Blog Post by Sister Diane Foster
Above is an image of Narcissus a figure from Greek Mythology who fell in love with his own image reflected in a pool of water. Sigmund Freud, in 1914 used the abnormal behavior depicting this mythological god and coined the term Narcissist into his psychological theories and analysis.
We all have narcissistic tendencies.1This is a test footnote. At times we desire more than our share, expect more than what we should receive and behave selfishly towards others. But these do not make one a narcissist. Continuing with 2 Timothy 3, verses 2-6 tells us more about the spirit of narcissism: For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God, having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
When uncontrolled, narcissism becomes a deadly, evil spirit. Many do not understand, consider, or comprehend narcissism. They do not equate narcissism to the ways of the flesh, described biblically. As a result, many Believers cast it off simply as bad behavior.
An inordinate narcissistic personality can be very serious. I have created this blog to enlighten the Believer concerning narcissism. I will discuss characteristics of narcissism, how damaging narcissism is, give biblical examples of narcissism and for those whose lives have been affected by a narcissist what, if anything can positively be learned from it. At the end of this article you will find several resources to open your eyes further into to how narcissism lurks in our society, and how it hides in plain sight.
Narcissism Signs and Sins
Narcissism is a Personality Disorder defined by the DSM-5 manual of the American Psychiatric Association thusly:
Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a personality disorder with a long-term pattern of abnormal behavior characterized by exaggerated feelings of self-importance, an excessive need for admiration, and a lack of empathy. People affected by it often spend a lot of time thinking about achieving power or success, or about their appearance. (DSM-5 301.81).
Narcissism is a self-centered personality style characterized as having an excessive interest in one’s physical appearance and an excessive pre-occupation with one’s own needs, often at the expense of others. It is human nature for people to be selfish and narcissism exists on spectrum that ranges from normal to abnormal personality expression. (Wikipedia).
Narcissism as defined by the Bible. Biblically, narcissism is a sin of the heart. Satan is heartless.
What is a narcissist according to the Bible?
The explicit word definition of “narcissist” is not in the Bible. Yet, the Bible has a lot to say about this behavior. It speaks of pride, selfishness, and the ways of the flesh such as deceit, and envy. Throughout Scripture there are examples of how people elevate themselves above others and Yahuah. Scripture gives warnings about boastful and arrogant people. A narcissist is someone who loves themselves most of all. They believe they are the center of the universe and no one else matters. Narcissist worship themselves. Narcissists are usually very manipulative and conniving, thus they can be very hard to spot at first before they show their true narcissistic personality.
Below are characteristics of the narcissist. Keep in mind; not everyone who possess these characteristics are narcissist. In a sense, we all have some narcissistic tendencies about ourselves. It is when these turn to the extreme that one would begin to think of these types as narcissistic. As you read, relate these to Galatians 5:19-23. To your enlightenment you will begin to see where this spirit is hidden in plain sight.
Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envying’s, murders, drunkenness, reveling, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of Yahuah. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. Gal 5:19-23.
· Psychological Signs
Anxiety, depression (unending sadness), pride, (ticks, nervous habits).
· Identification Sins
The Narcissist have an infestation of sins in their lives that need to be cleansed. Ask them to tell you what secret sin they have committed… the sin no one knows about. There is almost always some hidden sin that is causing their bizarre behavior.
· Signs of Narcissism-The Sin
- High self-esteem – unwarranted pride
- Unwarranted entitlement (they deserve the best to be given to them whether they deserve it or not).
- A general feeling of entitlement whether they deserve it or not
- Unwillingness to accept life’s traumas and move forward without self-disablement
- Thankless, (lack of gratitude)
- Insolent (disrespectful)
- Without self-control
- Hater of good
- Remembering another’s sins
- Holding a grudge against one who wronged you
- Unnatural thought addictions/lusts
- Lack of regard for others
- Lazy, spoiled
- Some are unwilling to work
- Some have no self-discipline
- Some cannot hold a job down
- Some may be high school dropouts
- Some smoke cigarettes and drink and do drugs
- They are angry, throw temper tantrums.
- Some are satisfied living on welfare and social assistance
- Sexual misconduct of every kind. Look for narcissism (ultra-selfishness)
Narcissism can and does run in families.
Once again, keep in mind that just because a person has these negative, sinful qualities does not make them a narcissist. It is when these traits become an abnormality that a person can be described as such.
Narcissist feels nobody has the right to deny them their desires. They are grossly self-centered.
You must not tolerate spoiled selfish behavior which can come in the form of manipulation, lies, deceit.
Specifically question them about sexual misconduct of every kind. Look for narcissism (ultra-selfishness), laziness, rebelliousness. Ask them to tell you what secret sin they have committed… the sin no one knows about. There is almost always some hidden sin that is causing their bizarre behavior.
What the Bible Says About Narcissism
Godlessness in the Last Days
2Timothy 3:1-9 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good. Traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of Yahuah; Having a form of Godlessness but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers’ lusts. Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
Now as Jannes and Jambres (the two Egyptian sorcerers who resisted Moses) withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was.
Satan knows Scripture
16 Signs of a Narcissist
1. A Narcissist Will Have Crazy Mood Swings Which Are Used as an Attempt to Control Others
The reason narcissistic people are so emotional and unstable is because they have learned to use their emotions, like anger and sadness, as a weapon to control other people.
