Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Be Wise as Serpents When Dealing With Malignant Narcissists

Encountering a malignant personality at church usually takes us by surprise. However, it shouldn't. Our Lord warned us about these types, as we can read in Saint Matthew's Gospel, Chapter 10:16. Jesus told us we are going out like sheep among wolves. He also reminded us to be wise as serpents, but gentle as doves. He also spoke of His followers being "scourged in synagogues." The early Christians were Jewish, so it took some time to transition from the synagogues to the churches we have today.

Given this Biblical warning, it would be foolish to let our guard down at church. This is a mistake I made, and I'm sure many others have made as well. Just because you maintain a set of moral standards, doesn't mean everyone else does. There are no gates at church keeping morally disordered people out. In fact, religious settings provide the morally disordered everything they need to operate. They can attain power by seizing control on parish boards and committees. They can also find a steady supply of targets to abuse, because the majority of those who attend church are good willed and trusting, sometimes to a fault.

Many Christians, I believe, take the concept of not judging one another too far. It's alright to be watchful for disorderly behavior, especially as you're just getting to know someone. This type of prudence prevents you from sharing potentially sensitive information with someone who isn't trustworthy, and whom may use it against you. Even if what you told them won't hang you, a deceiver will take a true nugget of information and mix it with damaging lies. People hearing this know part of it is true, so they'll assume the rest is factual as well.

This, in turn, could make life very difficult for us at church. Under normal circumstances, we shouldn't care so much what people think. But a parish should be a sanctuary, our spiritual home. It's one of the most important things we have, as our spirituality is tied up with our eternal salvation. Many people live in areas with only one or two churches they can attend. So it's important to try to prevent problems before they arise.

Our Lord warned us about some of the personalities we'd meet. It's a warning we should heed, especially in today's climate of spiritual disorder in the church and in the world.

I sincerely hope others can learn from my mistakes, and protect themselves from sharing information with a malignant narcissist.

Also, please feel free to visit my Female Bullies blog for a discussion on female malignant narcissists.

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