Narcissism – selfishness, involving a sense of entitlement, a lack of empathy, and a need for admiration, as characterizing a personality type.
In Revelation 12:9 the Bible refers to Satan as the deceiver of the whole world. Ah, yes deception the tried-and-true tactic of a manipulator. Who is a manipulator? A manipulator is someone who uses your feelings to gain a desired reaction from you. Look at Eve in the garden; Satan used her emotions that she wasn’t fine how God had made her. If she ate the fruit, she would be something better. She would be as God.
So how does Satan deceive me? One of the biggest ways is through my narcissism. I believe there is a cycle to narcissism. Here is how it often goes for me. Something happens that I don’t think should happen, or that I don’t like. I start complaining about it. I start to feel sorry for myself. Then I start complaining or pouting in order to recruit others to my cause. Then the depression kicks in. This makes me focus even more on me and my circumstance which causes me to find even more things to be upset about, and we start the cycle all over. This is definitely not the power, love, and a sound mind that God has given us (2 Timothy 1:7). So, if we are stuck in this cycle, how do we break it? Let’s look at each piece of the cycle.
First, we must understand that as Christians we will be attacked by Satan. It is our spiritual mandate to fight him, and his to fight us (Genesis 3:15). This is not carnal. This is a spiral fight as stated in Ephesians 6:12, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places,” and in 2 Corinthians 10:4, “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds.” So, if this is not a carnal fight, then our weapons cannot be carnal. The best way to fight the temptation of Satan is through prayer. Lord give me the strength to walk through this fight. Through this temptation, please help me to walk beside you.
The root of narcissism is selfishness. It is focusing on you alone. The way that I fight this is by making sure that I have things in my life that are more important than me. The first thing I use is work for the kingdom. As Christians, the kingdom and what God wants us to do is more important than me. The second thing I use is the people God places around me. When I am feeling sorry for myself, or I am feeling hurt, I look for things to do that focus me outside of myself. Am I doing the work God wants me to do today? Who around me needs help? Who needs me to show Gods love and joy? This will cause me not to focus on me, but it will cause me to look towards the kingdom.
One time in school, after a long day of work and more work that would last into the night, I told a classmate that I was tired. He responded, “Never admit you are tired. It solves nothing and only makes you more tired.” I find this to be very true. In my short life, and after counseling a few hundred people, I have yet to see complaining about a problem fix the problem or make you feel better about the problem. Complaining is not a virtue. It is also not a gift of the spirit. Virtually anyone can find the wrong in a situation, but how many of us can demonstrate love, joy and peace when things get hard? I have seen complaining drag the people around you into the same misery you are in. I would even go so far as to say that when you complain you become a missionary of Satan spreading his message of lies and deception to those around you.
Complaining is infectious. You are teaching those who look up to you that when things get tough, we don’t have to be like Christ. When things are hard, we get a free out. When you want to complain, remember the example you are setting. C.S. Lewis had a saying, “Since it is so likely that (children) will meet cruel enemies, let them at least have heard of brave knights and heroic courage. Otherwise, you are making their destiny not brighter but darker.” When you meet adversity, are you showing those around you that you will give in, or are you showing them that you will stand shoulder to shoulder with Christ demonstrating his love, joy and peace?
Depression is often the by-product of Satan, narcissism, and complaining – feeling sorry for yourself. When you feel depressed or downtrodden, use what was talked about earlier to break the cycle. Pray, reach out of yourself to help others, stop complaining and focusing on feeling sorry for yourself, and express God’s love, joy, and peace to those around you.
If you need love, encouragement, or prayer in slaying the dragons in your life, please contact us at Sanctuary Family Farms.
— Written by Jeremiah