Wisdom for another Year: “Protect yourself from becoming a Scoffer,” #7 of 10

A scoffer is someone who will not listen to the wisdom of others. To the scoffer, all advice sounds silly. To the scoffer, he is wise in his own eyes. To the scoffer, anyone who disagrees with him is wrong. To the scoffer, if anyone does agree with him, it’s because you have seen the light. To the scoffer, all personal failures and slips are mere oversights of judgement that was due to a lack of information; scoffers always see themselves as doing right with whatever information is given them. To the scoffer, it’s always someone else’s fault. To the scoffer, special inside-knowledge is his privilege, not yours.

“Sadly, some people just don’t listen. They are too self-assured. Reasonable discourse leaves them unsatisfied, because they are unsatisfiable. They do not feel that you understand them until you agree with them. The only acceptable outcome is their outcome, which they will pursue relentlessly. The Bible calls this kind of person a scoffer (Proverbs 9:7-813:115:1221:24). He (or she) might be a highly impressive person outwardly. Very able. A strong personality. Convincing. But even in little ways (“. . . winks with his eyes”), this person sows discord in their church — small provocations with big impact.”

Here is godly wisdom,

“Whoever corrects a scoffer gets himself abuse . . . Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you; reprove a wise man, and he will love you. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight. For by me your days will be multiplied, and years will be added to your life. If you are wise, you are wise for yourself; if you scoff, you alone will bear it” – Proverbs 9:7-12

Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is a real diagnosis in the Psychiatric world.

“Narcissistic Personality Disorder is characterized by a long-standing  pattern of grandiosity (either in fantasy or actual behavior), an overwhelming need for admiration,  and usually a complete lack of empathy  toward others.  People with this disorder often believe they are of primary importance in everybody’s life or  to anyone they meet . . . People with narcissistic personality disorder often display snobbish, disdainful, or patronizing attitudes. For example, an individual with this disorder may complain about a clumsy waiter’s “rudeness” or “stupidity” or conclude a medical evaluation with a condescending evaluation of the physician.”

Symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder

In order for a person to be diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) they must meet five or more of the following  symptoms:

  • Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
  • Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
  • Believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
  • Requires excessive admiration
  • Has a very strong sense of entitlement, e.g., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations
  • Is exploitative of others, e.g., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
  • Lacks empathy, e.g., is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
  • Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her
  • Regularly shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes

To date, there is no real diagnosis for what causes NPD, nor is there a real successful treatment, though professional counseling does help some. The only proven treatment to break the arrogance is for God to completely break down the person’s life to the point that he or she has nothing to boast about at all – like Nebuchadnezzar in the book of Daniel, where God took everything away and made him live like a crazy bird in the forest (Daniel 4:28-37).

So let us heed this advice from the Lord:

“You guard your heart from becoming a scoffer by comparing yourself to me. In My Presence, what is there that you have done or possess or accomplished, that you can boast as if you have gained or achieved without me? What is it that you have that you did not get from me?”

This is where wisdom begins and scoffing ends – “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.”

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