Narcissism

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I have recently observed the tendency for some Christians to spend an unhealthy amount of time expressing their consternation over how difficult it is to “walk in faith”. “The Christian life is not easy”, they decry, introspectively analysing where they have failed.

Whilst calls for believers to “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!” , there needs to be a balance as indicated when Pauls writes in his earlier letter to the same church in “But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself”.

Cultivate the habit of fixing your eye more simply on Jesus Christ, and try to know more of the fullness there is laid up in Him for every one of His believing people. Do not be always poring down over the imperfections of your own heart, and dissecting your own besetting sins. Look up. Look more to your risen Head in heaven, and try to realize more that the Lord Jesus not only died for you, but that He also rose again, and that He is ever living at God’s right hand as your Priest, your Advocate, and your Almighty Friend.

“When the Apostle Peter “walked upon the waters to go to Jesus,” he got on very well as long as his eye was fixed upon his Almighty Master and Savior. But when he looked away to the winds and waves, and reasoned, and considered his own strength, and the weight of his body, he soon began to sink, and cried, “Lord, save me.” No wonder that our gracious Lord, while grasping his hand and delivering him from a watery grave, said, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” Alas! many of us are very like Peter–we look away from Jesus, and then our hearts faint, and we feel sinking. (

O God, help us to be ever “looking unto Jesus the Author and finisher of our faith” ().

Robert Murray McCheyne ~
Learn much of the Lord Jesus.

For every look at yourself take ten looks at Christ.

He is altogether lovely . . . .

Live much in the smiles of God.

Bask in his beams.

Feel his all-seeing eye settled on you in love.

And repose in his almighty arms.

“Our salvation is all in Christ– our righteousness is all in Christ– our merit is all in Christ– our completeness is all in Christ– in Christ our Covenant Head, our Surety and Mediator; and no flaw in our obedience, no defect in our love, no failure in our service, should so cast us down as to shut our eye to our acceptance in the Beloved.Imperfections we would not overlook, sin we would not allow, disobedience we would not indulge, temptation we would not encourage; nevertheless, we would ever remember, for our encouragement that, in default of perfection in the most perfect of our own doings, we are fully and eternally complete in Jesus.”

 

“You will not find on this side of heaven a holier people than those who receive into their hearts the doctrine of Christ’s righteousness. When the believer says, “I live on Christ alone; I rest on Him solely for salvation; and I believe that, however unworthy, I am still saved in Jesus,” then there rises up as a motive of gratitude this thought— “Shall I not live to Christ? Shall I not love Him and serve Him, seeing that I am saved by His merits?” “The love of Christ constrains us,” “that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves but unto Him which died for them.” If saved by imputed righteousness, we shall greatly value imparted righteousness.”

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Image Credit:  Creative Ministries International

 

Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!

But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself.

28 And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29 He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” 31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”

looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

3 thoughts on “Narcissism”

  1. Don, this is a great reminder of our sufficiency in Jesus Christ (; ). Your post reminded me of the chorus of the hymn Turn your Eyes upon Jesus:

    “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face, And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, In the light of His glory and grace.”

  2. this is a tough one. Narcissism can be one factor, but so also can a desire to be serving well. However, in my experience, the more I am fixated on how I am serving the more self-conscious I become making service more awkward. Self-forgetfulness would be a great thing one would assume!

    1. Hi, Jeff. Good to hear from you.

      Yes, “narcissism” is probably an awkward way to describe what I observe as a wide-spread tendency for people to spend undue amounts of energy and time focusing on how life affects them rather than about how they can impact others for good through the gospel.

      I become impatient with people, particularly people who call themselves Christians, who are constantly whingeing about their lot in life. Doing so denies the sovereignty of God.

      My dear departed father taught me that the important matter in life is not what comes your way, good or bad, but how you react to, or process those things.

      When I was a lad, he handed me a copy of Fox’s Book of Martyrs – that put things in perspective for me.

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