Why Do Narcissists Have Addictive Personalities?

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Consider this blog post as “thinking out loud” about something.  It is not intended to be definitive, but simply the start of working through a subject.

Conventional wisdom holds that narcissists tend toward addictive personalities.  I have no reason to dispute it, and have seen traces in my own life in the past – a sample size of one.  However, assuming this is true, what could be the cause?

Here are some overlapping possibiilties:

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  • ONE – they forfeit God-given grace.

James says,

But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” 

James 4:6

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A working definition I use for grace is “God gives us what we need (in abundance), when we need it”.  The big example of course is salvation by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9) – something we all desperately need.  But grace can include many other things, ranging from the “common grace” of sunshine to the grace to live properly – God giving us the desire and the power to do the right thing.  Paul describes that in Philippians.

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So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to desire and to work for His good pleasure. 

Philippians 4:12-13

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If we are proud and determined that our way is best, God says, “OK, go ahead, do it your way.  But you’re on your own for this one”.  In doing this we reject His help, His grace, forfeiting the desire and power from His hand to rise above sinful practices, and increasing the likelihood of sinking into destructive patterns.

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  • TWOthey are naive and think that consequences are for someone else

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Narcissists are smart and very clever, but lack good judgment – a popular phrase is that they know the price of everything but the value of nothing.  This lack of good judgment results in not clearly anticipating the full consequences of their actions.  Proverbs says,

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A prudent person sees evil and hides himself, But the naive proceed, and pay the penalty.
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Proverbs 22:3, 27:12
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This lack of prudent caution means they have no solid boundaries, resulting in leaping before looking, jumping into things.  They will look at something that could lead to addiction – let’s say alcohol or gambling – and assume that outcome won’t happen to them.
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  • THREE – opening themselves to the wrong side

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This one is going to be a bit more difficult, but let’s try.

Spiritual warfare is real.  In Paul’s famous statement on the armor of God he explained that the real battle is in the spiritual realm, not the earthly realm.

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Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 

Ephesians 6:10-12

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There is no neutral territory in the spiritual world.   Jesus said

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The one who is not with Me is against Me; and the one who does not gather with Me scatters. 

Matthew 12:30

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This goes deeper than you may think.  When King Saul disobeyed God, the prophet Samuel told him.

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For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king. 

I Samuel 15:23 (KJV)

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This is the flip side of point number one.  When someone says to God “my way is best, I don’t need you”, they are proud, but proudly rebellious.  So, not only do they forfeit God’s grace, but they open themselves up to “the other side”.

Witchcraft is inviting the influence of Satan, the most wicked taskmaster possible, into your  life.  Samuel said that rebellion is “like” witchcraft.  There is no neutral territory in the spiritual world – if we rebel against God we implicitly choose the other side, giving Satan a much stronger foothold.  Since Satan is out to destroy us, he (and his demons) will use their greater influence to ensnare us in whatever way they can.

(This is a much deeper subject than we can discuss here – I can recommend the book “Spiritual Warfare” by Karl Payne for those who want to dig deeper.)

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The antidote is to have a full view of God and who He is – His unlimited knowledge, wisdom, power, holiness, and love – and to yield (humbling ourselves) to Him – resulting in an abundance of His grace.  If we are trapped in a pattern as a result of our proud rebellion, we also need to confess our sins (I John 1:9) – not only for His forgiveness but as also part of the humbling process which results in greater grace.  He is then able to reclaim ground that we have yielded to the opposing kingdom (see Karl Payne’s book).

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As I said at the beginning, view this as simply food for thought and a starting point for further exploration.

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Click here for initial steps on how to know God personally

 

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Narcissist Traits – They Stumble A Lot

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Proverbs 16:18

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

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Narcissists seem to frequently step into “holes” and stumble – constantly creating difficulties for themselves which result in their scrambling around in order to extricate themselves.   There are several practical reasons for this: Continue reading

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God Gives Us What We Need, When We Need It

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Philippians 4:10-19

19 And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

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When we are in a difficult situation, it is a natural human response to say “it’s too hard” and look for a way out.   However, God promises that He will provide what we need – physically, emotionally, spiritually – commensurate to every situation, enabling us to walk the difficult road when needed.  This provision and enabling is called “grace”.

[Notethere are times when the correct action is to “avoid” narcissists – this blog post refers specifically to situations when God-given commitments and responsibilities prevent us from being able to avoid the situation].

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2 Corinthians 12:9

And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.

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2 Corinthians 9:8

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed;

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Grace has been defined in various ways.  The most encompassing way of understanding it is that grace is God’s free and abundant supply of everything we as humans need.  This supply begins with life itself, continues with everything needed for sustaining life, and extends to the ultimate solution for our separation from God.  It also includes God’s inner influence and empowerment which woos us to Him and imparts the desire and strength to endure trial and resist temptation.

Grace flows from His love for us, even when we do not deserve it (“unmerited favor”).  It is a free unearned gift from God whenever it is given, it comes through Jesus by faith, and it is so great that it should result in us joyfully thanking the Lord for it’s provision.  It will find it’s fulfillment in our being infinitely blessed by Him for eternity.  While God’s goodness provides “common grace” (e.g. – sunshine, etc.) to everyone, there are only two requirements for receiving His specific provision (grace) for specific situations we face in life – faith and humility.

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Digging deeper into this river of God’s supply called grace……. Continue reading

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Dealing With Narcissists – Two Times The Power Through Our Weakness

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Jeremiah 9:23-24

23 Thus says the Lord, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; 24 but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the Lord.

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2 Chronicles 16:9

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

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Narcissists* are driven to set themselves up in a position of power over us in some form.  By extension, they seek to put us in a position of weakness versus them.  Our natural response is to resist, and to somehow defend ourselves against them.  This ultimately makes it a power play between us and the narcissist, even if it is of the passive-aggressive variety.  The unappealing alternative to resisting is to become a doormat of the narcissist, and allow them to damage us as they run roughshod over us.

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God’s way is for us to be powerless in our own strength, but to then let Him take on the narcissist with His power.  This allows us to be humble and learn trust, while He more fully shows His power, love, and goodness through protecting us.  In this way, “He gets the glory, and we get the help”. Continue reading

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Narcissist Tactics – Projecting An Image Of Success (While Covering Up Failure)

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Proverbs 13:7

There is one who pretends to be rich, but has nothing;
Another pretends to be poor, but has great wealth.

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Why would someone, especially someone who has nothing, pretend to be rich?  It likely comes down to self-exaltation.  This motive for self-exaltation in the midst of failure is highlighted in the second half of Proverbs 12:9.

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