2 Timothy 3:1-7
Thoughts of verse
What Does The Bible Say About Narcissism?
The root of narcissistic behavior is pride, selfishness and a deep-rooted desire to be admired. Since all of mankind is sinful by nature (Romans 3:23), it is true to say that every person who lives according to the flesh / sinful nature is capable of exhibiting narcissistic tendencies from time to time.
Narcissism is addressed in the Bible in Paul’s second pastoral epistle to Timothy (2 Timothy 3:1-7). Paul seems to be concerned about the character and behavior of leaders within the church, so he warns Timothy to beware of those who act out of a “self-love attitude”. He says, “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come. For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away.”
Therefore, based on 2 Timothy 3:1-5 many narcissists will develop several of the following signs:
They have a grandiose sense of self-importance. They project themselves to be more important or superior than others
They have a sense of entitlement and they are materialistic
They exploit others without guilt, shame or remorse
They have difficulty with genuine love or empathy for others
They are in love with their own sense of success and achievements
They seek admiration from others
They do not take criticism very well and are likely to dislike anyone who criticizes them or who does not admire them
They have problems in sustaining satisfying or genuine relationships
They frequently demean, intimidate, bully or belittle others in order to make themselves feel superior or better than other people
They live in a reality or fantasy that supports their pride or conceited lifestyle
As a defense mechanism, they project their own faults and failures on others
Ultimately, they live for themselves and to satisfy their own personal desires at any cost
Paul’s exhortation to Timothy falls in line with James’ explanation how to identify a true faith (James 2:14–26). True faith will be evidenced by good works, which will occur naturally. If a person says he is a Christian but shows no evidence in his life by bearing the fruit of the Spirit, we must make a judgment about him and avoid that person. He may have a form of godliness, but he is denying God’s power by not letting himself be controlled by the Spirit. In fact, if his faith is not genuine, he cannot be controlled by God’s power, because the Holy Spirit does not dwell in him.
Does this describe our society today or not? In this letter written by Paul, he warns Timothy (and by extension, us) that the last days are going to be bad…growing worse and worse, day by day. That day has now come when people don’t want to be corrected, rebuked, and reproved so they seek out teachers who will give them what they want to hear but not what they need to hear. Sadly, they will fall further and further away from the truth and from the faith that was once delivered and bring in a different gospel, which is really no gospel at all. We had all better be in the Word so that we can more easily discern truth from error. With the Holly spirit we will be able to follow the correct path and not be distracted by impostors entertainers. The power is in our faith to tune in on the true and not to get confused by charlatans.
Father, I’m so grateful for my relationship with You, and for Your strength and ability. When life seems overwhelming, please help me trust You to enable me to do whatever I need to do. You are my strength! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.