Narcissism and God’s Love
Before there was a name for it, God wrote about it. Narcissism. It’s quite the problem in our world today. In no way do I pretend to know all there is to know about narcissism, but I do have a few observations. The most important one is that God has this covered.
“Treatment for narcissistic personality disorder can be challenging because people with this condition present a great deal of grandiosity and defensiveness, which makes it difficult for them to acknowledge problems and vulnerabilities.” Read more.
“The narcissist makes excuses and refuses to take responsibility for his/her flaws and failures.” Read more. They are great at shifting blame to others. It can be difficult to help someone who is narcissistic, because they can’t admit they have a problem and need help. In their mind, it’s always someone else’s fault.
“In their own eyes they flatter themselves too much to detect or hate their sin” (Psalm 36:2). That sounds like narcissism to me. “In their own eyes” means in his own estimation. In other words, it is perception and not reality that prevents this wicked person (as described in verse one) from hating his sin. But that’s not the end of the story in Psalm 36.
“Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the highest mountains, your justice like the great deep” (vs. 5-6). These word pictures illustrate the extent of God’s love for His people (Romans 8:35-39) and the fact there is no place and no one beyond His reach (Psalm 139:7-12).
Man says it is extremely difficult to help someone with narcissistic personality disorder. “Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible’” (Matthew 19:26). Nevertheless, we know sin separates us from God (Isaiah 59:2). We also know that God’s forgiveness is contingent on the individual humbling himself before God, acknowledging and repenting of sin. The narcissist can find this very difficult to truly achieve. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9 KJV).
Do you know someone with narcissism? Pray. It is not hopeless. Our hope is in the truth of God’s Word, Jesus Christ, and the cleansing power of his shed blood. When Jesus died on the cross, the veil in the temple was ripped in two (Mark 15:38), thus shattering every barrier than separates us from God.