Narcissists Who Cry


A  certain someone in my life makes me feel guilty, somehow I am never good enough. Granted that I am not perfect; but I have to wonder and ask myself – am I that bad?  I feel like I cant seem to catch a break… no matter how much I try,  it doesn’t feel like I have done enough.

I feel distraught and lost. Like the world would be a better place sans me. I wonder if I am Narc myself. Maybe I am…

While looking up on the net, I came across a piece in an article, that seemed to resonate with my situation. (https://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2010/03/29/narcissists-who-cry-the-other-side-of-the-ego/)

Here goes….

“Another way that the narcissist’s ego gets special attention is through the role of being a victim. Welcome to the victimized extreme narcissist. Most persons recognize ego as arrogance. At the same time they fail to see the subtle deception of ego when it takes the role of a being a victim. As kind and compassion-driven human beings, we easily are fooled by this form of extreme ego. We are constantly hearing the voices of the needy in the media through a variety of forms. The disenfranchised, the poor, the homeless, the hurting, the refugees, the abused, and the list goes on. What we often do not see is that we are many times shamed by these voices for not doing enough for them. All along it is easy to be manipulated as we respond from our hearts. The deception of the ego is that the narcissist can hide behind misfortune and victimization in order to shame you into feeling and believing that they suffer more than you do. They will say that you don’t care enough for them. They will make you feel that you have not done enough to help them. The ego wants attention, control, gain, and power over others by positioning itself as a “poor and helpless” victim. It does this; all the while it soaks up the attention and control over others. In the eyes of an extreme narcissist, their situation is always right and totally justified. Instead of taking responsibility for self and consequences, the extreme narcissist tries to make others feel responsible for their plight. Because extreme narcissists are incredibly adept at the game of manipulation, they will always find a way to turn the tables on you. They will try to make you responsible and feel guilty for not helping them or taking their side and cause.”

The thing is, I don’t know how to help myself or the object of my concern. I am not even sure if I have a good conscience anymore. I have to think twice and constantly doubt myself.

word-salad-narcissistsI feel lost and emotionally bereft, like I had fired all the rounds and they were all blanks and I don’t have anymore…

There was a time in my life when I was extremely selfish and did not care for anyone else, because addiction is a terrible thing…

I guess it’s payback now… I just have to bite hard, and wait for the pain to subside.

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How do you want to be remembered?


 

Repentance

Repentance

“So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ.  When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory.”

How do you want to be remembered?  We have to accept that death is a part of this life.  Not to be feared, but to be a celebration of this life and the life to come.  From a jail cell, Paul wrote, “For you have died and your life is hid with Christ in God.”  The person you were before coming to faith is gone and you have been born again.  When that happen, life changes.

Lives that burned for the things of this world are transformed into selfless lives of service.  Things are seen for what they are.  They have functional value and it’s nice to have nice things, but not at the expense of being able to do for others or finding your self-worth in them.

We don’t remember people for what the took — we remember people for what they gave.  How do you want to be remembered?

 

Pastor Shawn, Seymour UMC

Author of Incomplete

Authority.


 

God can do a lot with Little Judges 6:14

God can do a lot with Little Judges 6:14

 

I mentioned last week that we are near the end of Christ’s life in the book of Matthew.  He had made his triumphal return to the city of Jerusalem for the last time.  He had been hailed as a king, “Hosanna, Hosanna, in the highest!”

His relationship with the high priests, those that studied and were experts on religious custom and the law was contentious prior to his arrival in Jerusalem at the time of the Passover, a time of celebration for the Jewish people.

The people hailed him as a king when he entered the city.  Then Christ had the audacity to go to the temple and drive out those who were selling animals to be sacrificed in the temple.  Jewish people traveled from great distance to celebrate, worship and offer a sacrifice to their God.

Those that did the commerce in the temple took a little for themselves.  Let us exploit these travelers, these pilgrims.  Christ kept reversing the norm and upsetting those that took advantage of others. 

In today’s scripture, Christ enters the temple again, the very same place where he had just run those trying to make a profit.  He was teaching and preaching.

Those religions leaders I spoke of have had enough of him.  They approach him and ask, “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?”

Why do you keep upsetting us, why are we the butt of these riddles you speak of, why do you keep exposing us?  That is what I think is going through their minds.  What gives you the right, who do you think you are?

To their defense not many people knew Christ’s true identity.  He didn’t flaunt it around, instead he kept it a secret oftentimes. 

Knowing that they were out to get him Christ responded to their question with a question, “I will also ask you one question; if you tell me the answer, then I will also tell you by what authority I do these things.  Did the baptism of John come from heaven, or was it of human origin?”

Where did John the Baptist get his authority?  It was granted to him by our God of course.  He was called to be the voice out in the wilderness, paving the way for his cousin, Jesus the Messiah.  John the Baptist was wildly popular and had disciples of his own.

