Paul wrote the following New Testament verses to Timothy; concerning the character and behavior of leaders within the church, not in the world. He warned Timothy to beware that some will act out of a self-love attitude. Paul says, “You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!” 2 Timothy 3:1-5 (NLT)
In 2 Timothy 3 Paul named many attributes associated with today’s modern psychology term; narcissistic personality disorder. Our world is quickly becoming familiar with this disorder in record numbers.
Today we will take a look at why a narcissist uses slander.
(We are not talking about a narcissist in general, but specifically someone with narcissistic personality disorder.)
Narcissists tend to worship the fantasy of who they are in their mind. Larger than life is a good description of how to view the narcissist. They have built themself up to be greater than reality. They believe their own hype and therefore feel intrinsically superior to everyone around them. Their inflated false view of themselves (huge ego) is the foundation of their misinterpretations of reality; I refer to this as the, “I am and there is none besides me” mentality.
They feel superior in every way to everyone. This is a source of pain and envy for them whenever they feel out talked, out worked, out smarted or out done…by anyone.
Envy and jealousy are integral parts of narcissism (envy is a desire for what another person has, while jealousy is the fear that something can be taken away). Narcissists are envious of anything in others that they themselves lack (i.e. beauty, possessions, knowledge, personal qualities, power, skills, achievements, qualifications, relationships, money etc). Envy can consume them, and the list of what they covet can be endless. Envy is a feeling which can range from mild to severe, from healthy to unhealthy, from positive to negative. For example, healthy envy has positive qualities. Healthy envy acts as a valuable guide. You may see something you admire in another person and decide you will grow in wisdom or character to achieve that quality—you use it for personal growth. Healthy envy is empowering because it brings you nearer to your life’s goal, or closer to the likeness of Christ. Unhealthy envy is disempowering because it keeps you bound to a fantasy, making you blind to your own true nature. Because the narcissist is a grand actor who acts out of a false self, they suffer from a twisted heart, leaving them at the mercy of their unhealthy envy—envy that can trigger their feelings of vulnerability, shame and self-loathing. Any of these feelings can result in narcissistic injury, to which the narcissist almost always reacts with rage. In order to free themselves of such emotional turmoil and recover their equilibrium, the narcissist mirrors those intolerable feelings onto the person of their envy. Once you become the object of the narcissists envy you are in serious trouble. In order to improve their own self-image they are likely to make false allegations about your integrity, lie about your motives, or paint you as a fool. This is not innocent gossip, rather it is an intentional and premeditated character assassination that is aimed at defaming you in order to destroy your reputation and make them feel better about themselves. Be warned, they are cold, ruthless, malicious, aggressive, self-serving, uncompromising in the pursuit of their objective, and do not care about your feelings. This can be dirty politics at its best.
If your narcissist is a family member you may wonder how they can love you and destroy you at the same time. Remember: They are and there is none besides them! Although narcissists are grand actors they have a difficult time sincerely bonding and loving unconditionally; even with their own family members. Their grand acting keeps people on the outside from seeing the inside truth.
No amount of love, logic, accountability, discipline, or reasoning will get through to the narcissist. Trying to gain their understanding, attempting to bring them to repentance, or hoping for an apology is not an outcome based scenario in the life of someone with this personality disorder. In the end you will be increasingly frustrated over the time, energy, emotion, and/or finances you spent in vain. And here’s the real kicker…all your efforts simply reinforce to the narcissist that you are the irrational one.
Let me leave you with this: You are not crazy. What you’re experiencing is real. It’s wrong, it’s harmful, and it messes with our mind. Don’t allow the narcissist to place blame on you.
Sixteen years of anticipating justice was a long wait and the only reason I kept my sanity was that the Lord’s great love endures forever. And I understood His voice in my heart, soul, mind and strength telling me to trust Him because He was working. I was to keep silent, except for prayer, and wait on His sovereign timing.
God did use other people to stand up for the little children but when a defendant suffers from a narcissistic personality you can bet your bottom dollar most people will believe and defend the accused. Why? Narcissists are the best of the best actors and liars.
