I love me myself and I words in bold letters with red heart

A Christian View Of Narcissism

The term “narcissist” has practically become a household word in the past couple decades. Secular science and psychology tend to lump the term narcissist into a broader pool of mental disorders that includes the likes of ADD, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Bipolar Disorder (BPD), Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), and so on.

Has the human mind merely taken a downturn in recent generations, where more and more people have mental disorders and disease? I would argue that is far from the case. My position is that these have all increased exponentially due to the breakdown of the family system and the removal of God and absolute truth from society.

In reality, the outcomes are not disorders at all. No, they’re not clinical diagnoses that need treated with medical remedies. They are certainly not labels to assure a person there is something wrong with them. These are simply and tragically natural human responses to chronically unmet needs in the human soul.

In my next several articles, I will be discussing my views related to how these causative factors, when intersected with each unique inborn, God-given temperament type, lead to a high probability of what society has labeled “mental disorders,” focusing primarily on narcissism.

The human soul

The soul of man is comprised of three parts, working together interdependently — mind, will, and emotions — and necessary for the optimal function of the others.

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Romans 12:2 niv

Renewing of the mind is critical to becoming more like Jesus. But is the mind the end goal in this pursuit? Or merely the mechanism God provides each person as they pursue something much deeper? I believe the latter to be correct.

Having said this, I really struggle with the entire concept of mental health and mental illness. No doubt, the mind is affected by what it encounters. But it is not the mind that leads a human being to act on what they know and feel and believe. It is the heart that does this. And nothing else.

What is the “heart?”

The heart of man is a mysterious connection between our emotional connection to the things we learned and experienced through life (both consciously and unconsciously) with my spirit’s connection to a higher plane of reality, having to do with our beliefs about God, humanity, and ourselves. Put simply, the heart is where a finite individual intersects with something infinite outside themselves.

If, over the course of an eighteen-year childhood, my beliefs about infinity, God, and the universe are built on secular narratives, inputs, and experiences, it stands to reason that the heart will be without God, therefore developing a human’s mind, will, and emotions in ways that reflect these secular foundations. History has proven that this leads to characteristics such as compulsiveness, fear, striving, feelings of not being enough, inadequacy, often shielded from others by perfectionism, control, and competence.

However, if, over the course of an eighteen-year childhood, that same individual’s beliefs about infinity, God, and the university had been built on the absolute truth of the Bible, and their life experiences, both grand and mundain, are processed through a Biblical, Christ-centered perspective — regardless what’s going on in the world around them — they will mature into an adult whose mind, will, and emotions are a reflection of the foundational truths of God. This tends to lead to characteristics such as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control.

The untamed human nature

The fallen nature of man cannot self-govern without something or someone other than themselves providing structure to their lives.

In the presence of the healthy structure of society, community, faith, family, parents, and personal convictions, the nature of even the most strong-willed individual will be harnessed for good things.

However, in the absence of the healthy structure of society, community, faith, family, parents, and personal convictions, the nature of even the weakest-willed individual will yield to the indulgences of the flesh (human nature), and will reap the consequences in their soul of the lack of identity, worth, and value this will bring.

Suffice it to say, “mental disorders” — most notably narcissism — are merely a predictable outcome of the life of an individual who has been raised and cultured in environments replete of the structures God put in place from the beginning, that bring health and balance to the human “heart,” and therefore, the home, community, and society as a whole.


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