J. Gordon Duncan

Culture, Business, Fitness, Etc.

I Love Me Some Me

narcissismHands down, we live in one of the most narcissistic cultures of all time.  If not the most, we are at least one of the worst cultures at flat-out loving ourselves.  Two recent books, “Generation Me” and “The Narcissism Epidemic” by sociologist Jean Twenge highlight this growing phenomenon in America.

The premise of Twenge’s research is that, “We’ve built up the confidence of our kids, but in that process, we’ve created a generation of hot-house flowers puffed with a disproportionate sense of self-worth (the definition of narcissism) and without the resiliency skills they need when Mommy and Daddy can’t fix something.”

Essentially, parenting styles today make every action a success and every entitlement an expectation.  The author cites a few examples.  For example, in her research, she found that 30% of college students today think that they should get at least “B” in a particular subject if they never miss a class.  When the author asked the same question to a group of college students in Connecticut, nearly 100% agreed with statement.

The author offered this suggestion as a cure for the prevailing attitude of our day.  She says an antidote to a skyrocketing self-worth is humility, evaluating yourself more accurately, mindfulness and putting others first.  Now that sounds incredibly Biblical doesn’t it?

Unfortunately, this type of narcissism has not escaped the church.  The reduction of Christianity to a mere “personal decision for Christ” has taught many believers in Jesus that that the Kingdom of God is here for one reason:  to serve them.  For example getting people to truly care about a hurting neighbor is incredibly difficult.  For many, if your neighbor disagrees with you politically, environmentally, or sexually, you can forget most Christians helping them out.  Why?  Well the prevailing thought is, “If you have the audacity to disagree with me, then your problems are your own fault,” and completely lacking humility, we use words like “dumb” or “stupid” or whatever else makes us feel morally superior.

If you want to gauge your own sense of Christian narcissism, take this little test.  Recall your most recent prayers.  Are there more petitions for your self than there are prayers for others and praises for God?  If so, perhaps you should ask who you think is serving whom?

Sadly, if your church preaches that the intention of God is to make you personally healthy, wealthy, wise, and completely remove your life of suffering, you can pack the place out.  In fact, you can build a tower of Christian Narcissism very easily; it’s just that you get to call it a church building.

But what we are going to see from the book of Romans this week is that the redemptive work of Jesus is about saving individuals, but it also about so much more.  Not wanting to make that mistake, let’s ask this Big Picture Question this week:

Big Picture Question:  The work of Jesus is about redeeming sinful people, but how is the work of Jesus about so much more than just that?

If you would like to join Sovereign King for worship, we meet each Sunday at 1030am.  Directions to our facility can be found here.


August 28, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. BOOM! That question about who you pray for more, yourself or others was a toe smasher! Good thing to take inventory of…

    Comment by mikeaskew | August 28, 2009 | Reply

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