Is the predominance of narcissism predicted for the last days?
People will love only themselves. – 2 Timothy 3:2
2 Timothy 3:1-5
1 You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times.
2 For people will be lovers of themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred.
3 They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good.
4 They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God.
5 They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!
Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration, and lack of empathy (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM–5)). The etiology of narcissistic personality disorder is multifaceted. Some studies have suggested a genetic predisposition toward the disorder. Developmental experiences, negative in nature, being rejected as a child, and a fragile ego during early childhood may have contributed to its occurrence in adulthood.
How many individuals in the US have NPD? Prevalence rates can be from 1% to 15% of the United States population (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov).
Being married to someone with NPD can be torturous. It often leads to Narcissistic Abuse. “In a relationship, a person with NPD typically puts their partner through the following cycles:”
“Idealizing: In this stage, usually at the beginning of the relationship, the person with NPD puts their partner on a pedestal, smothering them with affection, praise, gifts, and promises about the future.”
“Criticizing: Also called the devaluation stage, this is the period when the relationship has settled into a comfortable rhythm, and the person with NPD stops valuing their partner. Instead, they pull back on affection and may subject their partner to emotionally abusive tactics, such as gaslighting, putdowns, blaming, and projection.”
“Discarding: Eventually, the person with NPD pushes their partner away entirely, breaking off the relationship, often in favor of a new one that fulfills their need for validation” (Lana Bandoim).
“According to the DSM-5, you may have NPD if you have at least five of the following characteristics:
- Have an inflated sense of self-importance
- Fantasize about being more successful, powerful, beautiful, and rich than other people
- Think you are special and only want to be around other special people
- Need more than the normal amount of admiration
- Feel entitled
- Are willing to exploit others to your advantage
- Do not feel empathy for others
- Feel jealous of others or think they are jealous of you
- Behave arrogantly” (Lana Bandoim).
“People with NPD have learned to ignore, suppress, deny, project, and disavow their vulnerabilities (or at least try) to shape and reshape “who they are” in their interactions. Change – allowing the vulnerability back in – means opening up to the very feelings they’ve learned to avoid at all costs. It’s not that people with NPD can’t change; it’s that it often threatens their sense of personhood to try. And their failed relationships often confirm, in their minds, that narcissism is the safest way to live” (psychologytoday.com).
“Narcissists can’t be narcissistic in a vacuum. They need the right audience to feel like a star, for example, so they often cultivate relationships with people who stick around for the show instead of the person. Over time, as their perfect facade starts to slip, their constant fear that people will find them lacking becomes a horrifying reality.”
“When they fall for someone who could be more than just an adoring fan – someone who offers the hope of a more authentic, enduring love – narcissists still live with the paralyzing fear that they’ll somehow be deemed unworthy. Their terror is frequently out of awareness and nearly always managed with bravado and blame, but it’s profound and palpable. Sadly, their anger at having their mistakes and missteps exposed ultimately alienates their loved ones . . .. The sad irony of the narcissistic condition is that, in an effort to protect themselves, narcissists inevitably invite the very rejection and abandonment they fear in the first place” (psychologytoday.com).
“When we fall in love with ourselves, our own appetites consume our souls. We become our own lover, pandering to that solitary ‘I’ which must, of necessity, dismiss all threats and counterclaims to our affections. Everything from thoughts to possessions must be lavished upon the one we love -ourselves” (Larson).
2 Timothy 3:1-4 “is one of the most terrible pictures in the New Testament of what a godless world would be like, with the terrible qualities of godlessness set out in a ghastly list” (Barclay).
The Greek word translated as difficult is chalepos. In the New Testament, chalepos is used only twice. In Matthew 8:28 it refers to the vicious ferocity of the two demoniacs from the country of the Gadarenes. 2 Timothy 3:1 describes the Zeitgeist, the character and essence of the age which marks the last days. The days will be so horrendous; they are difficult to endure, troublesome, dangerous, harsh, fierce, menacing, and savage. “The word was used in classical Greek both of dangerous wild animals and of the raging sea . . .. This gives us an idea of the kind of seasons which the church must expect in the last days. They will be both painful and perilous, hard to endure and hard to cope with.” (John Stott).
REFLECT & PRAY
Are invisible evil spiritual influencers working behind the scenes to lay the groundwork for the rise of the Antichrist?
Father thank You that every child of the King can be free from narcissistic self-love. Strengthen and encourage me to love You before and above all else.
“Paul opens with the sweeping statement that men will be vile in various ways. He is . . .. Voicing the apocalyptic foreboding of a general repudiation of law, decency, and natural affection. . .. complete moral corruption is liable to ensue when men abandon God for absorption in self and material satisfactions” (Kelly).
2 Timothy 3:2 For people will love only themselves.
The Greek term translated as love only themselves is philautos from phílos – loving and autos – self. Phílautos emphasizes “self-importance; hence ‘self-centered’ (NJB, NABR), ‘utterly self-centered’” (UBS).This term could be rendered self-lovers. People will be lovers of themselves.
“It is appropriate that this vice is placed at the head of the list since the other vices seem to stem from it” (UBS). This is far “more Than just narcissistic egotism” (Quinn and Wacker).
“If we start worshiping ourselves, we will ignore God and start loving things and using people. This is the formula for a miserable life, yet it characterizes many people today. The worldwide craving for things is just one evidence that people’s hearts have turned away from God” (Wiersbe).
When people choose to love themselves rather than God, they become lovers of money (philarguroi from phílos – love and arguros – silver) and lovers of pleasure (philedonos from phílos – love and hedon – pleasure).
Matthew 24:12 Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold.
© Dr. H 2022