A few weeks ago I shared in, My Destructive Marriage, about a friend who knew the extreme depravity of my husband and yet was not able to come to terms with it. I posted the letter of rebuttal I received from this friend.
Well, George (from My Destructive Marriage) wasn’t the only person who didn’t believe me. Truth be told; I lost most of my closest friends and dozens of ministry friends. While my soon to be ex-husband made his rounds to secure believability and support; the Lord gave me His peace, provision, a supportive family, and some of the most amazing female friends for which I ever asked.
I had to live with the reputation of being a liar; of lying about my husband because that is what he told anyone and everyone who would listen. You may know the saying “People believe the first thing they hear.” This is especially true when it is the only thing they hear.
Here is another letter.
Please note as you read the below letter that the Christian association which sent out the letter did not bother to tell their supporters the charges for which my ex-husband was arrested. I think the supporters deserved the whole truth so they could make an informed decision about continued financial and prayer support.
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Dear Co-Laborers in Christ,
In past years you have read of Evangelist S in our newsletters. S joined as an Overseas Evangelist several years back and served honorably and successfully winning many souls to Christ. S was not full time, he was part time. His full time service was as the Minister of a Church in Independence, Kansas, where he preached and was loved by that congregation for over 6 years. One year and a half ago S was suddenly arrested and jailed in Independence and he has remained in jail ever since. Many of us are grieved because we believe S is 100% innocent of the charge that has been made against him. We are asking all Christians to pray for Evangelist S. He is your brother in Christ. He was baptized as a boy at the County Christian Church in Kansas, where his father and mother were among the founding members of that church. S was also ordained to the ministry by the Elders of the County Christian Church after graduating from Bible College. S’s trial will take place at the courthouse in Independence, Kansas, the first week of August. Several of us who live in Joplin and surrounding towns plan to be present for the trial and will be in constant prayer that God will lead the Defense Attorney to accurately present S’s side of the story. Please pray for S, pray for his wife, pray for the Judge and for each member of the jury. Pray that S may be acquitted so he can continue his effective work as an overseas evangelist. Thinking about the Apostle Paul. During S’s incarceration I have often written to him and he has written many letters to me. Receiving a letter from S in jail is very similar to reading Paul’s Prison Epistles in the New Testament. I want to share with you one of S’s letters:
“Dear R and E,
Thank you for the wonderful and encouraging letter I received from you. I so much appreciate the news of our evangelists’ work around the world. I am keeping these in my thoughts and prayers—and hope to join you in the work again soon. How could I possibly express how thankful I am to both of you for watching out for, comforting, and encouraging my wife through these terribly difficult times? May an abundance of grace be credited to your account. (Philippians 4:16-18). Jail has exposed me to men who have engaged in the worst of all behaviors. Many brag about their addictions to drugs and sex—the most lewd descriptions I have been forced to hear. It is sickening to hear it day after day. The word to best describe it is TORTURE! The good news is that one-by-one, they have come to me and asked questions about the Bible. There are moments of shame and despair. I pray throughout the day for all of them—for the Lord to reach their hearts.
One man, convinced that “all men are equal,” (not believing that anyone was better than him) reacted violently toward me when I said, “Yes, I believe there are some who are better than others.” I used examples like Noah and Job and Enoch and Elijah. He nearly hit me he was so angry; he said that I was Satanic. Then after telling him that I loved him, I left the room. Later that day, I handed him a Bible reference…”Consider others more important than yourselves…” (Philippians 3:2). It amazes me how so many do not esteem others beyond themselves. Needless to say, there is little to no respect for authority. I have always had “heroes in the faith”. These men refuse to consider anyone as being better than themselves. While I understand that “all have sinned” and “all need the Savior”, there are many who are “walking in a manner worthy of their calling.” We are to “Give honor to whom honor is due.” These are foreign concepts; they demand respect, but often forget to give it. The hardships are discouraging, and sometimes I lose hope—but my faith is strong. I cannot deny the Lord’s word, nor can I deny His faithfulness. Thank you again for all you are doing to help us in this difficult situation. I believe the Lord will deliver me home and restore my joy. I love you both beyond words.
