I thought that the narcissistic nature was just a character flaw found in some, but what I’m now seeing is that being narcissistic is in the fallen human condition. We are all narcissistic to varying degrees. Humanity, without the Life of Christ, is motivated by self. Now I am not saying that everyone suffers from NPD (narcissistic personality disorder), or is a sociopath, or psychopath, but part of the independence found in the fall was an obscene self-focus to the exclusion of God. That’s right, exclusion!
Narcissistic Selfishness Heating Up
We’re witnessing daily the love of most growing cold, and the increase of selfishness heating up. Our culture is literally inflamed with “self.” We are consumed with self-interests, self-promotion, and gratifying self. We have become our own lovers and it is only going to get worse.
You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They’ll consider nothing sacred. Unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They’ll betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!
2 Timothy 3:1-5
To be narcissistic means “having an excessive or erotic interest in oneself and one’s physical appearance. Vain, self-loving, self-admiring, self-absorbed, self-obsessed, conceited, self-centered, self-regarding, egotistic, egotistical, egoistic; informal ‘full of oneself.’” Does this not describe the human condition? I know some may say this is going too far, but it is my experience that I don’t have to dig very deep into someone’s motivation to find SELF at the core. And this illness is our fallenness! Again, not that everyone has the mental disorder of being a full-on narcissist, but each of us in the old nature is obscenely self-absorbed.
Narcissistic Since the Garden
Is our current age worse than any other? As I stated, I think when we fell in the Garden, we exchanged our awareness of God for obsession with self. Our parting gift for choosing self over God was to not be able to see God but only our nakedness. So self as god has always been the issue. But I also believe that the closer we come to the return of Christ, the wheels will completely come off of humanity. And as we are seeing, there will be a massive increase in the levels of selfishness by the masses. Entitlement, shamelessness, the disregard for others in preference for self-centeredness—it’s all ramping up to go off the cliff.
Our only hope to escape our obsessive, obscene self-focus is to die. Why do I need to die? Because there is only One life who lives selflessly, and that is Christ. Jesus is the only one in the universe that lives for the Father. And His is the only Life that brings our Creator pleasure.
The solution to our narcissistic nature is Christ’s life. What do we get in this transaction, since it is all about us? Eternal adventure and glory. Our incessant self-centered life is shown only to be a tragedy not ecstasy. The walls of SELF are confining and limiting. Jesus’ Life, on the other hand, is fascinating expanse and dynamic purpose. Self, with all its allure, is only a prison, whereas Christ in me is glory and destiny.