Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Avoid Such People

Have you ever met or interacted with a narcissistic person?
1But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. 2For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. 6For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions,7always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. 8Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith. 9But they will not get very far, for their folly will be plain to all, as was that of those two men. (2 Timothy 3:1-9. ESV.)
It is very difficult communicating with or working alongside one such person.

John Piper states the following:
For example, a superficial, simplistic, lopsided person might watch another person get angry at some sinful attitude he sees in a group, and draw the conclusion: This angry person is not a very compassionate person; he doesn’t have a lot empathy; he’s not able to weep with those who weep. But the instincts of a Bible-saturated person would not draw this conclusion because over the years he has been deepened and broadened in his grasp of the complexity of godliness, by running into so many strange juxtapositions….The Bible-saturated mind loves to linger long and mainly on the beauties of holiness, and the Bible-saturated mind knows that the ugliness of evil is real (in us and in the world) and we dare not be ignorant of it….And all the writers of the New Testament would agree that the “last days,” the “later times,” the “last time,” began with the coming of the Messiah, Jesus into the world….We need not and we must not let the immorality and horrors of the last days dampen our joy in Jesus. This is one of those strange, deep complexities of Christian holiness….These creeping opponents of the truth may not get spotted for what they are right away. Remember they have "an appearance of godliness." But they will be spotted. God knows those who are his. And he will protect his sheep….I am telling you, Timothy, that with this kind of evil in the world that we’ve been talking about, anyone — not just me — who takes a stand for godliness and who seeks to live out a life of positive purity and holiness and love which rescues the perishing — that person will be persecuted….It may cost you much to stand against the evil of the last days. But I promise you, by the authority of God’s word, if you stand by faith in your crucified and risen Savior you will be delivered and it will be infinitely worth it. (By John Piper. ©2014 Desiring God Foundation. Website: desiringGod.org. http://www.desiringgod.org/sermons/when-a-lover-of-good-thinks-about-evil)

The narcissistic, “superficial, simplistic, lopsided person” twists things around leaving other individuals (with whom he/she interacts) quite confused. Not only that, I have also witnessed the narcissist to look upon others with disdain and say things like, “I am above them,” and “[You, he/she, they] are nothing without me.” On a limited bases, this is perhaps tolerable. However, on a frequent bases, it is nearly unbearable. John Piper breaks down the 19 examples of an “evil person” like this:
Verse 2: “For people will be
> lovers of self (narcissistic),
> lovers of money (materialistic),
> proud (loving to draw attention to their accomplishments),
> arrogant (with an inflated view of self),
> abusive (wanting to be verbally hurtful),
> disobedient to their parents (having a rebellious spirit),
> ungrateful (assuming that they have a right to the things they get),
> unholy (indifferent to the attitudes and acts that reflect the value of Jesus),
> heartless (unable to sympathize or empathize),
> unappeasable (unwilling to forgive),
> slanderous (devilishly distorting what other say and do),
> without self-control (a slave to their appetites),
> brutal (dead to all tenderness),
> not loving good (unable to see and savor moral beauty),
> treacherous (breaking promises for their own advantage),
> reckless (craving admiration for taking risks),
> swollen with conceit (blind to the ugliness of self-preoccupation and the beauty of admiring others),
> lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God (finding more satisfaction in physical titillation than in the divine admiration),
> having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power (using religion for personal gain without treasuring Christ above all).” (2 Timothy 3:2–5).

Followers of Christ are called to 2 Timothy 3:10-13 which says,
10 You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness,11my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra—which persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me. 12Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.

God is just! Whenever having to deal with such an individual as described above, I know God will sort it out. No matter what! It is just a matter of time. I am His and the “evil person” is not.
18The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen. (2 Timothy 4:18. ESV.)

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