What Does the Bible Say About Narcissistic Behavior?

PEOPLE WILL BE LOVERS OF THEMSELVES

Narcissism is addressed in the Bible in Paul’s second pastoral epistle to Timothy (2 Timothy 3:1-7) in the fall of A.D.67.  Paul seems to be concerned about the character and behavior of leaders within the church, so he warns Timothy to beware of those who act out of a “self love attitude”.  He says, “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come.  For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power.  And from such people turn away.”  Here Paul names many of the attributes associated (in psychology) to-day with the narcissistic personality we are all becoming so familiar with.

The Science of Psychology and Narcissism as a scholarly study is relatively young, barely more than a century old in fact.  However, the term “Narcissism” is not confined to psychology alone, it is also seen through the lens of other disciplines, such as sociology (i.e. Narcissistic Culture); Political Science (i.e. Citizenship and Moral Narcissism); Criminology (i.e The Narcissist and Threatened Egotism); Theological Anthropology (i.e. Theism and Narcissism); Theology (i.e Hedonism and Narcissism).

In Psychology, the term “Narcissism” was first introduced by Alfred Binet (Sexologist) in 1887, however, its usage today has grown more from the notions of Freud’s work in 1914.   Mankind has been interested in all aspects of mental processes and behaviour over many millennium, as far back as two thousand years ago the Ancient Greeks explored the meaning of the mind through the myth of Narcissus.

Contrasting the Bible with Psychology:

Let us take a few moments to contrast and compare what St.Paul says to Timothy two thousand years ago with today’s psychological understanding of what narcissism is:-

St. Paul says: “For men will be lovers of themselves”

Psychology says: The narcissist form of self love is not a healthy one, as they are really full of self-hatred and self-loathing, which they must disown.  Unable to love their True Self, they fall in love with a reflection of themselves (False Self).  It is through this projected image that a narcissist is able to generate the much needed Narcissistic Supply that they crave for their very survival.  When I speak of  “Narcissistic supply” I am referring to whatever feeds the appetites of the narcissistic defenses, whether that currency is Primary or Secondary Supply.

St. Paul says: “Lovers of money”

Psychology says:  The narcissist needs money to maintain the false image and keep them on the pedestal they put their selves on. Money is the enabler that allows them to surround themselves with symbols of wealth; the flashy car, the big house, the clothes etc.  Wealth to the narcissist portrays both psychological and financial power, putting them on a pedestal of “greatness” where they can be worshiped by everybody, including themselves.  They are addicted to adoration and attention, money buys that for them.  Because the narcissist grew up feeling deprived of love, they are always seeking love substitutes, and money represents that love that they constantly seek.  Money, and their attitudes to it, affects all of the narcissist’s relationships.  For example, it is a useful commodity for cajoling and seducing people as a source of future narcissistic supply.

The narcissist use their open display of money in order to get social approval, this often adds to their sense of entitlement.  That sense of entitlement often leads them to feel that they are also entitled to other people’s money, they will use any means for extracting what money they can from others.  Their grandiose fantasy leads them to believe that they have more money then they really have, and this often lends them to spend recklessly.  Money is also useful when their frail ego takes a blow, when this happens they are likely to go on compulsive shopping sprees to comfort and calm themselves.  Overstretched and in dept, they are always looking for ways of making more money, so they will hound people, or even commit financial crimes in order to get it.

St. Paul says: “Boasters”

Psychology says: Boasting is a key trait of narcissism.  The narcissist boasts about everything, exaggerating their achievements, success, wealth, education, occupation, conquests, power etc, anything in fact that helps them to build a grandiose image.  The narcissist suffers from jealousy and envy, anything another person has they want, so they set out to get it.  They use their grandiose image as part of their art of seduction in order to attract others to them for their exploitation.   However, once they extract what they want from this person they loose respect for them, they are then soon discarded in a terrible fashion, often ruining their reputation in the process.  The truth is that narcissists have little or no self-esteem or self-worth of their own (no such ego functions), in fact their boasting implicitly implies a serious lack of self-worth.  Boasting has many advantages for the narcissist; to start with, it acts as a defense mechanism against feeling inferior. In order to mask their underlying feelings of inferiority, not just to the world, but to their own self, the narcissist has to maintain their image of superiority, and boasting helps them do that.  When you are in their favour, then you will have to be prepared to endure a pretty much one sided relationship, where they are the constant topic of conversation, with their “I”, “me”, “my” and “mine”.   If you do manage to talk about yourself, you will soon see them become bored and impatient with the conversation, and somehow the conversation switches back to them, and once again they are in the limelight.

St. Paul says: “Proud”

Psychology says:  The narcissists inflated pride convinces them that they are superior to everybody else.  In such a place of pridefulness, the narcissist is overly sensitive to any form of actual or perceived criticism that could threaten their self-image and cause them shame.  They will react harshly and haughtily to anybody who dares to threaten their false self and magical thinking; therefore threats will not be tolerated for an instant.  As the narcissist is always right in their own mind, they will judge anybody in opposition to them immediately as being inferior to them, and therefore deserving of their rage and retribution for daring to attack or humiliation them.

