Bait And Switch

It’s Narcissist Friday!   

 

I just had the pleasure of listening to a song entitled “Love is Here,” by Tenth Avenue North. Great lyrics!

“Come to the water, you who thirst, and you’ll thirst no more. Come to the Father, you who work, and you’ll work no more.”

This is the message of the gospel of Jesus. This is the life-fulfilling promise we have to share.

But, as I listened, I realized that so many who try to come to that water in their thirst find only more dryness; and so many who come to the Father to lay aside their works are given more work to do. This is the perversion of the gospel by the legalist churches. They promise one thing but give another.

And it struck me again how much legalism and narcissism are linked. You get into the relationship because you think there is love and acceptance, only to find that you are abused again. You trust because of the kind words and tender promises, but those words prove to be lies.

When I meet people who have been convinced that the God who loves them only loves them when they perform a certain way or amount, I get angry. I know they came to the church, to the Christian faith, because of hope and found a greater burden.

And when I meet people who have been abused by narcissists, I feel much the same. They came expecting rest and peace in a good relationship and found pain and fear. Whether it is in marriage, at work, or in a family, narcissism promises one thing and delivers another.

In the world, that’s called the “bait and switch.” You might see it at the car lot. One car is advertised but really isn’t available. Then you are taken to the real car covered by the special sale. When you read the fine print it doesn’t actually say that the first car was for sale. It was just a trick to get you onto the lot.

The real problem with the bait and switch is that it breaks trust. I have stores I will never go to again because they have baited me too many times. It took a while, but I learned. Not only will I not return to those stores, I will also be a lot more wary when I read the ads of others.

In the same way, some people have given up on the Christian faith altogether because they found greater burdens and less love than they had in the world. They lost their trust in the truth because of the lie.

And, in the same way, some find it very hard to trust any person because of the abuse suffered from the narcissist. Dating again, finding a new church, trusting co-workers: these are so hard after the narcissist.

All I can say is that the truth is only covered by the lie, not destroyed. The love of God is real. The message of hope is true. There are people who are kind and caring and accepting. The real deal is out there. Please, even while you doubt and try to protect yourself, seek the truth.

“Love is here: Love is now; Love is pouring from His hands, from His brow. Love is near; it satisfies; streams of mercy flowing from His side.”

Don’t give up!

21 Comments

Filed under Narcissism

21 responses to “Bait And Switch

  1. Janet

    Thank you so much for this!!! Its so true. I feel damaged for life. I have told the Lord that I feel like I will never fully recover. But what you say here, Pastor, brings to rememberence just the unfathomable sweetness and liberty of the Love we have been given by the Father through Jesus and is available to us every single day!

  2. grace551

    Thank you, Pastor Dave. This is timely for me.

  3. Mary C

    You nailed it. The guilt of not attending church is something that I still struggle with. At church it appeared they saw me as more of a problem than it was worth. But I could help in child care. Right? I had 5 children at home. What I needed was a full time job and help with rent. I have heard that song also and believe that the words are true. Jesus does love and care for me, just not in the (legalistic) church.

  4. onmyway

    I feel the same!! I just separated from my narcissist husband…but now he is doing all the right things…being kind, reasonable, caring…apologizing…and it is confusing me all over again?! But I feel the same way…I so trusted him at first to love and protect me…he knew my weaknesses and I thought I could trust him….I went from being too trusting to now..well, I have a hard time trusting anyone…

    • Postbellum

      Dear on my way,

      I strongly encourage you to resist anything you suspect are manipulations of your husband. I experienced something similar last February when I left him. He got on knees, begged, pleaded, and manufactured tears. I told him if his remorse was “real” this time, it would be followed by actions and change. He said he would do ANYTHING so as to not break up our family (4kids). He told me just to name it. I said he could start with coming clean to the church, where he had lied, played the victim, and assasinated my character behind my back. Next, I ask he would do the same with our families. Then I said he needed to stop abusing me and children, and get serious help. He never made even a single, small effort. There. I had my answer! Even though I wanted to stop divorce and reconcile, I knew it was a sham. He had no intention of doing right by his family. All the tears were just to get me to return to the hellish madness. Please proceed with caution. Do not, do not, be guided by your emotions. If he is sincere, you will see CONSISTENT change over time, but you have to give it time, watch and wait. Be informed by your logical thinking. Emotions get in the way of making good decisions in these matters. Check out this site: outofthefog.com. -It is helpful. Take care!

      • Onmyway

        Postbellum
        Thank you!!!

        I pleaded with him to get help before I left but he refused.. but now that I left he is seeing a counselor!!

        But you are right! Only time will tell.. thank you. I personally don’t know if I have the strength though to see this through.., from what I know real change is slow and painful..if there is any real change at all.. I pray for patience, strength and wisdom as I wait.

  5. Patty Ferguson

    Thank you for pointing us to grace. The Lord continues to speak truth to me after leaving a “bait and switch” marriage that lasted 25 years. Because Jesus is the real deal, I am free and full of joy!

  6. Becoming a Better Me!

    Thank you Pastor Dave! Another great post!

