What Does the Bible Say About Narcissism? (16 Signs)

Mitch
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You might be thinking, “Narcissism? In the Bible?” Yes, you’ve heard it right! Let’s be honest: “narcissism” isn’t exactly popping up in every verse. But that doesn’t mean the Good Book doesn’t have a thing or 16 to say about self-obsession. Shall we begin?

A Little Too Much Self-Love?

What Does the Bible Say About Narcissism? (16 Signs)
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The apostle Paul wasn’t mincing words when he told Timothy, “People will be lovers of themselves” (2 Timothy 3:2). Now, we might think, “Well, isn’t a little self-love healthy?”

But Paul wasn’t talking about self-care or self-esteem here. He was forewarning of an unhealthy preoccupation with self, a kind of love where others become mere satellites in the orbit of one’s ego.

Pride and Conceited Behavior

What Does the Bible Say About Narcissism? (16 Signs)
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Sounds like someone we know? Proverbs 27:2 advises, “Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips.”

But narcissists might have missed this memo. They are often their biggest fans, perpetually center stage in their self-scripted, self-directed, and self-starring drama.

Disobedience to Authority Figures

What Does the Bible Say About Narcissism? (16 Signs)
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Ephesians 6:1-3 instructs, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” Narcissists, however, view themselves as the center of the universe and perceive any form of authority — even parental — as a challenge to their self-perceived superiority. They often reject parental guidance, considering it an affront to their autonomy.

Lack of the Warmth of Genuine Love

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Surprised? In 2 Timothy 3:3, the Good Book warns us about people who are “without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good.”

That’s an eerily accurate profile of our narcissistic friends. Their hearts don’t play host to love, and they wouldn’t recognize ‘good’ even if it invited them over for dinner.

Wrath and Being Unforgiving

What Does the Bible Say About Narcissism? (16 Signs)
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Narcissists are notorious for holding grudges, making mountains out of molehills, and remembering every slight against them. They struggle to let go of perceived wrongs.

Unlike many of us who forgive, forget, and move forward, narcissists remain stuck in their unforgiving state.

Spirit of Ingratitude

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Remember when you were taught to say ‘thank you’ after receiving that ugly Christmas sweater from grandma? Yep, that’s the antithesis of a narcissist.

They often view acts of kindness as due service rather than gestures deserving of thankfulness. They might even criticize that Christmas sweater despite your grandma’s best intentions.

Emotional Abuse

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Narcissists certainly don’t hold back on the ‘tough love.’ This isn’t the typical physical brutishness we’re talking about here. No, no. It’s far more insidious. They inflict emotional and psychological wounds that are still deeply painful and might not leave visible bruises.

Proverbs 12:18 nails it: “The words of the reckless pierce like swords…” You’ll often find them belittling others under the guise of ‘helping’ or ‘improving’ them.

Living For Money

What Does the Bible Say About Narcissism? (16 Signs)
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It’s not money itself that’s the root of all evil, but the love of money (1 Timothy 6:10). Narcissists tend to have an unhealthy obsession with wealth, not merely as a means to an end, but as an end in itself, a measure of their worth and a trophy of their grandeur.

Love of Worldly Pleasures

What Does the Bible Say About Narcissism? (16 Signs)
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The Bible warns us against prioritizing pleasure over our spiritual commitments. In 2 Timothy 3:4, it’s written, “lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God.”

This isn’t to say enjoying a good meal, a belly laugh, or a sun-soaked vacation is off the table. But when pursuing pleasure takes precedence over love for God or others—that’s when you’re veering into narcissistic territory.

Sense of Entitlement

What Does the Bible Say About Narcissism? (16 Signs)
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Picture someone who struts around like the world owes them a favor, expecting first-class treatment in every situation – even when they’re buying a hotdog at a baseball game.

This sense of entitlement is often rooted in an inflated self-image. Proverbs 21:24 calls such a person proud and arrogant, labeling them a “scoffer” – not exactly an endearing term, wouldn’t you agree?

Lying…A lot.

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Proverbs 12:22, for example, quips, “Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are his delight.”

Say it as it is, Proverbs! Narcissists have a knack for bending the truth like a pretzel to suit their narrative.

Foolishness

What Does the Bible Say About Narcissism? (16 Signs)
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Proverbs 12:15 brings the heat with, “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.”

You see, a narcissist, much like our proverbial fool, will often believe they’re the most thoughtful person in the room, rejecting any advice that doesn’t align with their views. Wisdom, however, understands the value of listening and learning from others.

Possessiveness

What Does the Bible Say About Narcissism? (16 Signs)
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It’s like they’ve taken that childhood game of ‘Mine!’ a notch too high and a decade too long. They tend to view people – their partners, friends, or even their children – as mere extensions of themselves.

These folks aren’t just playing Monopoly with properties; they’re playing it with people! They are possessive because, to them, people are objects – items to be owned, controlled, and manipulated for their benefit.

Envy

What Does the Bible Say About Narcissism? (16 Signs)
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Proverbs 14:30 warns us that “envy rots the bones,” a poetic way of saying it can eat you up from the inside out. It’s like a spiritual gangrene that gradually devours our peace of mind and contentment.

From a biblical perspective, envy indicates a lack of faith in God’s provision. After all, if we genuinely believe that God provides for our needs, why would we covet what others have?

Exploitation

What Does the Bible Say About Narcissism? (16 Signs)
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They’re like the ultimate puppet masters, pulling strings here and there, using others to meet their ends. Proverbs 22:24 tells us not to make friends with a hot-tempered person. Why? Because they use their anger to exploit others into submission.

Luke 12:15 warns us against greed, another exploitative trait where one’s desires are fulfilled at the expense of others. Remember, folks, a narcissist doesn’t see individuals, just opportunity.

Sense of Grandiosity

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Do you remember King Nebuchadnezzar? The man had a golden statue made of himself and demanded everyone to bow to it (Daniel 3:1-7). If that’s not an ‘I’m kind of a big deal’ moment, I don’t know what is!

Psychology Today agrees, flagging grandiosity as a classic narcissistic trait. So yes, your narcissist might not be erecting golden statues, but they sure do have a similar ‘more giant than life’ perspective of themselves.

The Good Book’s Advice on Dealing With Narcissism

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Proverbs 22:24 advises, “Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered,” which seems like sound advice for handling narcissists with their infamous temper tantrums.

Matthew 10:16’s “be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves” could remind you to maintain your boundaries while dealing with narcissists, keeping your composure but not letting their manipulations slide.

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  • Mitch

    A computer science enthusiast with a keen interest in technology and games, Mitchelle (Mitch) contributes a cutting-edge perspective to the Frenz Hub writing team, integrating her academic knowledge with her personal passions

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