Paul says: Blasphemers

Psychology says: Narcissists cannot handle being upstaged in any way; you must not be seen to be more powerful, more successful, more beautiful, more intelligent, in fact “more” anything.  To do so renders you to becoming the narcissists arch enemy, an instant rival to be spoken of in an irreverent or impious manner.  Narcissists are masters at using character assassination as a subtle railing tactic to undermine anybody who poses as a threat to their fragile self.  Preoccupied with living in their fantasy of power and brilliance, their fragile ego is easily offended, and can often find offense where none is intended.  Whether the threat is real or imagined, the aggressive, attacking and abusive narcissist will retaliate by setting out to expose and destroy any person who poses as a threat, and he will do it in any way possible; defame the person with lies and gossip without conscience, then happily by proxy, where they use others to become unwitting character assassins for them.  Many narcissists operate through a “God Complex” that is so arrogant that they consider themselves as living Gods, and more than that, they are a god that does not submit to any mere mortal.

St. Paul says: Disobedient to parents.

Psychology says: In the context of the Bible, the parent represents “authority”.  The narcissist does not bow to any authority; they see life in terms of self-entitlement in the pursuit of serving their own needs.  For that reason, their inner drive is not driven by community values, actually they sneer at them. They do not respect an authority which endeavors to constrain them and make them accountable for their actions; on the contrary, they prefer to live by their own flexible laws and rules of engagement where they are the “authority”.    They dedicate their waking time to the constant pursuit of acquiring their own personal authority, and this can be achieved by any means available to them: through their immediate family, the workplace, friends, collogues, peers etc.  Indeed any type of relationship that guarantees their flow of Narcissistic Supply will suffice, and in the procurement of their much needed supply, the narcissist will gladly misuse their authority in order to reach their goal.  Furthermore, the narcissist sees theirself as a guru, and therefore is inclined to encourage a personality cult following from all their relationships.  Then like all cult leaders, they demand total obedience and control over their dominion.

St. Paul says: Unthankful:

Psychology says: Because of their immense sense and expectation of superior entitlement, narcissists are ungrateful and unthankful for whatever they have been given in life.  Because they regard themselves as “special”, they seriously believe that they are entitled to have whatever they are given.  Generally, with such an exaggerated sense of self importance, their actual levels of achievements are not in accord with their fantasy.  Because the narcissist is addicted to excessive amounts of admiration, they come to expect preferential treatment when dealing with others.  In short, they live in a world of fantasy, a world in which they are brilliant, powerful and successful in every way imaginable.  They expect people to dance around then, so why should they be thankful for anything; actually, it is others who should be thankful to be in the service of such resplendence.  If one is silly enough to tell them that they are “ungrateful”, they will defend their right to their entitlement to the very end.  They will be outraged by your criticism, and they will insist on a full repayment from you before they will ever consider forgiving you, and if they don’t get it, they will hold a grudge on principle, their need for revenge will be high, and you are likely to be alienated.

St. Paul says: Unholy

Psychology says: The purpose of all human life is to become “Holy”, holy means to become “whole”.  When we are whole we are grounded in a sense of our True Self, and the interconnectedness with all that is sacred.  That interconnectedness is directed by the natural laws of love, wisdom, reverence and compassion, where we can be other centered.  Narcissists, on the other hand, are solitary beings who are grounded in a False Self that renders them addicted to their own self-centeredness.  Focused only on their own needs and wants, they become “unholy” predators cut off from all life (secular and sacred).  They are at the centre of their universe, with little or no moral code they become intent on violating everything in their sights in order to get their needs meet.  In doing so they have no consideration for any damage they cause to others.   It is such evil intent that becomes the dualistic opposite of good, rendering the narcissist unholy.

St. Paul says: Unloving

Psychology says: Ego Psychology uses the term “Narcissism” to describe someone who is self-centered, and in love with their own image (as in the myth of Narcissus).   Narcissists, by and large, grow up feeling unloved and abandoned.  Without experiencing the mirroring of love from another, they lack the ability to love others, or even themselves.  Freud spoke of “primary narcissism” as a necessary stage of infant development.  He theorized that before a child could love others, it must first learn to love itself.   A child devoid of love experiences intolerable painful feelings. In order to survive, they cut-off from these painful feelings and develop an idealized false-self mask that camouflages their suppressed inner feelings of being defective and unlovable.  Suspicious and fearful of their own disowned feelings, they then become suspicious of any displays of affection toward them.  They interpret these displays of feelings by others as a sign of weakness.  This weakness in others then becomes a tool for the narcissist to exploit and manipulate for self gain.  While cut off from their true feelings, they fail to develop true empathy for others.  As a result, any so called love relationship the narcissist develops lacks true warmth of affection for the other person; rather it is a relationship that is totally focused on the narcissist’s self gain and self worship.

St. Paul says: Unforgiving

Psychology says:   Due to their magical thinking, the narcissist False Self utterly believes that they are unique, omnipotent (all powerful), omniscient (all knowing), in short, perfect in every way.  Because they strive for perfection, they cannot face their own shortcomings without it triggering personal shame, and shame causes them to experience narcissistic injury (a threat to self-esteem and self-worth). Their response to narcissistic injury is to invariably fly into a narcissistic rage (Kohut), their rage is a direct reaction to a perceived slight, insult, criticism, or disagreement.  So anybody who dares to humiliate or reject them in any way (whether it be real or imagined) will not be forgiven, and the narcissist will develop an obsessive need for revenge against that person.  You may think that you are offering them constructive criticism in a manner that may be helpful to them, but this will not be decoded as being helpful to the narcissist, but rather as a threatening act against them.  When they feel threatened they feel like a caged animal, and this is sure to illicit an emotional volatile response from them.  In their effort to build their damaged ego and escape from their intolerable narcissistic injury, the narcissist takes flight into an escape plan that involves powerful destructiveness.  For such a transgression their escape plan involves punishing you, bringing you down and devaluing you without any mercy…….metaphorically “killing you off”, as it were.