    I am realizing that I need to stop acting like a spoiled rotten baby expecting my NARC husband to be something he can not be. He is prideful, stubborn, obstinate, hurtful, non empathetic, and believes he is a Christian, even though he calls me a zealot. There are no perfect people, me included. I am not to judge, but sometimes the pain I feel crushes my spirit. Have been praying for guidance and realized that sometimes we don’t get an easy life…. Jesus has been thru everything I have been going thru, I just need to KEEP MY FOCUS ON MY RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS. Jesus is all I have in this marriage that I can truly count on. He loves and appreciates everything about me. This is what keeps me going, he is my LORD. This frees my mind and my soul to be able to function and do all things thru Christ. Everything thing I do I consider to be my act of worship to my LORD, this makes it less of a burden. I love the Yoke of Jesus. Living with Saul and walking through the valley of the shadow of death is intense, but Jesus is my PEACE and my comforter.

    I never in a million years would have believed when I was a kid growing up in a dysfunctional home that I would know Jesus the way I do now. I believe there is a song out there that says…. What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.

    May we all find our strength with Jesus on our Journey’s. Hugs

  7. Irene

    Wow! This is so true. After growing up with a narcissistic dad, our daughters are in their 20s– one rejected Christianity and one became a legalist.

    Becoming a Better Me, go for it as long as he doesn’t use spiritual abuse to tear you down. I tried what you are saying, but after about 25 years of being torn down i wasn’t confident in my relationship with the lord either.

    • Becoming a Better Me!

      Irene,

      Thank you, I appreciate what you are saying. However, I don’t want to be like Jonah and run from the mission God has for me. This man doesn’t know Jesus, I do. I need to pick up my cross and follow Jesus. My life is about my walk with Jesus not my Husband. I have safety nets in place, but I need to trust and obey by loving the unlovable. This requires me to give, give, give. Not easy! But my time with Jesus is rewarding and that is why I follow. Love, pure love is freeing. I need my husband to experience it for real. My behavior may be the only way he will ever meet Jesus. He is broken and needs Jesus just as much as I do. I am enough thanks to Jesus.

      Our perspective dictates our reality.
      The battlefield is in the mind.

      Blessings to you on your journey….

  8. Thanks Dave. Keep up the good work.

  9. guardyourheart

    thank you sir for your reminder not to give up.

  10. Dawn lawson

    I thought I had a good marriage but that all changed as the narcissist slowly made me feel crazy. I finally got the the courage to make him leave. Through it all, I never gave up on God. I still have to work with my ex and that’s really hard. He has hurt me in a way I can’t explain, but I’m trusting God to somehow get me to the next level

  11. I am right in that very spot you speak of Pastor. I have been torn between giving up and then reminding myself that it’s not the Lords fault for how people behave. But it is so hard to see this pattern in so many churches….what does it say of Yeshua when his followers do the opposite of love and have integrity? I’ve seen so much hypocrisy from even the most sincere seeming believers. I too have been in a narcissistic marriage for 21 years, he left 6 months ago and the kids and I are trying to get upright again. But there is little if any support in church for abused people. When I decided I was going to earnestly search for a relationship with Yeshua because I didn’t know what it really was…I began to run into lay person, bible study leaders who took me under their wing of their own volition, only to find it was a classic bait and switch, while I was earnestly trusting them. I have been thoroughly broken by these other people’s egos and how everything they so sweetly said was just fluff. I have found that a lot of people step into church to “help” but it is more about them feeling good about themselves, not truly being able to love others to health. In spite of all my pain and trust issues,I have vowed that I will be the very person to others that I wish I had found for myself. I think people need to quit talking about love and just do it if they mean it. I have learned the very hard way how cheap words really are. Praying for God to heal me…it feels pretty dismal that I will heal from so many narcissistic encounters…what an array of lessons it has been. Thank you for posting with such kindness…..

    • grace551

      I think that’s such a great attitude, aperse1. I have prayed for your healing, and that God will send people who will genuinely love you and your children. ((Hugs))

  12. Thank you so much grace551, that really means a lot to me. I certainly don’t want to expend my energy on being bitter, and so I confess it to the Lord whenever it comes up. My hope is that I can truly use all I have gone through to be the hands and feet of Yeshua to others….at least all the pain would then count for some good. I really don’t want to walk around feeling so afraid of Christians. Thank you again for praying!! 💕

    • grace551

      I feel afraid of Christians too (particularly church leaders). I totally agree with you about words being cheap. I have learned to look at people’s actions. I also agree with you about confessing resentful thoughts – I don’t want to be bitter either.

      I am sure God sees that you want to follow him and love people although you have been hurt a lot, and appreciates that. Perhaps he will use your trust in him in spite of the pain to build stronger faith and Christ-like character in you. xx

  13. Laura Strait

    Would you say the anger you feel of seeing people sucked into the bait and switch of legalism is a righteous anger? Just wondered. Thanks!

  14. Dear Pastor Dave,
    I’ve recently come across a body of opinion/teaching on the spirit of Jezebel in relation to narcissism and how it is played out in too many of our churches. Do you have any insights on this? Would appreciate your opinion so much. Thank you.

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