Ever Heard of a Narcissist who came to Salvation in Christ?

Hello,

I am seeking encouragement. I have a relative who is a narcissist, whom I will call Mara (bitter in Hebrew.) Narcissism was initially a new concept for me, and since realizing that Mara was one, I have done extensive looking into the subject. What is discouraging (in addition to the incredible lack of empathy and utter selfishness) is that because a narcissist by definition has a false self they are trying to make everyone believe is the real them, their whole life is a lie. Therefore, all the experts I have heard say there is no hope for a narcissist to change. (They would have to be willing to see truth, which narcissists by definition are unwilling to see.) This made it very unmotivating to pray for Mara’s salvation as it seemed hopeless no matter what. I did recently see the testimony of David Wood, who turned from psychopathy to Christ, and this has given me a good amount of hope, as narcissism is related to psychopathy and is the lesser of the two conditions. However, I have been hoping to find a testimony of a narcissist who turned to Christ. Have any of you out there heard such a testimony? I know God can do anything–but I would like encouragement in this matter.

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Hi @RebeccaN ! Thank you for being so truthful about your problem. I truly do feel your frustration. A friend asked me a similiar question about sociopaths before as well, it’s not easy trying to get through people and I’ve realized that people are pretty difficult in our own ways (including narcissists).

I’ll talk based on personal experience. When I was younger, I had many narcissistic tendencies, it was pretty bad. I was very selfish and prideful, immature as well. I would have fun on people’s expense and rarely felt any remorse at all. Nothing really changed until bad decisions in life hit me, relationally, emotionally and mentally.
It was then where I felt the world genuinely being out of control, I couldn’t rely on myself anymore. I wasn’t God. I tried to grip onto something for control and ended up gripping onto God. I went through and still go through many difficult times. I became depressed and had so much anxiety.

To a lot of people it seemed as of I had changed an became weaker and more sensetive but truthfully, I realised that I always had been depressed, living my life away from God. To cope with it, over my childhood years I became a narcissist. It was a self protecting mechanism.
Of course, I’ve only realised this now while looking back.
I kept asking God why it had to happen to me, why my life turned out like that. I didn’t like it at all. Over the years, because of this, I became a lot softer, a lot more loving and understanding towards those around me. I then realised that my breakdown was God’s way of softening up my heart and to bring me back to him. I cpuldn’t be the God of my own life anymore and had to rely on him.

I guess I’ll summarize it here. Truthfully, humans can only do so much. As we continue to pray for Mara, we would also need to remember that at the end of the day, it’s not our job to change people but God’s. God is in control and has his timing for things, even if it’s not on your schedule or even if things look uncertain, you can trust that God has a purpose for this as well. (Just as I’ve explained in my story).
We can’t change the hearts of people but faith and prayer definitely moves the hand of God. Even until now, some narcissistic tendencies still pop up, years of painful santification and is still ongoing. It really takes time and patience, however, don’t carry the burdern on your own. It’s for God to carry. God knew my heart and my vunerability, we can trust he knows hers and yours as well.:blush:

All the best!

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Thank you so much, Kiko, for your testimony. Praise God for answering me so quickly!

Yes, God can change us, but so often He must bring us to where there is no where else to turn but to Him for us even to give Him a thought. I believe that is where He must bring Mara as well.

I know I cannot change Mara. I cannot change another non-Christian I am much closer to either. Only God saves. We simply pray and act in obedience, and somehow our prayers and actions effect the spiritual world as well as the physcial, moving things around so that at last, God will bring our loved ones to Himself. He could do it all without us, but He chooses to do it through us.

I look forward to the day Mara will find Christ as well.

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Yup! Will keep you and Mara in my prayers🙏

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@RebeccaN I don’t know any narcissists, but I believe King Nebuchadnezzar was one. The Lord had to take him through the loss of everything, including his sanity, before he understood and gave God the glory. Don’t give up on Mara, but be as wise as a serpent, yet harmless as a dove.

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@Kiko Thank you for sharing what God has done in your life, Kiko. It is truly wonderful to see His handiwork.

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Thank you for reading😊

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I love this post! I love your brutal honesty and the work of beauty that God has brought about in your life. Wonderful testimony. Thanks for sharing.

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Hello Rebecca,
As a psychologist I have treated several patients with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) with the majority of them while in prison serving sentences for violent crimes. I have observed a higher rate of conversion to Christianity than I experienced in my private practice. Based upon my observations I would say there were two dominant influences in the change. First was the hopeless reality of being incarcerated and this took some time (2-3 years) to sink in. The second was the acceptance of God’s grace and love demonstrated through Jesus Christ. In five specific NPD cases I can recall the simple acknowledgment that love manifested in a cognitive shift in perspective and all five had been lead to start reading the Gospel of John by the prison Chaplains. It is possible to treat and control NPD with psychotropic medications, but for a sure change in diagnosis the Grace of God has to be received, acknowledged and enjoyed. God’s Blessing to you and Mara

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Ah, that is David Wood’s story as well: he found God while in prison and read the Gospel of John which was given to him by a chaplain.

Thank you!

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@RebeccaN I have been thinking a lot about this type of thing lately. I believe that it is very important to see God’s image whenever I see another person, no matter how poorly they think or act. @Drjorey and @Kiko have shown that Jesus can save the hardest cases. It is good to be aware of Mara’s narcissism, which can bring you to harm if you are not careful, but if you see Mara and not a narcissist whenever you see her then you have taken the first step towards reaching her for Christ. It might be interesting to ask her what you can pray about in her behalf. The answer to that question can reveal a lot about her true character.

