It’s Narcissist Friday!
I have always been aware that the topic of narcissism draws both Christians and those who do not consider themselves to be believers. While I write primarily for believers, I truly desire to give hope and encouragement—as well as simple advice—to anyone who reads here.
There is a deep need in each of us to be loved. For most who have found themselves in narcissistic and abusive relationships, the desire for love opened that door. We opened our hearts and lives because we wanted to be valued and respected. When we discovered the truth about the relationship, we felt betrayed and used. We trusted that love was reciprocated, but we were deceived.
According to John 9, the man who was born blind was a beggar. I can only imagine the loneliness and rejection this man felt day after day. He could hear the sudden pause of conversations as people walked by him. He knew that their footsteps carried them to the other side of the path or sped up to get past him quickly. Even those who gave him a small coin usually did so without comment. And many simply ignored him.
The little details of this story tell us much. The path Jesus and the disciples were on would take them past this beggar, but Jesus saw the man. He stopped and saw him. While others tried not to look, Jesus purposely looked. While even the disciples saw the man only as an object lesson, Jesus saw his need and his pain. And Jesus stopped to heal him.
The fundamental truth of the Bible, whether you have heard it or not at church, is that God loves you. He has always loved you. He knows what you are going through. He knows what others have done to you. This is the one message that flows through the whole Bible. God loved Adam and Eve. He loved Israel. He loves the Church. He loves the lost. He loves you.
Yes, you may be suffering. You may have suffered a long time. People have been cruel or indifferent. You often feel as though no one cares. These are real feelings from real struggles. But you have never been alone. No matter how far you have been from Him, God has always been near to you.
I am kind of a wimp when it comes to suffering. I read stories of those who have suffered, and I hurt for them. There are many things I have never been through and, frankly, I don’t want to go through them. But I have always been amazed when I see how strong people become through their suffering. They may not feel strong or see themselves as strong, but their endurance is evidence. To keep going, day after day, is evidence of something I don’t see in myself. It is easy for me to see them as superior.
Yet, others have looked at me and my life and have said they see that in me. I can only say it is the grace and strength of Someone else. There is no pride in my endurance, but I am grateful to the One who has been with me.
God loves you. Jesus saw the man. He stopped to look, and He chose to make a difference.
I think most people today would say they don’t know much about God. They don’t know what to think about things like creation and miracles. Most just try to get something good out of their days.
I also think most people will acknowledge their need to be loved. There is something missing, something important. Family love, friendship love, so important but rarely pure and sufficient. The love we need is the love of Someone greater, Someone who truly knows.
So, whatever else you know or whatever you don’t know, please accept the love God has for you. In those painful times, He will be there for you. In those struggles, He sees you through.
As Francis Schaeffer wrote, “He is there, and He is not silent.”