Mrs. Helen Hawkins, OP
“But the serpent said to the woman: “You certainly will not die! No, God knows well that the moment you eat of it you eyes will be opened and you will be like gods who know what is good and what is evil.”
The is a perfect description of narcissism. “I am a god and I get to define what is good and what is evil for myself and for others.”
Narcissism is no longer a word that applies to a strict mental diagnosis used in the world of psychology. Because of our political sensibilities, the words sin and sinner are not permitted. We have turned to new words –narcissism and narcissist. In the world of psychology narcissism is not common but with the use of these words today, we can recognize this condition as the original sin. We are all narcissists and fall short of the glory of God.
Satan chose his words carefully. “You will be like gods” meaning “you will think that you are gods”.
This is the temptation we all face. This is the temptation of pride. This mentality makes it possible for us to use others as objects. This is especially true in sexual behavior. Since we are gods and others are objects, we can use others for our own pleasures without considering the needs of those we use. This is true in all walks of life – in business transactions, family life, friends and unfortunately in our religious life as well. When we decide we are gods our pride will become our guide to what is good and evil in our own eyes.
We recognize narcissism in others but it is very difficult to recognize narcissism in ourselves.
In God’s mercy, he has given us the example of Christ’s temptation in the wilderness. Christ gave answers to the temptations of narcissism.
When tempted to satisfy the desire for wealth Christ answered, “It is written: One does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.”
When tempted to satisfy the desires of self-aggrandizement, Christ answered, “It is written: You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.”
When tempted to satisfy the desires of power, Christ answered, “It is written: The Lord, your God, shall you worship and Him alone shall you serve.”