It’s Narcissist Friday!
Each Friday I write something about narcissists. Usually it is something that will encourage those who have to deal with narcissists, either to help them understand what is happening or to help them learn ways to cope or even move on. Because of the nature of this day on the Christian calendar, I want to take a different tack. Let me tell you about someone as far from narcissistic as I can imagine.
He left the comfort and privilege of his life for the purpose of revealing his true heart. Nothing of his grandeur and majesty was invented or fictitious. He lived in the highest place and deserved the greatest honors. No one was like him; no one greater than he. And he left it all to come to us.
He assumed the lowest place, a common person among common people. Vulnerable, weak, racked with limitations he had never known, he grew among those whose lives were full of struggle and need. They did not recognize his greatness, nor did he want them to. He did not hide, but he did not promote himself. He came because he loved them and he wanted them to know him.
As a man, he walked among the people in the simplest of ways, demanding nothing. He owned nothing and demanded nothing of those who were with him. People who listened to him were impressed by his authority and gentle heart. They knew that he understood their lives and truly cared. He prayed for them and healed them, but he asked them not to tell others because he didn’t want attention. He cared for the children, the outcast, the grieving, the dying, the sinful, and the broken. He fed the hungry, touched the untouchable, and spent time with those who were rejected by others.
Although he refused to play the political and psychological games that would bring him to prominence among the people, they still flocked to him. He could have been a great leader. He could have held worldly position and honor, but he kept his focus on the people and their need. In humility he ministered to each who came to him. They had nothing to add to him, nothing he could use to make himself greater, but he loved them.
And he knew their hearts. He knew they would use him. He knew they came for the food and the show. He knew that their loyalty would not last and they would turn against him. But he did not condemn them for their fickle hearts. He understood and loved them.
He did not curry favor with leaders or compromise his values for his safety. Not everyone was his friend. There were some who hated him, who feared him. But he did not fear them or hate them in return. He came for them, too.
Then the day came when it seemed like they all turned against him. Those who hated him came to judge him and kill him. And, though he could have destroyed them with a word, he permitted no one to stand against them. He even reached out in kindness toward his captors. He went with them willingly because he knew his time of sacrifice had come.
When they falsely accused him, he did not rightly accuse them, though he knew the truth of their lives and hearts. When they hit him, he did not shout against them. When they whipped him, he did not cry out vengeance on them. When they spat on him, he did not hate them. And when they nailed him to the cross, he forgave them.
They mocked him and taunted him as he died, but he loved them to the end. He gave his life for those who rejected him. He died for those who hated him. He died as a criminal, though he had done nothing wrong. He did not defend himself against the lies. He died as a poor man and almost alone. The followers and lovers had almost all abandoned him. But he still loved them.
Then, on the third day, he rose from the dead by his own power and authority, showing the world the truth about himself. And still they rejected him. But still he loved them. He offers them, even today, the life they need. No matter what they have done against him and the others he loves, he offers to forgive them and receive them and give them life.
Today there are still those who mock him and taunt him and seek to hurt him. They still reject him and hate him. But he still loves them and opens his arms and his heart to them.
This is not narcissism.
This is LOVE.
Have a “good” Friday!