Narcissism and Legalism?

It’s Narcissist Friday!

(This blog will be offline for a couple of weeks while I travel.  Please enjoy these posts from the archives.  Feel free to comment or ask questions.  I will be able to respond when I return.)


What is the connection between narcissism and legalism?  Why would you bring the two together?

I noticed that several of the people I worked with exhibited aspects of narcissism, some severely.  Narcissism is a broken self-image, a hatred of self that is manifested as an inability to value or understand others.  Many people think that narcissism is self-love, but it is really only the love of the image of self that is put before others.  The real self is an object of rejection and hate.  Narcissists can seem to be very loving, but the person loved often feels used or devalued in the process.

Obviously, I can’t put the whole concept of narcissism in a paragraph or two, but it may be something you would find value in studying.  The primary way of dealing with someone who has narcissistic tendencies is to realize that you are not going to be the one who causes the person to change and to be able to see yourself separately from that person.  You have to maintain your own healthy idea of self in spite of everything that is said or done.  You can do that as you understand your own value and identity in Christ.



Filed under Legalism, Narcissism, Uncategorized

4 responses to “Narcissism and Legalism?

  1. Lori

    I remember you talking to me about the link between narcissism and legalists a few years ago and I remember chuckling to myself because, while I had never put the two together myself, the concept fit the situation so beautifully. I am very interested in hearing more of your thoughts on this. I am no longer in the situation that we were in several years ago, as we have found a new church home, but I still am interested in talking about this. My husband is now in Seminary and will be going into the ministry full-time at some point in the future, and we both feel that God has used the situation from the past to draw my husband to the ministry. God has placed a passion in both our hearts for people who are caught up in legalism and to help them find their way out. Thanks for all you do and how kindly you speak to others about a tough subject. Your spirit in your words reflects the Holy Spirit!
    In His Unfailing Grace,

    • Hi Lori!

      So good to hear from you.

      I wrote this to someone a couple of days ago:

      “Here’s what a real narcissist looks like: he is very quick to become angry, especially with those under his control, and his anger is often unreasonable; he drains the energy out of those around him to feed his need for feeling superior; he jumps from relationship to relationship (often married several times), quickly abandoning the old love of one to receive the new love of another; he is obsessive in unusual ways, most often in areas where he controls the behavior or work of others; he deserves such words as mean, distant, cruel, heartless, insincere, inhuman, and most good people eventually consider him to be a jerk.”

      Other than the promiscuity, doesn’t this sound familiar? I know that narcissism is a clinical diagnosis, but certainly we can say that the legalists you and I have encountered are narcissistic. I will write something more about this soon.


  2. Pingback: 2010 in review | Grace for my Heart

  3. I want to know more about this, too 😉

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