St.Paul says: Slanderers

Psychology says: Narcissists build an inner shrine to themselves where they self-aggrandize to an extraordinary degree so that they can feel intrinsically superior to all others.  Of course, their highly inflated view of themselves is an illusory false-self (a pathological ego) that becomes the basis for all future misinterpretations of their reality.  Their feelings of being superior in everyway to everybody, becomes the source of much pain and envy for them when ever they feel outshined by anybody.

Pathological envy and jealousy is an integral part of narcissism (envy is a desire for what another person has, while jealousy is the fear that what something can be taken away).  Narcissists are envious of anything in others that they lack in themselves (i.e. beauty, possessions, knowledge, personal qualities, power, skills, achievements, qualifications, relationships, money etc.  Their envy consumes them, and the list of their covetousness (“I want, I want”) is endless.  Envy is a normal human feeling which can range from mild to severe, from healthy to unhealthy, from positive to negative.  For example, “healthy envy” has positive qualities.  Healthy envy acts as a valuable guide for your heart, leading you in the direction of what your soul requires, so in effect, the thing you desire acts as a mirror for personal growth. For example, if you envy the knowledge of your tutor in college, perhaps there is a part of your soul that yearns to become a teacher, or to be in a position where you can impart knowledge.  Healthy envy is empowering because it brings you nearer to your life’s goal.  Whereas, unhealthy envy is disempowering because it keeps you bound to a fantasy, making you blind to your own true nature.  Because the narcissist acts out of a False Self, they suffer from a twisted heart, leaving them at the mercy of their “unhealthy envy”, and envy that can trigger their feelings of vulnerability, shame and self-loathing at any moment.  Any of these feeling can result in narcissistic injury, to which the narcissist invariably react to with rage.  In order to rid themselves of such emotional turmoil and recover their equilibrium, the narcissist projects those intolerable feelings outward onto the person of their envy.   Once you become the object of the narcissists envy you are in serious trouble.  In order to improve their own self image they are likely to do a character assassination on you.  This is not innocent gossip, rather it is an intentional and premeditated smear campaigne of “projection and smearing” that is aimed at maligning you in order to tarnish your reputation and make them feel better about themselves.  Be warned, they are cold, ruthless, and self-serving, and by the way, they take no prisoners.

St. Paul says: Without self-control

Psychology says:  When we speak of the narcissist in relation to “control”, we find we are dealing with a paradox that is somewhat ironic.  In truth, most people would consider narcissists to be “control freaks”, when the fact is they are constantly under the threat of loosing self-control.  Due to some circumstance in their childhood, the narcissist would have experienced a loss of control that would have a devastating effect to their sense of self.  With a poor sense of self they are left feeling very unsafe in all areas of life.  The consequences of feeling so out of control, is that they as adults seek to dominate each and every interaction they have, whether it be with an individual or within a group, whether it be in the home, the workplace, or in social settings.  This need to control makes them feel powerful.  However, their power is not “power with”, but rather “power over”, and this becomes their springboard to verbal and emotional abuse in all their relationships.  For the narcissist, power and control go hand in hand.  Strangely enough, they see themselves as masters of power and control, however nothing is further from the truth.  In reality the narcissist uses acts of control as a major defense against ALL that appears hostile in their eyes.  Control is just one of their obsessive multi-addictions in an organized energy-system that they use to insulate their fragile ego from narcissistic injury, to counterbalance their mental peculiarity in their interpersonal connection with others, and to shield them from their constant feelings of inadequacy and worthlessness.

At first glance the narcissist appears to the unsuspecting onlooker as being full of self-control; they come across as charismatic, educated, confidant, charming, and sociable.  However whenever the narcissist shows an interest in someone, it is not as innocent as it first appears.  Because of their obsessive need for attention, the narcissist is on the constant lookout for the narcissistic supply that they crave.  They are really good at making themselves appear attractive to others, they are willing to invest a great deal of energy in the beginning of any relationship so that the person feels safe and secure with them.  What the unsuspecting victim does not realize is that they are being enticed to becoming a source of supply that the narcissist can control and manipulate.  When this is achieved, the narcissist feels empowered and in control of everything within their sphere of influence (i.e. the where, the when, the why etc).

St. Paul says: Despisers of good

Psychology says:  Most of mankind is motivated by self-interest, however most can exercise impulse control due to their personal core values.  Narcissists on the other hand appear to be disconnected from their personal feelings, therefore lacking a personal value system. This lacking of a value system leads also to a lack of integrity, empathy and a social conscience.  Operating from a primary impulse drive of self interest, they rationalize that morally wrong actions are justifiable where self glorification is the end goal.   Bankrupt of moral obligation, their grandiose sense of entitlement is free to conclude that the world owes them everything, and that rules that apply to everybody else do not apply to them.  They are lovers of good, but only when that good applies to them, because they are really true lovers of self.  They resent “do gooders” as they trigger their shame.  Of course they will deny this, even to themselves, as they boast that they are moral, and lovers of the common good.  Their evil behaviour is a direct result of their “lack of the good”, and they will have no moral conscious about lying about their so called compassionate, righteous and generous nature, all of which is a deceptive camouflage.

