Yes, I think it is possible for a narcissist to be saved. Here’s why: First, I have come to see narcissism as a continuum. Some are more narcissistic than others; some exhibit more of one characteristic and less of another; some may actually become more narcissistic in certain situations. So the person you and I might point toward as an example of narcissism may simply be at some point on the continuum, a point that particularly affects us. I am not suggesting that a “diagnosis” of narcissism is arbitrary, but it does seem to be true that different people see a narcissist differently.
I wouldn’t presume to be able to decide at what point a person no longer has the ability to see his or her need for a Savior. It would be difficult to find a more extreme example of narcissism than Ted Bundy, the serial murderer. Yet, Dr. James Dobson believed that Bundy responded to the gospel and opened his heart to the Lord. It is hard for me to believe, but I know that the love of Christ is available to all, no matter what the sins have been, and that love is sufficient for all. Could Ted Bundy have understood that his own life was about to end and that he could no longer hide from the truth? Could he have finally admitted that he needed forgiveness and life? No matter how unlikely it seems, I suppose it is possible.
Many believers relate how the Lord took them to a place of brokenness, a place where they finally understood that life didn’t work their way. That brokenness can range from a simply overwhelming sense of need to the actual loss of almost everything a person believed was important. The flesh, which is the system that we create to control life and make it safe for ourselves, stands against the Spirit of God. When the futility of the flesh becomes so obvious, the heart becomes open finally to the Spirit. Even if the flesh pattern is what we have called narcissism, this process is possible.
You are certainly right to ask the question, however. The very definition of narcissism includes the unwillingness to allow that brokenness. Lack of control, weakness, acceptance of failure—these are the things the narcissist avoids at almost any cost. It seems like it would be most difficult for a person like this to repent, but maybe those are the places where the love of God is strongest.
The second reason I think a narcissist could be saved is because of the definition of repentance. Watch for it here tomorrow!