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Is God a Narcissist?

The Bible teaches that we should be humble. At the same time, God demands all our worship and talks about Himself in a way that seems a bit like (if one wasn't scared to say so) bragging. What's up with that? Is God a hypocritical narcissist?

The Bible teaches that we should be humble. At the same time, God demands all our worship and talks about Himself in a way that seems a bit like (if one wasn't scared to say so) bragging. What's up with that? Is God a hypocritical narcissist?

The Bible’s pretty clear—pride is one of the worst sins you can commit (think Lucifer). Yet God Himself tells us that he’s a jealous God, wants all the glory, and is intolerant of other worldviews (Exod 34:14 or Deut 6:12-15, for example). In Malachi, he even says he’s cursing the priests who don’t take serious the need to honor [his] name” Isn't that a bit proud?

What is pride? I’d like to propose that pride is taking an inaccurate, inordinate view of yourself. It’s saying you’re better than you are, or claiming credit for someone else’s work, or labeling your handiwork as better or more important than it actually is.

Pride is a lie that claims that the order of the universe is different than it actually is. Like any lie, it causes damage by giving people a false picture of others, themselves, the world and God that they then act on.


Contrast that with humility. Humility is knowing your accurate position, putting glory where it belongs, and assessing what you produce appropriately. Humility is truth, aligning with reality—not as we think it is, but as it actually is.

When we take credit for our intelligence or beauty or gifts, when we claim to be more (or even less) valuable than someone with different wiring, when we label providence as our own sovereignty, that’s pride. It steals glory from God, and it lies about us and God and the alignment of his entire creation.

When God takes credit for our intelligence or beauty or gifts, when he claims to infuse us with value, when he labels happenstance as his providence, He’s explaining reality.

When he tells us who he is, tells us of his perfection and completeness and that he’s the only worth object of worship, he assess himself accurately.

When he requires our fidelity and worship and explains that he is the giver of all our gifts, he’s telling the truth. That truth help us see reality—despite our best guesses and worst doubts—and align our thoughts and dreams and actions to it.

When we claim we’re worthy of worship, it’s pride—a lie that distorts reality. When God does it, it’s accurate, appropriate, realistic.

That’s pure humility.

Laura Singleton

Laura Singleton’s passion is the transformation that happens when women get access to God’s Word and God’s Word gets access to women. She was twenty-five when her life was turned upside down by an encounter with Jesus Christ. With an insatiable thirst for scripture and theology, she soon headed to Dallas Theological Seminary to learn more about Jesus, and left with a Th.M. with an emphasis in Media Arts. She, along with two friends from DTS, travel the nation filming the independent documentary Looking for God in America. She loves speaking and teaching and is the author of Insight for Living Ministry’s Meeting God in Familiar Places and hundreds of ads, which pay the bills. Her big strong hubby Paul is a former combat medic, which is handy since Laura’s almost died twice already. She loves photography, travel and her two pugs.