St. Paul says: Traitors

Psychology says: A traitor is one who betrays another’s trust.  So in what way does a narcissist betray trust? Narcissists are not interested in authentic relationships, that is why they betray people constantly.  However, they do need people to boost their fragile ego, that is why they are always on the look out for their narcissistic supply.  Once a narcissist identifies a person as their potential supply, they will be stalked as prey by their predator.  Once the hunt commences, then every trick at seduction will be engaged until the person is truly hooked.  Once a victim is hooked they are seen as fair game for total exploitation.  Phase one is called the initial “Idealization Stage”, the narcissist puts on their “best face” in order to mould their victim into a symbiotic relationship with them as their narcissistic supply.  If their potential prey is part of a group, they will target them in such a way until they manage to separate them from all protective friends.   For a while the narcissist will shower them with attention in their bid to glean all knowledge about them, their value system, their vulnerability, their interests, their needs and wants.  They will then feign those same common interests in such a way that the unsuspecting victim believes that they have found their soul-mate, someone who understands them fully.  The victim mistakes what is happening in the relationship as friendship, rather than being a victim who is being used to provide the narcissist with something that they lack.  When the narcissist has what they want, they will move into The Devaluation Stage: Almost overnight the narcissist becomes decisively cold and uncaring. The victim’s falls from grace is a hard one, they cannot seem to do anything right anymore; the narcissists loving words turn to criticism, everything the victim tries ends in a negative effect, and they find themselves devalued at every turn. Totally confused, the victim has no idea what is happening, and they become increasingly stressed, unhappy and depressed with the situation. The narcissist “gaslighting behaviour” has reached its peak, and they despise who their supply person has become (weak and worthlessly inferior).   Having been devoured, the victim’s utility is exhausted, and the game enters into The Discarding Phase: Once this happens, the narcissist ardor for the game has dampened, in their eyes they have already won the contest, and the fun is over and they go in for the kill without any remorse. By this time, the narcissist is totally indifferent to any needs or wishes that the victim may have, in effect they no longer exist in their mind. Not so for the victim, they are left confused and raw with emotion, and are eager to find solutions in order to “fix” the dying relationship.  It is this behaviour of setting out to find a victim to use, abuse, then annihilate that makes the narcissist such a traitor

St.Paul says: Headstrong    

Psychology says:  A person who is headstrong is one that is determined to have their own way, and often this is achieved through willfulness and obstinacy. Headstrong types are not easily restrained; they are ungovernable, obstinate and stubborn.  Narcissists are driven by this type of impulsiveness, even though they do their best to hide behind a facade that helps them to look like they have a self that is controlled and micro managed.  Truth is that their headstrong nature is neither controlled nor well managed.  The narcissist lives in their heads, and their headstrong attribute can be detected in their magnetic eyes, which can be seductive one minute (when they want to get their way), or a raging monster the next (when they feel thwarted in reaching their goal).  All narcissists have an inordinate fascination with themselves, and they expect this also of their narcissistic supply.  So any act of opposition against them, whether it is real or imagined, is likely to make them become violent, obstinate, ungovernable,  untractable, stubborn, unruly, and vengeful.

St.Paul says: haughty

Psychology says:  To be haughty means to act with blatant arrogance or disdainful pride. The narcissist displays all of these characteristics in that they consider themselves to be better, more superior than those around them. The haughty narcissist basically has an overall attitude that causes them to scorn others, to see them as inferior, by so doing they set themselves above everybody else.  This puts them at the centre of the Universe, with everything revolving around them. They have little or no concern for anybody else, preferring to live by their own rules.  It is such pride that often brings them down with the law.  Without humility of heart the narcissist has no proper perspective beyond himself.  Their haughtiness gives way to grandiosity, an overwhelming need for admiration and entitlement, impaired ability to have empathy towards others, and a lack of commitment to others.

  1. The bible is FULL of information about it! For more info: http://www.jw.org/en (also in many other languages). Romans chapter 1 for example.
    Psalm 10 is also a very interesting chapter: it explains the reason why they don’t obey god: they think they can get away with whatever they do. Verse 4 – In his haughtiness, the wicked man makes no investigation; All his thoughts are: “There is no God.”verse 7 – 11 His mouth is full of curses, lies, and threats;+
    Under his tongue are trouble and injury.+
    8 He waits in ambush near the settlements;
    From his hiding place he kills an innocent one.+
    ע [Ayin]
    His eyes are watching for an unfortunate victim.+
    9 He waits in his hiding place like a lion in its lair.*+
    He waits to seize the helpless one.
    He seizes the helpless one when he pulls his net shut.+
    10 The victim is crushed and brought down;
    The unfortunate ones fall into his clutches.*
    11 He says in his heart: “God has forgotten.+
    He has turned away his face.
    He never notices.”+

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  2. Jim Birkenbach

    I would like a hard copy of this topic..very informative.

