Sunday, April 17, 2022

Is God a Narcissist?

Throughout the Bible God tells us that He is the grandest being in existence, and that we are to love Him, praise Him, and serve Him. This has long been used as a negative critique of God, as atheists tell us that God is a giant narcissist demanding to not only be loved, but to be constantly told how great He is. 

People that demand to be treated as if they are superior are off putting, and those who insist on being lauded with praise are downright annoying. It comes across as childish, like a person who is insecure and thus needs to be reaffirmed by everyone else. Is this really how God is? And if so, wouldn’t that be a character flaw, and thus make Him imperfect? Is God like the Evil Queen who asks, “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?” 

God said through Isaiah that He will not share His glory with anyone else. When giving the Ten Commands God said, “You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them (Exodus 20:3-5)…”

Is God an insecure narcissist, an egomaniac that needs us to shower Him with praise in order to feel better about Himself? Absolutely not! God does not need praise from us because He is fully satisfied in Himself, whether we acknowledge Him or not. But God understands that our response to His greatness is what is best for us. Here is the thing: God loves us, and He wants us to be blessed. Therefore, God tells us exactly what to do in order to be blessed. The fact that He also happens to be the source of our blessing does not negate the fact that He wants us to be blessed. Acknowledging and worshiping God is good for us, so God tells us to do it. 

To quote John Piper in Desiring God, “He Himself is uppermost in His own affections…God would be unrighteous if He valued anything more than what is supremely valuable. But He Himself is supremely valuable…If He withholds Himself from our contemplation and companionship, no matter what else He gives us, He is not loving.” 

What Piper is saying is that God is not being arrogant, He is being honest. We are put off by braggarts because they are either embellishing or lying, or even if they are telling the truth, they are deficient in other areas. God has given us an honest assessment of Himself—there is nothing like Him in all the universe—and we would do well to recognize that and yield our lives to Him. Jesus said He is the only way (John 14:6), so this isn’t a time for modesty. 

If God were a seatbelt, He would be cruel to not tell us He could save our lives. 

If God were an oxygen mask, He would be cruel to not tell us He could save our lives. 

If God were an antibiotic, He would be cruel to not tell us He could save our lives. 

But God is not a seatbelt, an oxygen mask, or an antibiotic; He is the Savior of the world, the only one who can save us from our sins and give us eternal life. Don’t reject Him for being honest. Embrace Him because there is no one else that can save. 


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