It’s Narcissist Friday!
Over the past few months, I have been connecting narcissism with a greater evil through the idea of dragons. The Scripture calls the devil the “great dragon.” Satan is the personification of evil. Doctrinally, it is important to remember that Satan is not the author of evil. Rather, he is the great narcissist, the one whose ambition and need for affirmation lead him to abuse and destroy the people of God.
There is much about the evil one that we do not understand. The source of his rage, the extent of his power, the end of his influence—these are things that are not clear to us in Scripture. Perhaps that mystery makes him even more frightening.
What we do know is that he hates the Lord and the things of the Lord. He hates us, apparently because the Lord loves us. He seeks to destroy us in some attempt to challenge and dishonor God.
And we also know that the evil that dwells in the heart of the devil looks a lot like the evil that dwells in the hearts of humans who seek only their own benefit and are willing to use others to achieve it. It is not that these people are directly connected to the devil, but that they exhibit the same characteristics. They partake of the same evil.
For example: We have talked about how narcissists are predators, seeking people they can use to build themselves up. The devil, according to the Bible, “prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour.” We have talked about how narcissists so joyfully become tormentors. Jesus told Peter that Satan had asked God for him “that he might sift you like wheat.” We have talked about how easily and willingly narcissists lie. Jesus called the devil “a liar and the father of lies.” We have talked about how deceptively attractive narcissists can be, especially when we first meet them. Jesus said that Satan disguises himself “as an angel of light.” I could go on with many such examples.
Evil is evil. When the heart is turned inward, it is turned against the Lord and against others. When a person (whether a regular human or some strange celestial being) begins to lift himself (or herself) up in a way that puts others down, that person is engaging in evil. The idea of evil may not be politically correct these days, and we may not like to talk about it, but we know it when it hurts us.
Of course, evil is far easier to recognize in others. But the fact that we can see it in others suggests that we have to accept its reality. There is such a thing as evil, and it hurts people. When we do evil things, we hurt others. When others do evil things, they might hurt us or people we care about. When anyone serves only themselves, evil is locked into their hearts. Genesis gives us the story of the flood, and we are told that the wickedness of humanity was great and that “every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” I take that to mean that the people were blind to anything but themselves, narcissistic if you will.
In the past, I have been challenged when I refer to narcissists as evil. I understand. So, I try to limit what I say to the idea that narcissism is evil, and some people allow themselves to be defined by it. When many of us were young, we were taught to be nice and not say mean things about others. No matter what the others did to us, we were supposed to be nice. Now, after living many years, we understand that someone should have told us that evil was out there, and some people would use it to hurt us. For some, the people who taught them about life were the same people who used evil to hurt them.
Getting out of a narcissistic relationship does not mean all evil will disappear from our path. There are others who share in the same evils we have escaped. It is wise to be prepared as we walk the new path. That’s what we have been considering for the last few months.
And we must always remember that evil has limitations. It can be overcome, by good according to the Scriptures. So, do good. Love, kindness, generosity—these things overcome evil. The day will come when evil will be washed away from our hearts and from our world. The promise is that good will flow and good alone. There is hope.
That hope, as always, is in Jesus. He is the One who walks with us day by day through all our struggles. We find our peace and our hope in Him.
These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
The dragon has already been defeated.