    Thank You,
    Jim Birkenbach

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  3. I am a Christian and My father in law is a textbook narcissist. He has hated me for 8 years ever since I called him out in disrespecting his son (my husband). You can tell he hates me with a passion and only tolerates me to see his grandkids. We see him about once a month out of obligation. But he is still very rude to my husband when he sees he can’t control us. I called him out on it a few days ago and of course he blasted me. I just won’t allow this man (he’s in his 50’s) to demean his adult son any longer. My husband told me he just ignores it but that is why he gets away with treating people like crap all the time and I won’t put up with it anymore. I see what a toxic person he is and am constantly conflicted in how I should handle him. I keep reading about going “no contact” but that goes against “honoring your father and mother”. What should we do?

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  4. Thank you so much! I will be sure to look it up on kindle and read it.

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  5. Not all narcissist are men. I was with a narcissistic women for two years and gave up everything for her including almost my life. I am still trying to recover. I go back and forth between wanting revenge and wanting to see her hit bottom. I truly know I will never see either one. My last words to her was that I won’t let her kill me like she did her husband. Her husband committed suicide and I blame her because she kept stringing him along offering false hope during the time she was seeing me. We were together for 14 months before I found out the truth that she was still married. My advice to anyone who has doubts about the women they are seeing is to pay attention to your gut instinct it is usually right on.

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    • I’m right with you Henry, I was with an ex girlfriend for a a consistent 7 yrs or so. My situation varied due to the fact that we have a daughter who is now 8. First few years were fine, but I drove truck, still do, but locally the past 3 years. So with me being in and out a lot, I didn’t know or see a lot, but with general activity I had my suspicion s. After the 7 th year, we were on again off again. Everything just kept getting uglier, and she even got the kids involved. She had 2 others with different fathers. Anyway her oldest daughter who is 23 is basically her gate keeper. Her daughter is just as bad as the mom if not worse. I have wanted to get as far away as I could, but if I did our daughter would be in more brain washed trouble if I didn’t at least stay in the neighborhood. She s already been trying to manipulate the crap out of our daughter and that kills me every time. I’m still twisted around myself, trying to make things work for my daughter and myself trying to neutralize any nonsense that comes our way. The lying, manipulation, using. What Doesn’t Make It any better. I do believe in God and going to church. But just to empower that self ego, she goes to church also, she’s suddenly all about the church. She just uses that as a tool as empowerment of self entitlement. That’s apparently her new victim. And I only say that because I know how she truly works. Honesty that in itself is scary. Because she also has family courts believing her non sense.

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  6. I love this reading it is such great knowledge considering my experience in dealing with a mother and sister narcissism All I can say is thank you Jesus. This has really helped me and I will continue to study this in to learn more about my family’s history. I am writing a book about my experience in dealing with this behavior with my family. It has been a great challenge in my life. But with the. Lord by my side he will see me through. God bless. Sharlene

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    • Me TOO moment. I have that same dynamic and reading about it gives clarity. I want to understand and handle them appropriately while keeping my heart safe and balancing civility

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  7. Was die Entschließung angeht, über die wir abstimmen wollen, so enthält sie keine großen Neuigkeiten.

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  8. I think spiritual blindness plays into this as well. They can’t see themselves how they really are. I’m a mother of two under two and this article is the closest I’ve come across to what I’ve have been experiencing the last seven years. Since I recently had two children in the last two years it has gotten much worse. Unbearable. I believe the children took my focus off him to much. I’m in a hopeless situation and I don’t know how to help him.

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    • Angela, may I encourage you to immediately give him an ultimatum that requires him to commit to counseling and progress toward change? I have been married to a man I love for 23 years and have seen my children and myself deeply wounded by his behavior. I believe there is still hope for God to redeem his life and our marriage but I KNOW I should have stepped in many years ago when I saw him sinning and was too afraid to insist on change. Please do not give in to fear. If he is willing to let God work in his life your future is brighter, and if he is not willing, you and your precious children will be less hurt without him. I am not suggesting divorce, but that you insist on change or him leaving. I pray for your protection and that God would wrap you in his love and give you wisdom.

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  9. I have been on a 30 year journey through bi-polar disorder and a PTSD diagnosis that I spent twelve years denieing. Fortunately, I entered into counseling with a woman who never professed faith to me but who recognized that it was primarily my faith that had brought me to a higher level of healing than she customarily sees. She new what had me “stuck” and was preventing me from progressing further, but she was patient and simply “allowed me” to see it. I came to recognize and accept that my childhood trauma is what had caused total relational dysfuntion in my life; despite the fact that my relationship with Christ, first, and relationships with others is what I most valued.

    In the past, when reading the Bible, or anything for that matter, my mind has tended to apply the infirmation to others rather than myself. Praise God He revealed that to me and has turned it around; so that now I foucus on how what I’m reading can help me transform further into that wich He created me to be. At the same time, my compassion for others has been greatly strengthened, ESPECIALLY for the narcissistic people in my life.
    Most if this article showed me how much I really have changed. 30 years ago, most of these descriptions would have applied to me in one way or another. But what I am most greatful for is the revelation that I still need some sculpting, I am still very “headstrong”. The revelation gives me a new area to change through the power, love and mercy of Jesus Christ, this too will be a part of my past, for the glory and honor of HIS name.