After discussing this among themselves, the chief priests, elders and scribes respond, “If we say, ‘from heaven,’ he will say to us, ‘why then did you not believe him?’  But if we say, ‘of human origin, we are afraid of the crowd for all regard John as a prophet.” 

“We don’t know.”  That was their answer, we don’t know.  Christ answered them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.”

Discovering who Christ truly is should be central to our lives.  We should want the answer to the question that was posed…..Oh that’s easy, Christ is God’s son, he’s part of the trinity that many don’t fully understand, there is your answer.

That is a correct, but dangerously superficial answer.  The Christian journey is a life-long adventure into finding the truth in our own lives.  That search for truth always points us in the direction of our God. 

You know, I read this week’s scripture early this week and I was sure that I was going to struggle with it.  So I read it again and I was still sure I was going to labor with this reading from Matthew because the meaning within it wasn’t obvious to me.

I would like to think I can read scripture and know pretty quick what direction I’m going to go with it.  That wasn’t the case with this in spite of the fact that my bible titles this encounter, “The Authority of Jesus Questioned.”

It was questioned during his lifetime.  It is questioned now.  Does God exist, can you see the work of his hand in this world, can you see the work of his people? 

I like to think that I stick to the scripture, but I got to thinking about authority when I was struggling with this scripture. 

Authority.  Was it important to respect and obey your parents growing up?  Of course it was, we didn’t always do it, but they are our parents and they are an authority figure.

Did, or are, you supposed to listen to your teachers?  Your coaches?  To those in law enforcement, your doctor, your attorney, your parole officer – if you have one and maybe even your pastor….Why……

Because each is an authority figure and each has power and influence and hopefully they know what they are doing.  Our God is the ultimate authority figure, to whom we will have to give an account of our deeds someday.

Authority figures give us advise, they look out for our best interest and they tell us what to do and that is where things don’t go so good.  How many of you like to be told what to do?  How many of you didn’t do something because someone told you to do it?

All of us have probably done that.  We like to have options, make our own choices, I don’t like being ordered to do something.  It seems like we live in a time where authority figures are questioned, judged and blamed.

It’s not my child’s fault, the fault lies with the teacher, with the coach, the principal or whoever it was that tried to provide something that looked like discipline. 

We desperately need authority in our lives.  We depend on it.  We need leaders within our church, our school our community that have the courage to step up and lead in spite of the insults hurled at them.

We depend on authority, we need it, we have to have it.  We depend and are reliant on Christ’s authority.  If Christ is not God’s son, if he did not die on a cross and was resurrected three days later we are all wasting our time.  You should have slept in this morning and you certainly should not be paying me to preach to you.

We would be random people living random lives that made little sense.  I would rather believe that I am wonderfully made than I descended from an ape or caveman. 

We need to respect and honor our God’s authority, we need to listen for his voice, for his guidance and direction.  Once we hear it, once we make time to listen for it.  He has a calling for each of us.

Doesn’t mean it is to be a minister, a missionary or a monk or a nun.  We have to take the courage to answer that call, to submit to that authority. 

I think that is what authority is.  We minded our parents, for the most part hopefully, and submitted to what they wanted us to do because they had our best interest in mind in trying to teach us and mold us into hard-working, law-abiding citizens.

Teachers, coaches, family and friends have played the same role in our lives.  It is no different with our God.  

He has looked after and cared for us when we turned our back on him.  We’ve had to endure and suffer and we didn’t like it, it was awful.  But did it make us better?  Did it allow us to be grateful and feel blessed for all that we did have? 

The authority of our God, in three persons, is absolute and pure.  The bible is God’s word, his letter to each of us, it is how he reveals himself in the written word.  It has authority.  Let us honor our God who works tirelessly to bring us closer to him. 

Pastor Shawn, Seymour UMC

Author of Incomplete

http://www.incompletedevotional.com

Who do people say that I am?


Does GOD Exist?

Does GOD Exist?

“Who do people say that I am?” asked Christ.  Who do you say that I am?  A sharp, pointed question that might leave some struggling to answer.  Have we, have you, have I, thought about the answer to that question?

After yet another exchange with the leaders of the church, Christ has some quiet time with his disciples away from the crowds, scribes and Pharisees.  It was time for discussion with his disciples.

It is not uncommon to wonder what others think of you, even if you are the Son of God.  “Who do you say that I am?”  Maybe this question was borne out of curiosity on the part of Christ or maybe it was something of a test for his disciples.

Who do you say the Son of Man is?  Christ often referred to himself as the Son of Man.  Christ referring to himself as the Son of Man confirms his divinity and his human nature. 

When I pose the question to you about who Christ is and who is he to you, what kind of response would I get?  Maybe an objective, textbook-like answer free of emotion or attachment.  Jesus is the Son of God, Savior, Lord, teacher, rabbi, to name a few.