These types of people do the opposite of what we are taught in James 1:19-20, “let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of Yahuah.”
2. A Narcissist Uses the Severest Form of Judgment on Others While Demanding the Strongest Form of Grace from Others
Yahusha warned about this type of behavior through the parable of the unmerciful servant in Matthew 18:21-35. In this parable there was a servant who owed his master an unpayable amount of money, but the servant pleaded and then the master was gracious towards him. However, that servant then went out and demanded payment from another who owed him a much smaller debt. In Matthew 18:32-35 it states:
Then his master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt. So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.” A narcissist wants all the mercy but doesn’t want to offer any to others.
3. A Narcissist Has Delusional Thinking and Uses Historical Revisionism to Make
They see tmselves a Legend in Their Own Mind
One of the scary things about a true narcissistic person is that they can warp reality to fit their own desires. They actually believe they are the center of the world and start to alter reality to help fit this narrative. They will even change the facts in their own history to help themselves feel more legendary than they really are. For example, if they were a bench player on the high school football team, they will remember themselves as the best player who could have played in college but chose not to.
4. A Narcissist Attaches Their Own Meaning to People’s Words to Serve Their Own Agenda
A narcissist will say things like, “So what you’re really saying is . . .” or “Yeah, but I know what you really meant by that . . .” or “I can tell by the tone in your voice that you really meant . . . .”
A narcissist is very much like the fool described in Proverbs 15:32, “Whoever ignores instruction despises himself, but he who listens to reproof gains intelligence.” If someone just hears what they want to hear no matter what you say, they could be struggling with narcissism.
5. A Narcissist Will Twist the Word of Yahuah to Serve Their Own Desires
At the heart of all heresy is selfishness. Believers are called to obey Yahuah’s commands even when we don’t like them. In self-centeredness, however, humans try to avoid obeying Yahuah by simply changing what they believe Yahuah has said in his word. For as 2 Timothy 4:3-4 states:
For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.” Notice the motivation is “their own passion” for rejecting truth for altered religious truths. A narcissist will do anything to satisfy their own passions, even altering the word of Yahuah.
6. A Narcissist Takes All the Credit for the Good and Takes None of the Blame for the Bad
Essentially, the Bible states that all the bad in this world is because of human sin and all the good in this world is because of Yahuah’s grace. The narcissist completely twists these truths and takes all the credit for good and places all the blame for the bad on others. You can see this in James 1:14-17, which states: We are warned to “not be deceived” because the sinful nature tries to make us believe the opposite, that we deserve credit for the good and Yahuah and others deserve credit for the bad.
7. A Narcissist Believes They Are So Favored By Yahuah That He Will Divinely Punish
Others Who the Narcissist Does Not Like
A narcissist sees Yahuah has their personal executioner. They believe they are Yahuah’s chosen one and that Yahuah will severely harm all those who try to hinder them. Narcissist also believe that Yahuah loves them so much that they have a free pass to aggressively attack their enemies.
Think about religious wars or about racist cults who twist the word of Yahuah to try to use it as justification for harming others. Because they feel set apart and chosen in an unbiblical way, they feel free to harm people outside of their cult or racial group.
8. A Narcissist Will Try to Turn Other People Against One Another When It Serves Their Own Purpose
Romans 16:17-19 explains this point well. It states:
I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve Yahusha ha Messiah, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.” Notice the divisions that they create are stemming for their own selfish desires. Here we can see that Yahuah wants us to “avoid” narcissistic people who do this.
9. A Narcissist Misuses Resources for Lavish Personal Pleasure and Neglects the Needs of Others They Are Supposed to Care For
One of the clearest ways to tell how important someone feels they are by looking at how they spend their money. Our financial transactions are a written record of what we value. A narcissist will love money because they will have an unquenchable desire to buy things for themselves while openly rejecting the needs of those they are supposed to serve.
Think of a deadbeat dad who spends all his money on partying and selfish pleasures rather than supporting his family. Think of a mom who is dressed in the finest clothes while her kids are dressed in warn out clothes. Think of a pastor who takes the tithes to buy a mansion while his church struggles. These are the types of things narcissists do.
10. A Narcissist Puts Themselves at the Center of Everyone Else’s Story
Selfish people find it impossible to accept that there are other storylines going on in this world besides their own. Thus, they somehow always find a way to insert themselves into what Yahuah is doing in other people’s lives.
One biblical example of this is the other brother in the story of the prodigal son. When the father and the prodigal son were reunited, the other brother said to the father:
Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!” (Luke 15:29-30) This brother felt the need to be at the center of their story rather than accepting that he has his own story with the father. This is what narcissist do too. They get jealous when Yahuah does anything good in the lives of others.
11. A Narcissist Will Have Lots of Conflict with Normal People and Can Only Coexist with Extremely Submissive Minded People
Narcissistic tendencies cause these types of people to gravitate towards enablers. Also, narcissist will seek to manipulate nice people. Vulnerable people are targets as well. 2 Timothy 3:2-6 states, “For people will be lovers of self . . . For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins, and led astray by various passions . . ..” (The general principles in these Bible verses are meant to be applied to both genders.)
- 1This is a test footnote.