By Nancy Virden (c)2022
“God can change anyone.” True. He has changed me and continues to do so. Paul of the New Testament persecuted Christians to their deaths and later became a solid convert. He called himself the worst of sinners and we call him one of the greatest Christians who ever lived.
“God can change anyone” works in every scenario where a person wants to be changed. We recognize our sin and need for a Savior, and turn our lives over to Christ. He begins a work in our hard hearts and promises to complete it. True Christians – those who follow Christ and not just religion – see change regularly. We never stop learning and growing.
Ah, but the narcissist. The difference between a person with poor habits and a bad attitude and even a violent streak versus a narcissist is that the latter can appear charming, nice, funny, and yes, oh so Christian. A true narcissist does not and will not see the cost of his or her wrongdoing. They do not recognize a need for change because, you know, they control the chessboard.
I have heard clinically narcissistic people say they are sorry. I’ve seen their tears. They have even cried out to God for forgiveness. What does all that mean? It means they are playing the game. Sometimes they seem to live in the delusion of their own grandeur.
Sure, they can experience pain and remorse. Losing the image they have built threatens their sense of control and certainty! If called out on being a narcissist, they can feel humiliated. Think of the temper tantrum of a three-year-old. Yes, a narcissist can cry real tears.
You may see a narcissist seek revenge, coyly and overtly. They will be observed putting down anyone who does not please them at the moment. They will be the enemy, inwardly and/or outwardly of those who do not play along. All the while, they may cry. All the while they may express regret. You may even hear them praise God for a second chance.
What you will not see, is change.
“God can change anyone” is a poor rationalization to spend on one who will not change because they see no need for it. God’s grace is for the humble. It behooves us to avoid cheapening grace by tossing it around as if everyone without qualification will fall under its blessing.
With that said, God alone knows what is in each person’s soul. Each of us can have some narcissistic traits without being clinically narcissistic. I know I want grace when my behavior is selfish!
Nevertheless, if you live or work with a true narcissist, do yourself a favor and quit trying to please this person by losing yourself. You matter! Your peace of mind matters! Your health and identity matter! Without knowing your circumstances, I believe it is safe to say that no one owes a narcissist anything. God made you so you could be who he made. You have options.
Today’s Helpful Word
Galatians 1:10 ESV
For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.
If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.
If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. or go to your nearest emergency room. In the EU call 112. (For other international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!
Always the Fight Ministries (ATFM) has been displaying compassion for those fighting mental illness, addiction, or abuse since 2012. Nancy is the founder and voice of ATFM and openly shares her emotional resurrection from despair. NOTE: Nancy is not a doctor or a mental health professional, and speaks only from personal experience and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.
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