The Rule of Malignant Narcissism

The longer you have a single unchecked person in power, the revelation that they are a malignant narcissist approaches one.

“The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil”- 1 Timothy 6:10.

That’s where we were last time. Paul is speaking specifically about false teachers who’ve walked away from the gospel of Jesus because of their vain pursuits of things that do not matter. Elsewhere in 1 Timothy, we read that these men are not merely false teachers, but imposters. They are the Frank Abagnale of the church world. They wear the right clothes, learn the lingo and fool people to let them on the flight deck. Only, it’s not a hilarious movie with Tom Hanks. Because many churches have walked away from a biblical understanding of what eldership looks like, disaster is immanent.

We can know these people because they create strife, malicious talk and walk people form the gospel. At the root of this, according to Paul, is their lack of contentment. They clamor for more, whether it be finances, a bigger church, a better ministry vision, or their name in lights. It is these people that have not only wandered from the faith, but have become deceivers themselves, and lead others astray. For simple gain. And this is not what the man of God ought to be about.

“But you, man of God, flee from all this (false doctrines, conceit, controversies about words, ministry for gain) and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness…”- 1 Timothy 6:11.

Notice that these things are the opposite of what Paul tells Timothy to avoid. Because nature abhors a vacuum, it is not enough to merely run from false things; we must pursue the good. The wealthy of this age are to be instructed that their wealth offers a false hope. It is the wealth of their deeds that matters. They store treasure in heaven through those deeds.

Paul’s closing charge is that Timothy is to guard what’s been entrusted to his care. A shepherd does this through relationship. A shepherd does not accuse his flock of not eating and does not manipulate them with warnings that he’ll leave if they don’t follow. They don’t make it about their own feelings of inadequacy and call it “transparency.”

Imposters walk off the flight deck, stewardess in tow towards the next big thing.

The heart of a leader matters because the body that they bear responsibility for will never grow beyond where the leader is. A leader who refuses to live out the gospel personally will not see his congregation do so.


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