    Thank you

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  10. The freedom from him, felt much better than the time spent with him.It was no comparison.

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  11. Thank you so much for posting this article. There is a huge void within the church (as a whole) regarding teaching about people like this. In my experience, most counselors or pastors that are counseling individuals and couples don’t know enough about this type of abuse. I was raised by a Narc/ BPD stepfather and there was NEVER anyone that my mom could confide in, that would give her the correct biblical counsel regarding her abusive marriage. It seems that there is always the belief that forgiveness and reconciliation is the goal. You can forgive but you cannot reconcile with these people because its all a game to them. I currently have a Narc in my life on my husband’s side who is without remorse, empathy, concern etc for anyone but herself, including her small children. I have pretty much walked away from my church because the biblical counselors don’t understand what this is like, and continue to teach reconciliation. After being raised for 16 yrs by someone like this, i know its impossible to fix. I have also watched a good friend be “sidelined” by the church when she discovered that she was married to a Narc. He’s very charming and very convincing, and he had the pastoral staff fooled. The pastors called my girlfriend to try to help reconcile their marriage, although after a while she was POSITIVE it couldn’t be saved. Because Narc hubby was saying all the right things, the church treated her like she abandoned her marriage and that she was the one who destroyed her family. Its very sad, and it hurts so much to be destroyed first by these Narcs, then destroyed again when you realize you have no one left, even your church family.

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  12. Thank you for posting this. I believe that there is considerable misunderstanding within the church regarding these personality types. Most churches will teach forgiveness and reconciliation in all circumstances. What is not well understood is that these people will “play along” with your attempt to forgive and reconcile if it makes them look good, but their hearts are without the ability or desire to see lasting change. They LIKE the relationship in all it’s turmoil. I’ve sort of stepped back from my church due to this exact situation, and feeling like I’m the bad guy because I refuse to “kiss and makeup” with an abusive family member in my husbands side. I was raised by a person just like this so I know what comes next. There is no true reconciling. I wish more pastors and church counselors were more aware of this. I also watched my friend be sort of sidelined by our church because her husband was a full blown charismatic “Christian” man who was fully fooling the men who were counseling him. He said all the right things and the pastoral staff was calling my girl friend to help them “reconcile” their marriage. She KNEW what she was dealing with at home and the church treated her like she abandoned her husband. It was quite painful for her.

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  13. My 23 yr old daughter is dating someone like this…he has no job and he deals in drugs and likes the flashy cars and nice clothes but yet he still lives at his parents. He has been in a prior relationship and has a six yr old son. He constantly cheats on my daughter with his baby momma and even when he gets caught, he finds a way to wiggle out of it and somehow finds fault in my daughter. He always seems to turn it around to make it her fault. When I finally get her to get away and go out with her old friends, he gets mad and seems to somehow control her as if she was toatlly under her control. Then she starts truely believing she did wrong and runs back to him. He enjoys keeping her isolated from her friends and her family and don’t even trust her to go to the store. Its awful…and I don’t know how to save her. We all see what is happening and yet she won’t listen. She has told me and her friends that she don’t love him and can’t picture marring this guy, so all I do is pray. I’m so ready for this nitemare to end and for her to get ahold of her life and see this jerk for what he really is. Any bit of advice would really be helpful to me. I’m her mother and love her more than life itself and I hate seeing her so controlled. Thanks.

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  14. Cynthia, get out now, I foolishly lived with this man for 23 years, he became ill the last 7 years of our marriage, I stayed with him so he would have insurance and someone to take care of him. after a liver transplant he is now well and turned into a monster. ”Anything that he thought I liked I was prevented from doing, I would pray every night for God to just let me die, because I didn’t want to live like this…..My now ex. got a P.O.box so I knew something was going on. One day I went out to get the mail which I usually didn.t do. I opened the letter to my ex that he was approved for a concealed weapon permit .I know that this was God letting me know he has purchased a handgun. he kicked me out of our house (lied and got a restraining order) thankfully the judge saw him for the liar he is and dropped it. he sold gave away most of my things, kept things that meant a lot to me. He did his best to destroy me, old friends of ours will no longer talk to me because of his lies. We lost the house, when he moved out a Friend told me there was a bullet hole from his bedroom into my bedroom mattress high. I remember one night after he bought the gun he came into my room and woke me up saying he had a dream that I died. My divorce was final 2 months ago, I lost a lot but, gained my freedom and most important peace.I thank God for that..God doesn’t want you to live like this and it will only get worse. Before you do please research divorcing a Narcissist, he will much worse if he thinks you want to leave…anything that means anything to you, give to a friend or family member to keep for you. Be strong, be careful. May God bless you and keep you.

    Blind but now I see.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Most of us have an element of this. We need to look at ourselves honestly and hard. We will see what needs to change in us….the only person in our lives that we can change.

