I learned a truth this week that hit me like a ton of bricks. It was show-stopping, and I’m about to stop your show.
I hear all the time from women that they think so-and-so is a narcissist. Have you ever heard that? Have you been casually searching online for articles about marriage and stumble onto some click-bait article about how “my husband is a narcissist” or an online quiz: “find out if you’re married to a narcissist”. The truth is, the world will continue to show us counterfeits of what is holy and I feel like this is one of these instances.
The truth is that we’re all a little narcissistic. Let me explain.
Narcissism defined is “excessive interest in or admiration of oneself and one’s physical appearance.”
By that definition, I would be considered a narcissist for taking selfies at the gym or talking too much about my children (let’s face it, we’re all guilty of the ‘my kid is the best kid in the world, let me tell you all about it’ self-interest).
So, is your husband a narcissist? Are you?
2 Timothy 3 says:
“But know this, that in the last days grievous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of self…”
Paul’s letter to Timothy doesn’t warn that there will be a few people here and there that are lovers of self (selfish –> narcissist). He actually says men shall be. Men, as in the race of humanity. Men, as in “man shall not live by bread alone (Matt 4:4). Men, as in “let us make man in our image” (Genesis 1:26). Men, as in you and me, male and female. In the last days, we will be lovers of self.
But that’s not all…
“For men shall be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, haughty, railers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, implacable, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, no lovers of good, traitors, headstrong, puffed up, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; holding a form of godliness, but having denied the power thereof…”
Now we’re getting to the meat of narcissism. It isn’t selfishness alone, but Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) includes more than that. Namely: a pattern of self-centered, arrogant thinking and behavior, a lack of empathy and consideration for other people, and an excessive need for admiration.
It sounds familiar, doesn’t it? In fact, the definition of NPD sounds a lot like this section of 2 Timothy 3 (v 2-5).
In the last days, men will be selfish (lovers of self), money-lovers, boastful, complainers, arrogant, stubborn, disobedient, ungrateful, ungodly, unloving, unforgiving, gossips, no self-control, brutal, haters of good, unfaithful, ungovernable, conceited, pleasure-mad, and fake–fake Christians, that is.
So you think you married a narcissist? The hard truth I learned this week is that we’re all married to narcissists.
We are all the men of the last days that will be more selfish, sinful, all the things mentioned by Paul in 2 Timothy. We will all be pulled toward selfishness in the last days–scripture says so! The question is whether or not you intend to fight it.
During a recent Bible study group, I heard an important point that we often forget:
If we aren’t actively fighting sin, it will win in our lives. If we aren’t fighting selfishness during these last days, selfishness will win.
What are you fighting? I will admit it–I fight selfishness. I fight sin. I fight pride. There are so many things that I fight. When I start to point out things in others, it’s time for me to look at myself.
When I feel like I need to pray for so-and-so because they’re doing this-or-that, it’s time for me to turn those prayers on myself at the same time.
Do you need this prayer?
Father in Heaven,
You are mighty and wonderful, and I couldn’t ask for anyone better to be on my side. I’m having trouble with someone else. I’m not seeing them with your eyes, not loving them with your heart. I ask for you to show me how to be better than I am. I want to be more like You and work for You. Please take my selfish heart and turn it into a giving one. Take my pride and turn it into teaching. Take my complaints and ungratefulness and turn me into a giver, a lover, a helper. In these last days, I want to speak for You, work for You, help others find You. I can’t do it on my own. Forgive me for the wrong turns and mess-ups. Forgive me for my failure to forgive others. Thank You for listening to me now and forgiving me, and showing me what true love and happiness can look like. In Jesus’ name, Amen.