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Christian Narcissism—“I Have a Higher Calling than You”

Refer to Step 6: I made a commitment to turn away from my pride and refused to become just like those who abused me.

 

No man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the true.

—Nathaniel Hawthorne

A surprisingly large number of narcissistic men and women lead major Christian ministries. Because their unique “Christianized personality disorder” is not easily recognized, these leaders routinely abuse those they have been called to serve. As part of their disorder, they never recognize or acknowledge the true nature of their wrongs or the consequences of their behavior, which influences nearly every aspect of their ministry. This isn’t simply an omission; it’s not in their nature to do so.

They behave ruthlessly, while calling it God’s leading, misleading many in the process. Their egocentric worldview allows them to embrace a mind-set, which equates their will with God’s will. From their perspective, the two are one and the same. Because their calling is higher than all others, they consider themselves to be more important and act accordingly. To them, what they think and say carries more weight than anybody else. Leaders like these actually feel contempt for people who don’t agree with every word that flows from their mouths.

By the message they preach, they would deny this but, by their actions, they validate it consistently. They rarely admit wrongdoing because they never believe they are wrong, which is integral to their disorder. They not only lack empathy for others; they don’t comprehend what compassion really is. Feigning sympathy, they have to mimic the emotions of others to approximate normal behavior.

What makes people like these so difficult to recognize is they have great empathy for “the lost”—for nameless, faceless people, who are idealized and not tangible. While pursuing the lost, they are quite willing to trample upon anyone who gets in their way. They do this often.

Narcissists love loosely defined groups rather than real people because they are incapable of dealing with normal interpersonal relationships. It’s the idea of helping people they love, not getting involved in the lives of ordinary human beings.

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself. (Philippians 2:3)

Jack Watts   Recovery Resources

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