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Narcissistic wisdom

By Jim Killebrew

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[June 25, 2014]  Narcissism can be characterized as a personal self-admiration. The person with this condition will gaze in the mirror at his reflection and fail to understand why all who see him would not want to stop and gaze at his beauty and grace. This person is completely self-centered and sees the entire universe revolving around him. In the field of psychiatry this person is thought to have a personality disorder that reflects that person’s overestimation of his personal attributes, both physical appearance and abilities. This person craves attention and has an excessive need to be admired by others.

People with narcissistic tendencies may be seen excessively holding a camera at arm’s length snapping their own picture…then posting it on social web sites for all their friends to see and admire. They will crave the constant feedback of how superior they are by comparison with others who might surround them.

The Bible proclaims in Proverbs 3:7-8,

“Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.” (Proverbs 3:7-8 KJV)

Solomon, being inspired by God, wrote these words for us to know and understand our relationship with God. We are admonished to not think of ourselves more highly than others, and not be so impressed with our own wisdom. Our wisdom is faulty and sometimes leads to conclusions that are different from truth and reality. I once knew a man who was boisterous and loud; always wanting to inject himself into others’ conversations. He would join himself to their conversations and begin talking over others, all the while looking around to see who might be watching. When he saw another he knew he would shout out to them even if they were across the street. He thought he was admired and sought after as a conversation partner, but the truth was most people dreaded to see him heading their way.

Each of us of course possesses a certain amount of insight into situations and happenings around us. Most are intuitive and able to discern implications and conclusions from the information we receive. But there is a higher source of insight that is beyond the insight of even the most learned men and women. When we begin to walk the path that leads to fearing God through respect, reverence and worship, we begin to learn insights that come from a much higher source than our own. In fact, our own self-centered insight is deemed as evil when it refuses to honor God through respect and worship. Perhaps a better understanding of Solomon’s intent in this passage would be something like

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“It is evil to think of yourself as being so wise that you are rejecting the Wisdom of God, therefore, you must stop thinking in this self-centered way. Instead, turn to God and have respect and reverence for Him, and turn away from your own evil intent.”

Once having turned from that evil, we can look for the blessings that will come from God. There is a promise that is linked to fearing (respecting) God and tuning into His Wisdom. As we worship Him and seek His will for our lives, we shed ourselves of that self-centeredness that is a hindrance that keeps us from Him. When we completely yield ourselves to Him something miraculous happens: He sends His Spirit to dwell in our heart so that we can worship Him in Spirit and in Truth. We can never completely rid ourselves of our narcissistic self-centeredness that weighs us down; we must yield to Him so that His power can strengthen us, and help bring us closer to Him.

When that happens, the navel (as a figure of our body) responds to healing. Just as water to a person dying in a desert becoming dehydrated with a loss of consciousness brings renewal and freshness to the physical body, the turning from evil narcissistic self-centeredness and turning toward God brings a Spiritual renewal and refreshment. As we continue to yield ourselves to God and accept His Spiritual renewal, that freshness grows into a Wisdom that comes directly from Him and it sinks deeply into our inner being right to the bones.

From that vantage our narcissistic behaviors are replaced by God-given Spiritual renewal. Instead of rising to receive all the glory for ourselves, we willingly and passionately back away from the spotlight and give all the glory and honor to God Almighty.


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