Free from the Stronghold of Narcissism
Written by Christian author, Pola Muzyka.
Society seems to fluctuate between encouraging narcissism and low self esteem depending on our social groups, the media, or advertising. We either measure up, cover up, or give up. As a result it’s difficult to avoid narcissism in our society today.
Narcissism is fed to us from the outside from an early age, especially if a parent dotes and coddles the whims of a child without considering the consequences. Narcissism can cause the host to become violent, demanding, and aggressively self indulgent or preoccupied with self importance. Although not all hosts are aggressive. Some appear to be shy and reserved. This is a cover-up to achieve a self indulgent goal. A good indication that narcissism is lurking around, is that the needs of others are rarely considered.
A stronghold of narcissism will erode relationships as the host threatens, demands, and takes advantage of others to achieve personal goals. If a host is criticized or revealed, he or she will react with rage, shame, self abasing sarcasm, or humiliation.
The love/hate relationship that society has with narcissism in idol worship of a celebrity, sees these hosts from two points of view. It longs for the host to be perfect, while obsessing over any fall. That is not to say that all celebrities harbor a spirit of narcissism. But all are put in a position of having to keep up a facade of an assumed perfection. It is rare for a celebrity to move forward in acting on the behalf of others without a personal agenda. As a public figure, celebrities are overly lauded. Thus the spirit of narcissism is encouraged.
Once narcissism becomes a stronghold it’s hard to get through to the host. Denial will cover over any opening. Narcissism is preoccupied with fantasies of success, power, beauty, intelligence, or ideal love.
1. Submit to God and allow Him to guide your actions particularly if you hope to be in a position of leadership over others some day.
1 Peter 5:5-6 Young people, in a similar way, place yourselves under the authority of spiritual leaders. Furthermore, all of you must serve each other with humility, because God opposes the arrogant but favors the humble. 6Be humbled by God’s power so that when the right time comes he will honor you.
2. Spend time helping others. If possible without the possibility of recognition. Get to know their stories and pray for them. Narcissism cannot live in a host who shows genuine love and concern for others.
Romans 12:10 Love one another with brotherly affection [as members of one family], giving precedence and showing honor to one another.
3. Look to God for your recognition and blessings. Not to people. Consider that God will bless you as you follow his word and his will. When you’re in God’s will no demonic stronghold can take over.
2 Timothy 3:1-5 But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. 2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.
4. Check everything you do with the Word of God since it’s hard to perceive by our own gauge or society’s gauge what is right and good. People will laud you even outside of God’s will.
Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and it is exceedingly perverse and corrupt and severely, mortally sick! Who can know it [perceive, understand, be acquainted with his own heart and mind]?
5. Be humble, sincere, and caring of others in all you do. We should and can enjoy thanks and praise without becoming overly obsessed with our own importance.
Proverbs 18:12 Before destruction a man’s heart is haughty, but humility comes before honor.
Philippians 2:1-3 So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.