S, Psalm 103
OUR APPEAL IS THAT A LARGE ARMY OF PRAYER WARRIORS WILL SURROUND S WITH YOUR PRAYERS TO GOD FOR HIS ACQUITTAL.
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A friend messaged me as an alert that this letter was circulating to all the world-wide prayer and financial supporters of this evangelistic association.
Weeks later, a different friend, called to tell me they had spoken with the man who wrote the letter. They pleaded with the man to step back, pray about it, research narcissistic personality disorder, and allow the law to do its job because this arrest was overdue, necessary justice and future protection for innocent children.
The evangelist found my friend’s remarks impossible to believe. He said he knew the defendant intimately from traveling the world with him on mission trips and had spent much time in prayer with him. He would consider it but doubted what he was being told by my friend.
I would like to ask this man, “How did you think I felt? I was his wife. I loved him, supported him, was intimate with him, believed him, and listened to him preach, pray and lead people to Christ week after week. It took years to rectify my heart and mind with facts—years!”
This letter literally made me sick to my stomach for multiple reasons.
This evangelist later attended the trial and the sentencing as a supporter of the defendant.
Twenty three plus years ago I knew this evangelist, and his wife, from North American Christian Conventions that I attended with my then husband; the defendant. We would visit with them at their exhibit table and eat meals together with our mutual friends; Dewey, Barbara and their daughter and son-in-law who were close friends of mine.
Did the evangelist and his wife ever wonder what happened to me? Why didn’t they inquire about why the defendant was divorced? Did they not find it odd that he had no contact with, or rights to, his biological child? Did they not remember that far back? Why did they not have questions or concerns since this man would be traveling with them to foreign countries for the purpose of working in orphanages?
I saw the evangelist’s wife stare at me multiple times in court. I wondered if she remembered me, if perhaps she thought I was an absolutely wicked woman, or if she was trying to make sense of the difference between the defendant’s first wife and second wife. I held out little hope that everything was adding up to her and she now realized the defendant’s guilt.
There is NO understanding this without understanding the influence and believability of a narcissist.
“Though I am glad this predator was finally caught and removed from having more opportunities to abuse little ones, I am sickened by the fact that the faith community has embraced him and advocates for his innocence. I have no doubt these individuals will one day be called into account for their failure to protect the vulnerable as they were too busy protecting evil. So glad that justice finally arrived…” ~Boz Tchividjian@ G.R.A.C.E.
The moral of my story is this: Narcissists are nearly impossible to identify. This is maddening to any woman who finds herself married to one because when she finally finds the courage to tell the nightmare she has lived through; very few people believe her since the narcissistic husband has hidden his real self to the world while letting it all hang out at home. The extended family knows, the wife knows, the kids know. The sad aspect is the wife is considered the crazy unstable person by many friends for exposing her reality when in fact, the opposite is true; the husband is unstable. Narcissists mirror all accusations toward the accuser, framing the victim as the perpetrator. Read more about this aspect of NPD here..
To this day I have people who believe I am a liar and who still believe I lied about the reasons for which I divorced my husband. This—after his conviction which led to being sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for 25 years. I can live with it because I know who I am, I know Who loves me, and He who loves me knows the truth. Nothing else matters.
This article is for the women out there in cyber space living a similar nightmare. Many of you arrive at Spiritual Battles from countries all over the globe looking for answers and help for your toxic marriage. You are not crazy, you are not alone, and you are not wrong. You are a woman of God!
“I am a woman of God
Redeemed by Jesus Christ
Loved, pursued and chosen
Equipped with words of life
Clothed in strength and dignity
Commissioned here and now
Gifted by the Spirit
Forgiven and unbound
Blessed is she who believed”
~Living Proof Live with Beth Moore
Click below to listen to the song version and commit it to memory. Next time you feel crazy or like you might lose your sanity at any moment; sing the song and remind yourself who you are according to your creator and the lover of your soul.