Sunday, November 14, 2010

Suffering from a severe narcissism…so what?

So umh…how to start this one? oh yeah! got it!

I have this friend of mine during college days…or I would like to call him my “best buddy”! He’s all that good and stuff. The only problem is----- when his self-obsession kicks off!-----which bugs me a lot! I even doubt sometimes if he’s straight or what?! He’ll kill me for sure if he’ll find this thing out! I tried to warn him about narcissism, but only found myself left there shocked to what he showed in return-----he loves it even more!

It has been said that to love someone you better love your self first, or, how could you love someone if you don't even love your own self? But------the "so-into-my/your self" or a malignant self love is another thing....


For those who haven’t heard this before-----narcissism is a term derived from Greek mythology. Narcissus was a handsome youth who fell in love with the nymph Echo, but when she spurned his advances, he was doomed to fall in love with his own reflection in a pool. He pined away his whole life obsessing about his image and eventually turned into a flower, the narcissus. The myth of Narcissus has given rise to the personality disorder known as narcissism, which is characterized by vanity, conceit, egotism, and self-obsession. Biblically speaking, the simple term for narcissism is selfishness.

According to a book entitled The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement by Jean M. Twenge and W. Keith Campbell-----Narcissists believe they are better than others, lack emotionally warm and caring relationships, constantly seek attention, and treasure material wealth and physical appearance.

Agreeing to the fact that they’re a total slap in your wrist, and a waste of time listening how they really admire their selves, and how they look good on the mirror and stuff, well actually, having a Narcissists friend is an advantage! Why/how? take this for an example-----“when it comes to group creativity, the competitiveness of multiple narcissists is really is beneficial” according to Jack Goncalo of Cornell University, a British Psychological Society’s Research Digest blog. Yeah, I wouldn’t deny that fact, what can I say-----! in fact, since I have this friend who is suffering from a severe narcissism-----group creativity has never been a problem…:p

Well, moving on…

As another concerned citizen of the youth of this generation, and firmly used the Bible for facts and basis…Does the Bible has any concern about narcissism?

As mentioned earlier the Bible’s term for narcissism is simply selfishness.

The key verse that addresses selfishness is found in Philippians 2:3 Paul says, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” Selfishness and vanity are the epitome of narcissism, and they are particularly destructive and have no place in the Christian life. As Christians, we are be modest and humble as what Colossians 3:12 says, Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Live in submission to God as what 1 Peter 5:5 says, Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”  and Ephesians 4:2-3 says that with all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Humility sees the best traits in others and the lowliest traits in self. It does not envy the graces and gifts of others, but rejoices in them. The truly humble man seeks to serve others; the narcissist seeks only to serve himself. 

Horribly, Narcissism is bound up in selfish ambition—putting one’s needs and desires above all else—and leads inevitably to discord, envy, strife and evil. These are of the devil, whose desire is to sow discord among believers and thereby discredit their witness in a watching world. James makes this point in James 3:13-18 saying that 13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.-----contrasting selfishness—which is satanic in nature—to the “wisdom from above” which is “pure, peaceable, gentle, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.” The narcissist has no time for others; their needs and desires are irrelevant to him. His focus, like Narcissus whose life was wasted staring at his own reflection, is completely self-absorbed. His life is of little value to himself, to others, or to God because he considers himself the center of the universe. He has displaced God from the throne of his life and placed himself firmly upon it. 

The ‘cure’ for narcissism is the same as for any sin—repentance and a commitment to Christ as Lord of our lives. Only through the power of His indwelling Holy Spirit can the narcissist become a true child of God, dedicated to Him and seeing others as better than himself. Only then can he become a slave of Christ and know the true freedom submission provides.

Clearly stated, narcissism is a sin.

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