Thursday, March 12, 2020


But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves . . . having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people, turn away (II Timothy 3:1-5).

In vs. 2 of the above passage, Paul says a characteristic of the last days will be that people will be lovers of themselves. This is narcissism. The word narcissism is derived from Narcissus, a handsome young man of Greek mythology whose self-fixation led to his demise.

Faint with thirst from his travels one day, Narcissus came to a quiet, still stream in the woods. Crouching over to take a drink, he was struck by his own reflection in the water. Staring into the water at his own reflection, Narcissus fell in love with himself. So enamored was he with his own beauty, Narcissus refused to move to either eat or drink and finally died, gazing at himself in the water.

Selfishness Cloaked in Godliness

Modern psychology has taken this mythical story and its central figure, Narcissus, and constructed some elaborate theories from it. My purpose in this article is to simply show how the “self-love” illustrated by this story, is rampant in the church today.

Paul says that such self-love will be a characteristic of the last days. “Lovers of themselves” is a translation of the one Greek word philautoi, which literally means “self-lovers.” The word "form" in vs. 5 is from the Greek word morphe, which refers to the outward appearance of a thing. Paul is saying that in the last days people will be self-lovers and will cloak their selfishness with a form or appearance of godliness. Have you noticed how rampant this is in the church today!

The American Narcissistic Gospel

I heard a well-known TV preacher explain why she was divorcing her husband, who was also a pastor. In her mind she had spiritually grown past their relationship and it was time for her to move on. It was such a clear example of this passage—narcissism cloaked in the appearance of godliness.

This sort of self-centered attitude has become characteristic of the American gospel. No call to discipleship. No indication of the need to be willing to suffer for the cause of Christ. Just send your offering and everything will be OK. In this narcissistic gospel, God exists for no higher purpose than to meet the selfish wishes and whims of fallen humanity. What a tragedy!

Take Up Your Cross & Follow Jesus

On the other hand, when did you last hear a message on the words of Jesus in Matt. 16:24-25,

If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

When the disciples heard these words, they knew it was a call to let go of their lives--to die to self.

Watch His Resurrection Life Break Forth

This is not something morbid; for it is only when we let go of our own life that we find His resurrection life working in us and on our behalf. During one of the most devastating times of my life, I heard the Holy Spirit say, “Don’t be afraid of death, for I am the resurrection.”

So, go ahead, let go of your life—die to self-- and watch His resurrection life break forth as the morning Sun. And remember the prayer of Francis of Assisi;

O Divine Master,
Grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved, as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive,
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
And it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.

Check out Dr. Eddie Hyatt's books on Amazon and his website at

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