One of the most, if not the most viewed posts I've written is: Is He A Narcissistic Sociopath? 20 Signs That post has had so many views I find myself cringing if this is not a reflection of where the world is… leaving me to bewilderingly wonder if indeed narcissistic sociopaths are becoming the majority and those who are high on empathy are being emotionally annihilated faster than we can all count to twenty. But… joking aside, this post is an important one.
The other day as I was replying to a few comments on that post I typed in so many words that… "narcissistic sociopaths cannot be helped, that they cannot change". Since that time I've felt a tugging conviction and I believe that is where this post is coming from. Some may not like this post… but I believe this is something that needs to be said.
What I typed needs clarification.
A person may not be able to help a narcissistic sociopath change.
A therapist may not be able to help a narcissistic sociopath change.
But someone can help them.
If God cannot help a narcissistic sociopath change, if He cannot help he or she in ways that only He can… if He cannot SAVE them… then how on earth can He help us either?
It would be putting a limit on God saying He cannot help a narcissistic sociopath.
My saying "Joe" or "Susie Q" etc or "a highly qualified therapist" cannot help a narcissistic sociopath may certainly hold true… however, God being incapable to help he or she who is broken?... I cannot say that. That's the difference. This is a post that has been a long time coming and in that I don't want any reader to believe for a minute that the tortuous pain, grief and manipulation they have been through… many of them years on end (myself included) is okay, permissible, etc… because it'snot okay. I believe in distance, "no contact" and setting boundaries between a narcissistic sociopath and their target… it is essential for health and healing. At the same time… it is worth writing this post to point out that at no time can we say God can not save a narcissistic sociopath… that is entirely up to Him.
Narcissistic behavior is the stark polar opposite of the Christian faith… it only stands to reason to believe that when their core traits are those of manipulation, lying, image seeking, supply to feed themselves, etc that they won't go to God and admit their brokenness, their faults, failures, sin. Whereas the Christian faith is one of repentance… crying out to God seeking Him, His grace, favor, His forgiveness because we know we need it.
As children we may go through hurts, loss, pain and dysfunction as we live under the same roof of our families. We may endure horrific physical, sexual, verbal and emotional abuse at the hands of a narcissistic parent… some flee from their childhood homes unscathed minus many or a few scars and some unfortunately end up modeling after their narcissistic parent… embodying what they grew up with… they are sadly never able to seemingly find that acceptance, that love, that peace that they so desperately desired growing up… leading them to feeling inadequate, unlovable, abandoned. Whereas others may have found eventual healing from within from the unconditional love of Jesus… a wounded child with a broken heart that grows into a narcissistic adult may struggle believing that Christ truly loves he or she. But it's true… He loves and He wants to heal you… He didn't sit down and draw straws on who He was going to die for… the narcissist, a sinner, a broken individual is included.
New International Version
"The King will reply,
'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these
brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'
Being a Christian is reflecting God's love for others… even when they are less than lovely… when we walk a path of care and let God's love pour out abundantly without restrictions, without limitations, without a choosing of who to give it to… this true love comes from God. Knowing Christ died for us on the cross long ago… way before we were even the apple of our mother's eye enables us to express love, mercy and prayer to others regardless of our all-human fickle feelings and our wondering if it will be returned. We can remember we don't have to get worked up about what the "other person"aka the narcissistic sociopath (or anyone, really) is going to do, what they are thinking, etc… we can just extend love even if it's from a distance.
And this is my prayer:
that your love may abound more and more…
In going to God and praying for a narcissistic sociopath we can humbly relay our concerns about the individuals behavior, about the damage they have done…. and then let it rest… trust that He will take care of it as He sees fit… we must not boss God around and state that He must get this person under control (!) tempting as that may be… (guilty here on a few occasions in the depths of frustration). He doesn't take orders from us whether our life is all sweet as pie at the moment or down in the dumps. But He does want us to pray… which we can do… pray to Him about what is causing us pain, what the person has done to hurt us or inflict chaos… we can go to Him and ask for comfort which He will readily give us… after that, the rest is up to Him.
Anyone who has lived a life either under the iron clad grasp of a narcissistic parent or has been married to one… even worked for one, etc… knows firsthand that life with them isn't easy… stress, anxiety, walking on eggshells, abuse and tears are rampant… and support is needed… at minimum distance or preferably "no contact" is needed and affirmation that you are not alone as well… that's why I've written so many posts on divorce, co-parenting and child custody related to narcissistic sociopaths… because knowing you're not alone is the very first step toward recovery from these toxic relationships… not to mention sharing the red flags of their manipulation we can hopefully prevent many other's become unwitting targets by becoming educated about the behavior. But in the pain we've experienced from a narcissistic sociopath (personality disordered individual) … when we go to God and ask for comfort, when we ask for help, when we ask for Him to wipe away our tears… let's also humbly pray to God not just for the oppressed... but for our oppressors.
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