It was her eyes. How they narrowed when she said the words that confounded me.
“I don’t understand why Jesus would die for me,” she said, a smile playing on her lips. We sat in a restaurant while others lunched. I picked at a hangnail, wondering how this line of reasoning would play out.
“I know. It’s hard to believe,” I said. Jesus had forgiven me of so much, and I was well aware that the balance of my sins compared to a holy God didn’t make sense, thanks to grace.
“No,” she said. “I understand why Jesus died for you.” Those eyes bored into my insecurity. The Mona Lisa smile remained. Then she lifted her chin and landed her gaze on an unsuspecting diner. “And that guy over there. I know why Jesus died for him. He sins.”
I took a bite.
“You see, I don’t really sin. So why would Jesus have to die for me?”
I didn’t have a reaction for my friend in that moment, other than wanting to move my chair away from the possible lightning strike. Her words sent me researching, and in that quest, I discovered something that would change my life.
If you’ve been raised by one (or two), you’ll spend your life trying to resolve a painful puzzle: performing all sorts of emotional gymnastics to make a narcissist love you. The problem is this: Narcissistic people are incapable of empathy, other-centered love, or healthy relationships. Yet, we chase. Just like I chased my friend who seemed to think she never sinned.
There’s an important distinction to make. There’s a difference between a person with narcissistic tendencies and someone who has Narcissistic Personality Disorder. The difference is in the degree of pain they inflict (from a molehill to a mountain) and their ability to change (from a little to none at all).Photo Credit: Thinkstock/Milkos