It’s Narcissist Friday!
Jesus said that those who belong to Him would know the truth and the truth would set them free. Most of us have been taught that refers to the freedom that comes with our salvation, freedom from condemnation and the bondage of sin. Of course, that’s true, but don’t we want freedom in our daily struggles? The hope of glory is truly a blessing, but the day by day pain of dealing with narcissists and abusers can make us forget about what is coming someday.
In fact, Jesus took this further. Just a few verses later, He tells the people that when the Son sets someone free, that person is “free indeed.” So, maybe this isn’t just for future hope. Maybe this does mean something in the here and now.
So, what truth? Learning the truth about the narcissistic behavior of the abuser in your life has helped. You have been able to see more clearly why these things have happened and keep happening. You may even have found some support or strategy that helps. But knowing the enemy you are fighting does not make you free. It just clarifies your struggle.
No, the truth that sets you free in day to day living is the truth of who you are. The abuser/narcissist attacks your heart. There is something deep inside you that cares about what the narcissist thinks about you and how he/she treats you. When you are abused, you struggle with far more than the pain of the abuse. You take the negative message about yourself into your heart. This is why the abuser is almost always someone close, someone who should be supportive and caring. This is why the narcissist establishes a relationship with you in the beginning. All so they can get close to your heart.
When you receive the message about yourself that the abuser/narcissist brings, you move closer to defeat and bondage. That defeat pulls the life-energy from you. The more you believe the lies, the more you fall into the pit. What lies? That you deserve the treatment; that you made bad choices and now have to live with them; that no one cares about you; that this is all there is to your life. Those lies.
Paul said that slaves who could be free should go for it. In the same way, I pray that a victim of abuse or narcissism should become free. But there are those who see no way to separate from the narcissist. (Now, I should add that if you are suffering physical abuse, you should use legal authority and other means to get out. I am not at all suggesting that someone should stay in a dangerous situation.) Some people are not led to divorce or separation from a narcissistic spouse. Some can’t separate from narcissistic parents or children or co-workers. But there is freedom indeed in Jesus!
You see, the truth that sets you free, free indeed, is the truth of God’s love for you in Jesus. You are His treasure, the love of His heart. He is always with you, always on your side, always working on your behalf. In His eyes, you are beautiful, valuable, pure, perfect, and desirable. He sees no sin in you, no blemish, no unworthiness. When you are discouraged, He wants to lift you up. When you are hurting, He wants to be your comfort. When you are afraid, He wants to be your peace and safety. You are the pearl of great price to Him.
That truth sets you free in the midst of any suffering. When others are against you and try to make you feel bad, look to Him and see His smile. When you have been put down, used, betrayed, manipulated—go to Him and feel His love. You don’t have to come to Him in shame even if you have done something wrong. Come to Him as His own beloved child, who is always welcome in His presence. You don’t have to bargain with Him for His comfort or help, just tell Him your need and let Him work on it. You are His, and He will take care of you.
No, this isn’t magic. This is love. You can trust His love for you. You can trust the fact that you are someone very special to the heart of the Lord God Almighty, so special that He is never separate from you. He is always working for you, because He loves you.
That’s the truth that sets you free. If you can get out of the narcissistic relationship that hurts so much, do it; but know that you will still not be free until you learn the truth about yourself. There are many who have gotten their divorce and kept their bondage. At the same time, there are those who have stayed in what most of us would run from and have found true freedom. No matter what happens to them, they know the truth.
Let the truth of God’s love in Jesus—for you—set you free!