Traits – Creating Rules That Become “Doctrine”……

.

You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you:

This people honors Me with their lips,
But their heart is far away from Me.
But in vain do they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.’” 

Matthew 15:7-9

.

In the above statement, Jesus quoted Isaiah 29:13 as he spoke to the hypocritical, narcissistic Pharisees (see here and here about how we know that the Pharisees were narcissists / those with insolent pride).  The Pharisees are a good case study on the behavior of religious leaders who are narcissists:

.

Continue reading

Share

Narcissist* Traits – They Never Learn

.

I was walking down the street pondering Proverb 14:6 – “A scoffer seeks wisdom and finds none…”.   A scoffer is someone who acts with insolent pride.  Somehow their pride gets in the way of actually gaining wisdom (refer to the blog post Narcissism = Insolent Pride).  While I was thinking about that, the verse “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” came to me.  That phrase is actually in 3 separate verses:

 .

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments; 

Psalm 111:10

.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction. 

Proverbs 1:7

.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. 

Proverbs 9:10

 .

We know that wisdom is a great thing:

.

She is more precious than jewels; And nothing you desire compares with her. 

Proverbs 3:15

.

He who gets wisdom loves his own soul; He who keeps understanding will find good.   

Proverbs 19:8

 .

Narcissists (people with insolent pride) may look to become “wise”, but as long as they seek to be the “center of the universe” rather than “allowing” God to be God, they will just not “get” what they are reading.  I personally know of a famous end-of-the-world predictor (famously wrong).  His family attested to the fact that he studied the Bible all the time, but also lived in a way obviously full of insolent pride.  He was “always learning but never coming to the knowledge of the truth.”

.

Another example is when an unrepentant narcissist reads Jesus’ words that “he who wishes to be great among you must be the servant of all”, and cannot bring himself to accept that statement for himself while applying it others.  Any desire he has for wisdom, is thwarted by his own self-centeredness and pride.

.

See here for initial steps on how to know God personally

.

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

 

Share

Be Still My Soul

.

NOTE:  This is the last day for the free Kindle book giveaway of “Time To Prepare:  Signposts On The Road To The End”.  This offer ends midnight tonight, Pacific Time.  No strings attached.  

.

Some music (but not a lot) has great theology embedded.   Last week I heard for the first time in a long time a song with great, Biblically-based words – Be Still My Soul, set to the melody “Finlandia”.

.

Be Still My Soul (Lyrics)

.

​Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side;
bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
leave to thy God to order and provide;
in ev’ry change He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heav’nly Friend
thro’ thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

.

Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
to guide the future as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
all now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
His voice, who ruled them while He dwelt below.

.

Be still, my soul: when dearest friends depart,
and all is darkened in the veil of tears,
then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,
who comes to soothe thy sorrow and thy fears.
Be still, my soul: thy Jesus can repay
from His own fullness all He takes away.

.

Be still, my soul: the hour is hast’ning on
when we shall be forever with the Lord,
when disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past,
all safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

.

Click here for initial steps to peace with God

Share

Narcissist Case Studies – They Make Fatal Mistakes (Haman)

.

Pride goes before destruction,
And a haughty spirit before stumbling. 
Proverbs 16:18
.
and
.
The way of the wicked is like darkness;
They do not know over what they stumble. 
Proverbs 4:19
.

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

Share

Obsessing About The One Thing He Doesn’t Have

.

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.

..

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

.

This happened more than once.

.

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

.

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.

.

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

.

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

.

See here for initial steps on how to know God personally

Share

Narcissist* Case Studies – Haman

.

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:

.

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

.

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.

.

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

.

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.

.

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

.

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.

.

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

.

.

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

.

See here for initial steps to peace with God

 

Share

God Sees Everything Our N Does And Plans

 .
Sheol and Abaddon lie open before the Lord,
How much more the hearts of men! 
Proverbs 15:11
 .
and
.

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?

He who chastens the nations, will He not rebuke,
Even He who teaches man knowledge?

The Lord knows the thoughts of man,
That they are a mere breath. 

Psalm 94:8-11

.

As we said here, one fear we may have in our dealings with a narcissist (one with insolent pride) is that the narcissist might be “getting away with it”.   Holding on to this fear prevents us from releasing things to God and turning our focus to our own heart, wise actions, and responsibilities – rather than on what the narcissist is doing.  Our fear that the narcissist will receive no consequences is based on two separate fears:  1.  That God does not see what’s going on, and  2.  That even if He does see, He is not going to do anything about it.