Should our answer as Christians be far more personal and connected?  I think that it should be.  This man they call Christ that existed on the same plane and form as God took on flesh to live in this world of selfishness, violence and pain.

He came to this world not as a military leader or educated, learned part of the church hierarchy, but as a suffering servant.  He could have had everything, but he chose to possess nothing.

Christ could have chosen more educated, sophisticated men to lead, that might have been easier.  He could have stopped the beating, torture and crucifixion that he endured.  He chose to follow his father’s will, out of obedience, not out of weakness.  There is nothing weak about Christ or being a Christian.

When you speak about your family do you speak in stiff, unemotional tones or do you talk about my parents, my children, my spouse.  I have referred to my kids as my wife’s kids when they do something that I’m not pleased with.

When you speak of your father do you say, “My biological father conceived three children with my biological mother?”  I don’t know anyone that talks like that.  It is personal, my dad, my mother, my grandparents, my children.

The relationship that each of us has with our God should be deep and meaningful as well.  My God, My Savior, My Creator.

Christ asked his disciples this question, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”  And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, but other say Elijah and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 

Some say John the Baptist, Christ’s cousin, the man with the strange appearance, the voice crying out in the wilderness, “Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.”

Others say Elijah, the prophet who upstaged 450 pagan prophets at Mt Carmel.  Still others say you are Jeremiah.  A prophet who was given the task of preaching to people that didn’t listen to him.  History refers to Jeremiah as the weeping prophet.

 The disciples had answered the question of who and what others thought Christ was.  Now come this sharp, abrupt question, “But who do you say that I am?” 

The pointed words, questions and parables that came from the Son of God.  Had the time he had invested in them made an impact?  Had they seen enough to erase any doubt they may have had?

The brash, outspoken disciple, Peter, fires back, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God!”….and there it is .  You are the Son of the living God.  A God that is alive, who works in this world to bring life to his people.

Peter did not say you are the Son of the cold and distant God.  He did not say you are the son of the God that we’re not sure about anymore. 

Christ is the God that took on flesh.  He is the God that desires to have a relationship with those he created, to those that he loved enough to give them the freedom of how to live their lives. 

The God we serve is a God that heals, reveals, that brings life, eternal life to his people.  After Simon Peter had answered, Christ said to him, “Blessed are you son of Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, it is from my Father in heaven.”

It was not mere mortal that had told Peter of Christ’s true identity, it was a revelation, a truth spoken to Peter from God.  How blessed Peter must have felt.  Not only does he live during Christ’s lifetime, he is one of his very disciples.  Of that chosen few God has revealed this most precious of truths.

Whether he realized it or not, Peter had attested to the truth, that Christ is the son of the living God.  Truth is an interesting thing.  Many search for it, but not everyone finds it.  We are called to search for the truth in our own lives.

The truth is that Christ is the son of the living God.  That much is truth.  But we are called to continue to seek him, to seek our God, to seek the truth in our own lives.  As I mentioned earlier, the relationship each of us has with our God should be personal.

It is not as easy as leaving here today saying, the preacher said that Christ is the son of God.  That is truth and now I’ll be on my way.  We are called into a deeper relationship with Christ and with one another.

On this truth, on this revelation, Christ said that he will build his church and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.  On this truth that Peter attested to Christ built his church and in spite of all the violence, hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, shootings, terrorist acts, darkness, selfishness and need for convenience in this world, nothing, including the gates of hell will prevail against it.  Nothing.

Who do you say that Christ is?  Is it a question that you have given much thought to?  The Son of the Living God.  Can you see his work in your life, in others and in your church? 

Christ would continue, “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”  Then he sternly warned them not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.

We know that Christ’s ministry was a fairly short, it lasted about three years.  He will give the keys to his church, the keys of the kingdom of heaven to his disciples to spread the good news.

It would be the acts of the disciples and apostles that would spread the gospel after Christ’s death and resurrection.  It is our responsibility to do the same today.  We have been granted the keys to the kingdom of heaven.

To be the church, to be on the front lines of our community.  Helping those in need, assisting the poor and engaging people of all ages.  My hope for each of you here today is that you would draw closer in your relationship to the Son of Gog.

That your search for truth would begin and would continue.  That the revelation of truth that was granted to Peter would be granted to you as well. I hope that if the question is posed to you, “Who is Christ to you?” 

That you would answer with conviction, with passion, with the knowledge of blessings too numerous to mention in your life that has come from the God we serve.  Will you join me in prayer?  Good and gracious God, this world needs people that know you, your son and the truth that was revealed in today’s scripture.  In spite of the pain in this world, there is much that is good.  We have seen examples of neighbor helping neighbor, stranger helping stranger.  Continue to reveal yourself and your Son to us.  Draw us into a deeper relationship.  Make this church a shelter, a safe place and a place where your spirit is always present and everyone is always welcome.  Amen.

Pastor Shawn LaRue

Author of Incomplete