Understanding Narcissism in the Bible

Narcissism is a personality disorder that has been identified since the 19th century. It is characterized by an excessive interest or admiration for oneself and one's physical appearance. Narcissists often believe that they are God's chosen ones and that they have a free pass to aggressively attack their enemies. But what does the Bible say about narcissism and narcissistic personalities?Let's analyze this point by point to understand narcissism at its core.

Self-absorbed people will look in the mirror and admire their outer beauty; they will fall in love with themselves. They think that they are more special than others or that they should get special treatment. They may spend excessive amounts of time and money on their appearance to continue receiving this treatment. They fantasize about having everything they want in life without restrictions or having to work for it.

Along with their love for themselves, there is their love for money. Having money or the appearance of having money makes up for anything they lack in their physical appearance and character. They can convince people that they are successful and even that they are friendly because of their ability to buy large, expensive items or donate to impress. This appearance of wealth makes them feel admiration. They think that others envy them, while they secretly envy people who have more money, power, or success than them. Narcissism can cause a person to be abusive and cruel.

They are often controlling and expect to have all the power in any relationship; the reasons behind emotional and physical abuse. They lack empathy for the way they may be treating another person or what that person may be going through because they are so consumed with themselves. When they don't get away with it, they believe they have the right to punish the person for standing in the way. They also don't like to be reported for their bad behavior, so they'll be enraged when they face the truth about themselves. While children are young and need to cover 100% of their needs, parents can become God-like people in the lives of their children.

And as the child grows, parents teach him to obey the loving authority that is over them, which is God. Someone with narcissistic traits doesn't want to respect anyone in authority and certainly doesn't want to listen to wisdom. They want to do exactly what they were told not to do, out of rebellion. And they believe that they have the right to go against all authority because they are the ultimate authority over their own lives; they believe that they are a god. People with narcissism aren't thankful, or even happy with what they have.

They need more to be happy; and then, even more to stay happy. Many times, if they don't get what they want, they will find a way to manipulate or take what doesn't belong to them. They enjoy and gravitate towards passive and forgiving people, which is why they hide well in an ecclesiastical environment. But they cannot forgive even minor offenses, especially those of those closest to them. They keep a complete list of the mistakes that others have made to them, as if it were ammunition to get back at that person one day. When faced with their misconduct or sin, they will reject any harm done to them, no matter how big or small or how long it has occurred.

Grace and mercy are expected, but not given to others. They lean toward the desires of the flesh instead of having self-control or living within the will of God for their lives. It is interesting to note that Dr. Näcke, who described narcissism in the late 19th century, initially only referred to humans who treated their bodies as a sexual object in his writing. All other pathological features of self-absorption were added later. But what does the Bible say about narcissism, and what do Christians learn from the Scriptures to prevent the sin of pride, vanity, and narcissism from dominating our lives? Essentially, the Bible affirms that everything bad in this world is due to human sin and everything good in this world is due to the grace of God. Although the Bible may not mention narcissism by name, other sins of a similar nature and weight are often condemned.

Because they feel set apart and chosen in an unbiblical way, they feel free to harm people outside their cult or racial group. Given the tendency of most narcissists to love, admire, and even idolize themselves, narcissism clearly aligns with the biblical description of haughtiness.

Reginald Thomson
Reginald Thomson

Reverend Thomson is a pastor and Bible scholar with over 10 years of experience in ministry and biblical studies. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Religious Studies, a Master of Divinity degree. As a Bible scholar, Rev Thomson has published numerous articles and books on various topics in biblical studies, including hermeneutics, exegesis, and biblical theology. He is widely respected for his expertise in the original languages of the Bible, and he is frequently invited to speak at conferences and seminars on biblical scholarship. He loves working with his church youth group. He is a frequent guest on the Scripture for Todaypodcast.

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