.

Even though a narcissist / one with insolent pride may work very hard to conceal their true goals, motives, and tactics for achieving what they want – and even though they may fool most people most of the time – God fully sees what they’re doing and the evil in their hearts that is driving their actions.  And He will not let them get away with it, but will judge them and provide the exact consequences needed.

.

Letting God do His job frees us to focus on gaining the wisdom we need to deal with our narcissist.

.

O Lord, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty;
Nor do I involve myself in great matters,
Or in things too difficult for me.
Surely I have composed and quieted my soul;
Like a weaned child rests against his mother,
My soul is like a weaned child within me. 

Psalm 131

.

In Psalm 131, “great matters” refers to God orchestrating everything as part of His grand plan for a purpose of love.  And “things too difficult for me” are things that God controls on my behalf and for my good, out of His goodness and grace.  Leaving things of God to God, and focusing on my own part, lays the foundation for a far greater peace.

.

.

Please see here for the initial steps on how to know God personally

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share

Their Fall May Come Suddenly

.

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

.

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

.

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

.

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

.

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.

.

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.

.

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

Galatians 6:7

.

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

.

.

Click here for initial steps to peace with God

 

Share

Narcissist Tactics – They Conceal Their Hatred

.

One reason dealing with Narcissists is tricky is that they do not play honestly.  They readily employ deception to accomplish their purposes.

.

N-Laying Up Deceit In Their Heart

.

A Narcissist hates anything or anyone that gets in the way of their “glory”.  (Yes, hate is a strong word, but if you consider things on a spectrum of love vs. hate, they are on the hate side of the spectrum.)   While they may respond with an immediate full frontal assault, they might also keep their feelings hidden until such time that they can do the most damage.    They will try to disguise their hatred with their lips, by speaking graciously even while they hate you in their heart.  But don’t believe them.  They still fully intend to “trash” you (Proverbs 9:7 – “he who corrects a scoffer gets dishonor for himself”), or undermine you – they’re just waiting for a better time or opportunity. Continue reading

Share

Narcissist Traits – They Avoid Accountability (Pharisee Case Study)

.

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…..

.

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

.

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.

.

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

.

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.
.
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.
 .
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”.
.
Also, there is additional reading on the various Jewish theological schools of thought and practice @ http://www.centralcal.com/crist2.htm
.
.
*Narcissist is the modern colloquial term for what the Bible calls “insolent pride” – see here for more
.
Share

God Will Most Definitely Settle Accounts With The Proud and Lofty …….

.

We discussed here that God will deal with the proud and haughty.  Isaiah makes it clear that, even though it is not obvious to people now, and even though it may seem slow in coming, a specific day of reckoning for the unrepentant proud will come.  Proud mankind will think everything is going well, until the tables are instantly turned.

.

Isaiah 2:12-22

12 For the Lord of hosts will have a day of reckoning
Against everyone who is proud and lofty
And against everyone who is lifted up,
That he may be abased.
Continue reading

Share

Narcissism’s Impact On Job Performance

.

Pride goes before destruction,
And a haughty spirit before stumbling. 

Proverbs 16:18

.

We have seen in these pages that the Bible discusses consequences for insolent pride – but sometimes it is hard to see in real life since it appears that narcissists almost always “get away with it” (see Psalm 73).  One area where we would expect the consequences to be seen would be in the area of job performance.

.

People in many lines of work get their performance evaluated through the eyes of others – thus giving the narcissist the opportunity to manipulate situations to his own advantage.  However, in the field of money management the job performance is summarized in the simple final number of the investment return.  This means that the ultimate job performance is not based on what people think, but on actual results.

.

A study was done using the field of money management as the “hard number arbiter of job performance results” which shows that narcissists (embedded in a broader group of psychopaths) in fact do have lower job performance.  If you’re interested, here is the article which discusses this:

.

Psychopath Hedge Fund Managers Make Less Money

.

Why would a narcissist have lower job performance?  Because they think they know best, are unwilling to listen to wise counsel or anything that might prove them wrong, and in their superiority believe that minimal effort should result in maximum accolades.

.

.

Click here for initial steps on how to know God personally

 

Share