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Thank you, @RebeccaN, for your desire to bring the love of Jesus into the life of someone who is dysfunctional because of the lack of this love in her life. I am not a narcissist but I have a related personality disorder. I believe the root of this disorder is a childhood trauma causing me to build a series of defenses against showing who I really am, building a series of personas to do this. When I became a Christian it was because my life had become unmanageable, and I needed to be saved from the horrible choices I had made. So Jesus became my savior. That was 26 years ago, and I see now that I looked to him as a savior but not as lord of my life. In his understanding of me and my limitations he has been dismantling the defenses I have put up, including the one where I saw myself as the only one who was right about the world. Through God’s providence I am in a church where, while they don’t understand why I do what I do, they have suffered and forgiven my bad behavior. I don’t know where to go from here, except that, as I know that God chose me, and I understand that he loves me with a depth that I can’t understand, he is continuing to change me and heal me. The bad behavior continues, but at this point I recognize it as where I don’t truthfully want to be, and I recognize when I hurt other people. I guess I should say that you should never underestimate the ability of the Holy Spirit to change lives, or his determination to heal what seems to be untreatable. He led me to a church that was perfect for me; it seems he is leading you to be a steady source of truth and love, even without understanding.

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Wow! Praise God for such rapid responses with both encouragement and a challenge to love.

Thanks for the encouragement of your experiences @Kiko, @Drjorey, and @carolsong88! This was exactly what I was hoping God would show me. And He has done far more than I expected.

Thank you, @blbossard, for your challenge. God loved us while we were still sinners, and we are to do the same. We are asked to live in truth and in love. And that has been a great challenge with Mara, for she had me deceived for a while to believe she was something she was not. I now have the truth, the reality. It is hard to love someone who lies constantly and hurt me and others I love. It is even harder to love someone who has only ever shown me facades and never her true self. The challenge is to love anyway, to remember under the many facades is the real Mara and to imagine what she is like from the memories others tell me. Salvation for Mara is not hopeless: God can do anything; and He loves Mara dearly and desires her salvation.

I am still learning how to love and pray well for her; how to pray God’s will for her and not mine or anyone else’s either. But I understand now that until we have the truth, we really cannot love, for God does not love what is not true. True love requires truth. And the truth is that I too was a sinner–we all were–but God loved me even then. Thus, I too must love as He loves.

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Thanks, @Kiko for blessing me with your testimony. Thanks for the blunt, bold, and brutal but honest experience. Many of us won’t recognize it or won’t admit it. May God bless you. If you don’t mind, may I ask you a few more questions?

  • You said that when you were younger, you had the narcissistic tendencies but many of us at a younger age, unknowingly might have had the tendencies. Why do you think the tendencies became reality?

  • When/how did you get the realization - What sparked it? I am not asking about the circumstances or the specific issue but what sparked/caused the realization of the issue - Did someone advise you? Some divine inspiration, pain, etc. The reason I am asking is to help a very close family member who is going through a similar situation for several years.

  • The person that I am trying to help has experienced extreme disappointments in life 20+ years ago, Christian but after the incident became narcissistic, unforgiving, extremely anxious, and fearful of everything. How can I show hope in Christ?

@RebeccaN - The person that I am referring to was a Christian before becoming narcissistic and in spite of all the unwanted changes that occurred, this person’s faith is still in Jesus. So, I hope and pray for your friend Mara as well.

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This thread has caused me to reflect on what narcissists we all are at root. That there are clinical diagnoses by which we may categorize certain types is true, but did not our progenitors eat the forbidden fruit because they desired to be like God? Do we not all do this in our hearts? Is this not what sin is? The clinically narcissistic are simply more narcissistic than what we consider to be average. I think that it would be interesting to consider our tendencies in this vein. Maybe if we reflect on how this appears in ourselves we may be more apt to forgive others their narcissism.

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You might enjoy this https://youtu.be/DakEcY7Z5GU
David Wood’s testimony. Incredible!

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I don’t know of any testimonies of narcissists coming to salvation but that doesn’t mean they are not out there. Even though this is a slightly different condition, David Wood (the person who helped lead Nabeel Qureshi to the Lord) is a psychopath. I am no psychologist and would not be the person to compare the two conditions, but they do both share a lack of empathy. If you are interested in seeing his testimony, here is a link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ffac0ZfaJsQ

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lol, beat me to it!

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I have no way of knowing your situation regarding “Mara” or what the indicators are that flag her as being an evil narcissist.

It’s quite a hefty label to put on someone. So, I would caution to make sure you’ve got your diagnosis is correct before presuming things that may not be entirely correct.

From what I’ve noticed around the internet, the label “narcissist” is an extremely popular smear tactic which name-callers use to pin on certain people. I have noticed that many of the the name-callers who call people narcissists exhibit very similar traits which they accuse the narcissist of. But consistent with the character of a narcissist they have various reasons to justify how they themselves, are not a narcissist. If you look into this you’ll see that it’s quite ironic…

The other thing I’ve noticed about the same kind of name-callers is that they tend to think nearly half the population of people are narcissists. So for example: If any person falls out of the social graces of the name-caller they are quick to label the person and to spread the word to their networks of people that so-and-so is a narcissist.

Clearly I’m not coming from a standpoint that has any clue who issued the diagnosis that “Mara” is a narcissist. I’m just saying that if the diagnosis was concluded directly by an actual doctor suited to diagnose narcissism then the label might be correct. If not, then you might strongly consider that “Mara” should not be deserving of such a horrible labeling and family presumption…