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:

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  1. They pursue drastically unrealistic goals based on delusions of grandeur, destined to fail
  2. They misread situations by overestimating how well they are doing in some aspect
  3. They misuse people as tools in reaching their own goals.  That misuse comes back on them
  4. They overestimate their abilities
  5. They fall into the traps that they set for others

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Proverbs 26:27

27 He who digs a pit will fall into it,
And he who rolls a stone, it will come back on him.

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In addition to the above, the primary reason narcissists stumble is that God is actively opposed to them as one who has insolent pride.

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Proverbs 16:5

Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord;
Assuredly, he will not be unpunished.

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James 4:6

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

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1 Peter 5:5

You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.

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There are two primary reasons why God actively opposes those who are proud:

  1. While they may “get away with things” for awhile, He will ultimately not allow anyone to usurp His rightful place
  2. Out of love, He constantly is working for them to become humble so that they will have the grace to ultimately know and enjoy Him.  Their failures are designed by God to get their attention and draw them to Himself.

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One implication of the fact that God opposes the proud narcissists is that we don’t need to “get back” at narcissists for the evil that they do.  God will take care of it.  In fact, He said that vengeance is His turf not ours.

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Romans 12:19

19 Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.

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Here are some additional verses on God opposing the proud

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Psalm 18:27 – For You save an afflicted people, But haughty eyes You abase.

Psalm 101:5 – Whoever secretly slanders his neighbor, him I will destroy; No one who has a haughty look and an arrogant heart will I endure.

Psalm 138:6 – For though the Lord is exalted, Yet He regards the lowly, But the haughty He knows from afar.

 Proverbs 16:18 – Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before stumbling.

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

Proverbs 11:2 – When pride comes, then comes dishonor, But with the humble is wisdom.

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

Proverbs 29:23 – A man’s pride will bring him low, But a humble spirit will obtain honor.

Proverbs 15:25 – The Lord will tear down the house of the proud, But He will establish the boundary of the widow.

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:

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2 Chronicles 26

26 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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……15 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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Narcissism and Job Performance

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Proverbs 16:18

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

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We have seen in these pages that the Bible discusses consequences to insolent pride – but sometimes it is hard to see in real life since it appears that narcissists almost always “get away with it”.  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 psycopaths) in fact do have lower job performance.  If you’re interested, here is the article which discusses this:

Psycopath Hedge Fund Managers Make Less Money

 

Narcissist Case Study – Absalom

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In the case of Absalom, there is not a clear statement in the Bible about his insolent pride / narcissism.  However, there are clues regarding Absalom’s drive for self-aggrandisement, which ultimately led to his own death.   Absalom’s quest for exaltation resulted in his destruction, and in the process was a tool used by God to chasten David for his sin in the case of Bathsheba and Uriah.

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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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