My brother recently told me of two incidents of blatant selfishness and disregard for others which he observed in the space of a one week. Both incidents were from the type of people who 20 or 30 years ago would be expected to show at least some consideration for others. Insolent pride appears to be increasing, everywhere you turn. Paul said to Timothy.
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
Many of these descriptions apply to narcissists, implying that in “the last days” narcissism around us will get worse, not better. Not a pleasant message. It is presumptuous to declare that we are in the last days, as many over the past centuries have believed it as well, yet we’re still here. However, it sure feels that we are.
The good news is that “it is darkest right before the dawn”, and those with sincere faith in Jesus are that much closer to a magnificent future.
How do we handle even more difficulty than we already have? Paul went on to tell Timothy how to respond:
12 Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. 13 But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:12-17
Paul told Timothy
- Avoid them
- Expect to be persecuted (God tells us elsewhere in the Bible not to fear it. He will give us the grace needed and reward us in the end)
- Expect people to go from bad to worse
- Expect people to try to deceive us
- Expect people to be easily deceived by others
- Continue in the truth you have learned and know
- Remember the faith and walk with God of those from whom you learned truth
- Remember that it is God’s written word (“sacred writings”) which provide true wisdom and true faith, and everything we need to effectively minister to those around us
We all desire lives of peace and prosperity. That will come in far greater measure than we can imagine – in Heaven. But God knows and informs us that the road between here and there will be bumpy. If we walk hand-in-hand with Him, He will see us through to that fantastic future.
Please see Putting “Biblical Perspectives On Narcissism” Into Perspective for an overview of what this blog is about