It’s Narcissist Friday!
Last week I mentioned someone had suggested that God is the ultimate narcissist. I don’t know what kind of relationship this person has with God, but I would so strongly disagree. The writer was glad God was benevolent, because He would make a dangerous antagonist. Yeah, I can see that.
The problem here is this idea that narcissism can be a good thing. Our culture seems to have a hard time labeling anything as evil. We have books that glorify depersonalization and abuse, suggesting that victims could enjoy it. We make movies about murderers and portray the killer as likable and his action as justifiable. We try so hard not to judge that we forget there are things that are just wrong. Evil does exist in our world… and it hurts people.
I would say by definition God is not a narcissist. But by action as well. God created us for relationship. I know there are those who think our only purpose is to sing His praises, but that’s really not the point. In the presence of His love, we can’t help but sing His praises. When we understand the path we were on and the cost of our salvation, we sing because we are filled with joy and thanks.
Any depersonalization I suffered in my life was the result of my own sin and the sin of the world around me. It was God who chose to love me and reach out to me. He initiated the relationship we now have. He paid the price that makes our relationship possible. I didn’t even know I needed it. I just knew I needed something. And, even now, I give Him little of value.
Today, after knowing Him for so long, I still depend on Him moment by moment. I do nothing good on my own, nothing that increases His life. In fact, the little I understand of Him is so far from reality that any image I might worship would be an insult to Him. No, God is not using me to build His image or even to better His life or kingdom in any way.
You see, the narcissist has hidden himself in a safe place while he promotes a false image. He wants the rest of us to think of him as powerful and superior. God reveals Himself in love for us, and we cannot begin to know the reality of His goodness or power. I wouldn’t say that God is humble, but He often is not loud. He is patient and waits for us to desire Him.
There is a narcissist in the Bible story, one whose only desire is to be in God’s place. He is willing to consume and destroy to get what he wants, and he doesn’t care who suffers along the way. The anger, hatred, and abuse of narcissism find their highest point in him.
But God loves us. He sacrificed and worked on our behalf. He wooed us and welcomed us when we could offer Him nothing. And His desire is to be in loving relationship with us forever.
That is not narcissism.
Please pray for those who will struggle with narcissistic relationships over the holiday. Some families are broken, some wish they could break away, others just hurt. Maybe one of the things you are thankful for is your freedom from the narcissist. Yes, the memories still hurt, but they are memories. And, yes, we grieve for what could have been, but it is a wonderful blessing to be apart from it today.
So, think of those who are right in the middle of it over the next week. Pray for them. If that’s you, just know we love you and are praying for you.