The Abundant Life: Riches money can’t buy…
The abundant life is not narcissistic.
The origin of this word comes from Greek mythology. Narcissus was a hunter renowned for his beauty. He was so gorgeous that he rejected all romantic advances. Eventually he fell in love with his own reflection in a pool of water, staring at it for the rest of his life. From this story, comes the term narcissism which is an unhealthy fixation on oneself.
In other words, narcissistic people are self-centered. They focus on their own desires rather than the needs of others. Although they may not say it, they have a “Me! Me! It’s all about ME!” philosophy. Not only do they thrive on inflated egos, they can be arrogant, proud, and overly confident—determined to succeed in spite of an unrealistic view of their skills.
Unfortunately, our world breeds narcissism. It’s changed from an “all for one and one for all” to an “every man for himself” and “what’s in it for me” society. For many, it’s a “me” society, not a “we” society. This doesn’t leave much room for relationships and God is all about relationships. Even the Lord’s prayer says, “Give us this day our daily bread, lead us not into temptation, deliver us from evil, forgive us and help us to forgive others.” (Matthew 6:9-13)
Throughout the Bible, we are cautioned not to become self-absorbed or self-righteousness. Take the example of the tax collector who was not liked by many people, and the Pharisee who was considered a religious teacher in the Jewish world. (Luke 18:10-14)
“Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank thee that I am not like other men—extortionists, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’ But the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, “God, be merciful to me a sinner!’”
The Pharisee was saying, “Look how great I am! Look how much better I am than everyone else. Look at my good deeds. Look at Me, Me, Me!”
However, it was the tax collector who found favor with God. Jesus said the tax collector went to his house justified, not the Pharisee because “…everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Luke 18:14)
A certain amount of loving oneself isn’t wrong. The Bible says to love your neighbor as you love yourself. (Mark 12:31) But when it crosses over into narcissism, we’re asking for trouble. Cause in the end, true happiness and the abundant life come after we realize it isn’t all about “Me! Me! Me!”
“…I have come that they may have life and that they
may have it more abundantly.” ~John 10:10 (KJV)