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  16. After 11 years of pure hell…and all forms of abuse directed at me during that time, i left. I was very determined, tl leave him…and to never allow that to happen again. I had to ask my Lord, to give me a way out. he answered my prayer, literally…the following day. My situation, was very violent and could have easily ended with my getting killed. I asked my lord, to protect me, while…he provided me with a way out of there….and he did just that. I also prayed for the strength, not to ever be weak enough, to go back to him..or allow myself to fall for his manipulating ways again. I asked for strength in moving forward, with a life..no longer abused. I was on my knees, in my sisters house, the next night..free, finally free!! the good Lord had provided me with all my needs…and stayed with me the entire time. he has been with me since then, showing me…that it was not my doings, not my behavior, that was wrong…even though i was always the one being blamed for everything. i cannot express to you enough, the thanks I had for my lord, for literally saving me from that situation. It was a few days later, i get a phone call. it was from a priest…who was telling me, that i should go back to my husband. he had convinced the priest, that i was the one who done wrong, was to blame…and he was the victim in all of that. he denied, shifted the blame..and made excuses yet again, for his behavior. i was appauled at the preist, he even offered to come give me a ride back, to my abusive husbands arms.I quickly let him know, that was not an option for me anylonger. I was finsihed, done..it was over! i tried to make him see things my way, he refused to. So, i cut it off, the conversation..and ended it. i let him know, hie efforts were useless and not to try it again. i told him that my Lord had got me outta there, set me on the road to freedom and peace. That, if he was a man of God, he would leave peace and freedom alone, but especially the Lords will.I went for no contact, was succesful at it. He died 12 years later, a very miserble, hate filled..never been happy in his life..person. Never taken resposnisbility for his behavior…only escaped from it.And died with his supporters, right there with him. However, not one friend was there, or at his funeral. The ONLy people who he allowed in his life, were those who enabled his behavior. Trust me, it was just a few family members..who allowed his behavior to continue like it did, without holding him responsibile for his behavior. Nobody could be a friend to that, that was unexceptable as far as building any type of relationship with. He always blamed others, for his misery, problems..never was anything his fault. He was after all, a god himself…by his own creation.

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  17. Queen Goldie

    God has called us to be a peace, he said that he did not give you the spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind…. God said that he will not put on you what you can not bear, he will always make away of an escape for you,,,
    I do understand all that you have encounter with that man… the beautiful part of it, is that God keeps revealing and exposing his prideful ways, and making it seems that’;s impossible for us to actually have true love by a GOD FEARING CHRISTIAN MAN, WHO IS SOLD OUT FOR CHRIST.
    I just thank GOD as well, even though that I am a minister of the gospel, it was love that blind me from seeing it earlier, and even when I have seen the manifestation of his prideful, self righteous, lying, lustful ways, I went ahead and marry him, because of his ways, that seems do loving, and gentle, and kind, and knowing that I am a minister that he will line up, because he quoted scriptures, knew alot about ministries, church ways etc, but that;s when God revealed to me, not only was I was dealing with a prideful, self-righteous, but a strong religious spirit, that’s likes to challenge you, but if you do not know the word or have that personal relationship with the heavenly Father, I would have fail into believing he is a true christian, but the word says that you will know them by the fruit they bear…
    To encourage, just repent and ask God to forgive you for falling prey to the prepatrator, and God allow to heal you and deliver you from him.. So that you will be prepare to meet the TRUE MAN OF GOD THAT IS SOLD OUT IN CHRIST, That’s what I am standing in the need of prayer to be DELIVER FROM A MAN THAT I MARRIED WHO IS NOT MY GOD SENT HUSBAND, AND I REALLY THOUGHT HE WAS, BECAUSE I WAITED FOR OVER 15 YEARS AND I MYSELF FAIL PREY, BUT GLORY TO GOD,,, HE SPECIALIZES IN DELIVERANCE AND HEALING AND AS WE BEING HIS DAUGHTERS, HE JUST WANT US TO LET GO AND LET GOD,…
    i got marry March 28, 2015, and seeking to be deliver from him,,, the verbal abusive harsh words, emotional abuse, yet he calls his self a christian, but all the characteristics of what was mention above is alllllllllllllllllllllllll himmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.. Dr. jackel and mr, hyde.
    MAY GOD RICHLY BLESS YOU AS YOU ARE IN YOUR TRANSITION OF MOVING ON AND BEING FREE,,,,
    NO LONGER A VICTIM BUT VICTORIOUS IN CHRIST JESUS OUR LORD, FOR GREATER IS HE THAT IS IN US, THEN HE THAT IS IN THE WORLD, AND WE CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH WHICH STRENGTHEN US… AMEN AMEN, AND AMEN

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  18. I too experience the same feelings as Cynthia. Although my relationship was only for 3 months, this person turned out to fit a narcissistic psychopath to a T. I had not been in a relationship for 15 years. Then he came along. I kept questioning myself, “WHY DOES THIS GUY LIKE ME SO MUCH”. he made me believe we had a future life together. . He professed his love for me so deeply. The breakup happened literally overnight. I was suicidal feeling i would never achieve this kind of love again. A week later, i made a list of all the things that i thought were so wonderful. Then i researched what a narcissistic personality was. It actually scared me to think there were actually people in this world who could inflict so much damage on another, and feel good about it. I know he will never feel any kind of emotions toward anyone, and he will continue this behavior. I felt justified in getting the last word to him thtu an email, stating, “you will go from woman to woman and they will all find out what an narcissisticpsychopath who will end up alone, and you are not capable of having empathy for anyone,nincluding yourself. Just a shell of a person, no feelings.

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  19. I married my husband a year ago. He said and did all the right things, which allowed me to believe he was the “one”. A month later, my whole world was shattered. He did a complete 180 and life for me has been a living nightmare. I have searched and searched for Godly advice as to how to handle my situation. Two months ago I began studying as much as I could find about narcissism and found that he fits the criteria to a T. About two weeks ago, I believe the Lord layed this very scripture on my heart. I heard it but it didn’t completely penetrate. Then about four days ago, there it was again! Big and bold. I did a quick search this morning and this was the first article I saw. It was very informative, as it is based on scripture. My question is this, the secular world says to go no contact. Leave and never look back. But in my daily struggles to hear from my Father, I’m either too consumed with all the pain and confusion, or He has not given me an answer. Someone please pray that He will speak through you and help me! I am desperate! I am so very unhappy and my life is in turmoil! Thank you in advance….

    Cynthia

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    • Hello Cynthia , I am a 5 yr survivor of a narcissistic marriage that turned from honeymoon to nightmare within the first few weeks of marriage. My whole world crumbled right before my eyes. I had seen so many red flags during the idealization phase but my love for him was so strong I guess I didn’t want to see them. But they were there!!
      Within the first 6 months of marriage I had to call the police for assault charges against him. This was so foreign to anything I had ever experienced in my entire life. In a previous career before I had met him he worked in Corrections/prison officer and through that he knew exactly how to manipulate the situation when the police arrived. Long story short, no charges were laid and I left. Although this incident should have been a wake up call, my heart overruled my judgement. After a year apart I wanted him back and to work on the marriage. I convinced myself he just had a bad day and didn’t mean to hurt me.
      He had me right where he wanted me and took me back with open arms.

      Initially I was idealized just like when we first met. I was so happy and in love. However that phase didn’t last very long before the devaluing stage started. What I didn’t know was he was telling our friends and family behind my back many twisted versions of what had happened the previous year and obviously because I wanted him back , I was the one with issues and he was going to help me through them because he loved me and wanted the marriage to work. It was so important to him.

      Looking back now I see exactly what he was doing. His plan was to control me so that I was totally submissive to his needs. And at the same time the outside world would believe he was the stable honourable man and I was the unstable one. He had his stage perfectly set unbeknownst to me.

      It was a living hell and I felt I had less and less support as time went by.
      The ending was nasty and to this day I, with all my heart, believe my Lord got me out. As excruciatingly painful as it was I also believe it was a blessing from God that I had to experience this as it brought me to a place of realization that I was not honouring the person God had made me. God was opening my eyes to save me. Those valleys you don’t understand til you get through them to the other side

      May I suggest that if you are experiencing ANY signs of narcissism in your marriage whether it be as soon as the first month, DO NOT second guess your instincts EVER!
      They are as accurate as you can get. No one deserves to have this evil inflicted on them and God tells us to turn away from them.

      I will pray you make the right choice and that God keeps you safe.

      Marianne

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    • Cynthia, first I want to say GOD BLESS YOU and I am sending many prayers your way. When I was going through a similar situation, I came across this book. It really helped clarify what direction I needed to go. Please borrow it from your library or buy it because it is worth every penny!

      Write It Down, Make It Happen: Knowing what you want and getting it.

      By Henriette Anne Klauser.

      P.S. This website is awesome! I like all the sayings on the right side of the page. Very inspiring. I will be putting them on my bathroom mirror, refrigerator, etc to remind me of what good things await me in the future.

      Healing and Peace to you. God bless.

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  20. This is so amazingly describing what my daughters inlaws have done and are doing to us both. My daughter has 2 sons with thier son and yet has he done anything to fight for his family being either afraid to let his parents down if he does not do as he is advised. They seem to have this protection or very controlling affect on both their son and my daughter and my grandsons. They have done so much against me, they have turned the things they have done toward me and blaming me for reacting in my defense against what they have done and do. My daughter lost her baby girl do to the munipulating and guilt their son has put on my daughter for the things hes done. They make it all her fault , my fault and now they have her as to dispise me hate me with the most hateful ways of being…I am and have done all i can to be there for them both and yet are so hateful and disrespectctful towards me , My daughter almost lost her life after losing baby November 2014, and they acted as if i was at fault for it , i am her mother how can these people treat me and lie doing what they do to us both…I am in state of mind that i want to give up and let it all go because they have somehow in my daughters mind to call me and see me as the cause of all of that has happened ,I dont know where to begin to help myself nor my daughter or her family. But i need help restoring myself to what they do and have done to my life and my daughters, and gbabies. .. i am in disbelief people if such exist. Why ? What can i do? I am being pulled from my grandsons now that they can speak and see to understsnd thier ways of needing to be who they are in their lives, ive had them most of the time till now , and its hurting us but thry dont see it , they think i am putting things in their head or something all because they cry for me or ask for me and i cant see them as i used too,WHAT CAN I DO ? They are killing my daughter physically mentally emotionally… Thank you for posting it has given me relief to know im not crazy and to they way it fits their every step in our lives. Thank you.

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    • Eventually she will open her eyes. Eventually she will need you. I am ashamed to say I allowed my ex to turn me against my family. But they were there for me when I needed them anyway.

      Like

  21. Omg you know Merritt? Wow

    Like

  1. Pingback: After the Abuse | Shannon Vaut

  2. Pingback: A Biblical View on Narcisstic Personality Disorder | Diary of a mad white woman

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