Can God Change a Narcissist?

Can a narcissist change?

Most professionals agree that narcissists can’t change. 

I don’t believe that’s true. I believe narcissists can change.

Today, I want to share with you why I disagree, the three caveats of narcissism, and the guidelines that will help you determine if your narcissist is redeemable. 

This isn’t based upon statistical information or popular psychology, but rather my own opinion and experience. 

I’ve seen a lot of narcissists in my day. 

I’ve experienced first-hand personally and professionally the damage that a narcissist can do to your physical, emotional, mental, and even your spiritual health. In many cases, there can be lifelong side effects.

For me to make such a bold contradictory statement, let me break down, informal levels of narcissists, and help you determine if your narcissist is redeemable, or beyond hope.

3 (Informal) Types of Narcissists: Ignorant, Arrogant, and Malignant

The ignorant narcissist is typically unaware of their destructive behaviors. They are likely emotionally immature and have not been taught properly. 

This doesn’t excuse their behavior, but there’s some hope here, with a big ‘if’ attached (and we’ll get to the if in a moment.) Think of these ignorant narcissists as children.

Arrogance is another level up. This narcissist recognizes their wrongdoing, yet continues to make decisions that only work in their favor. 

Arrogance isn’t limited to the overt narcissist. Arrogant simply describes the lack of care that a person has regarding their actions. 

This narcissist likely knows exactly what they’re doing and doesn’t care unless it impacts them.  More on that in a moment.

The malignant narcissist is the most troublesome of all. This narcissist is solidified in their beliefs that life is all about them and they will trample anyone in their way and they don’t care who it impacts. These people are highly abusive and derive pleasure from hurting others.

They will stop at nothing to lie and manipulate to get what they want. 

While many people in narcissistic relationships jump to the assumption that their narcissist is malignant, please understand that this is a very, very small percentage of the narcissists out there.

Now that we’ve broken the levels of narcissism down, let’s look at how likely your narcissist is to change.

There’s hope IF…

  • Their life is impacted in a negative way. 
  • There’s a risk that they’ll lose something that’s important to them. For example, your love, time, affection, money, companionship, etc. 
  • They are ignorant or arrogant narcissists.

Remember, narcissists are very self-centered individuals. They only care what’s in it for them. 

This is where your boundaries can prove helpful.

They will often fall in line, albeit reluctantly, if there is a great risk of loss for them. 

Just keep in mind that any behavioral changes may just be temporary. If they find someone or something else to meet that need, they will likely ditch you in a heartbeat.

The longer and the more grounded they are in their ways, the less likely they are to see the error of them. 

Just keep in mind that if YOU are using or relying upon this narcissistic for unmet needs this will all backfire.

Does that mean that only low level narcissists have a hope of changing? Of course not. Despite popular psychology, I believe all things are possible with God. God can redeem anyone at any time, and that includes the narcissist–the ignorant, the arrogant, and the malignant.

But Here’s what I don’t want you to get hung up on: Hope for the sake of hope.

What do I mean?

Yes, put your hope in God, but that does NOT mean that you tolerate toxic evil behavior, all in the name of hope. That would be an acceptance and enablement of evil on your part. 

Think of narcissism as you would any other sin. If someone in your life is sinning against you and unrepentant, do not slap a hope label on it and say you believe they can change.

In Matthew 7:15, Jesus tells us that we will know them by their fruit. Yes, the scripture was referring to identifying false prophets, but I believe it also pertains to people in general. We can easily be fooled by somebody’s words, but their actions will show us who they are.

A tree struggling to bear fruit, may need some pruning and extra TLC. But a tree refusing to bear fruit needs to be treated as such.

Can a Narcissist Change? Assessing Their Willingness to Transform

So what are you dealing with?

Is this someone who is struggling? Who sees the error of their ways and wants to change? This will likely be a very bumpy road, but there’s some hope here.

Is this someone who is dealing with a lower level of narcissism and willing to see where they’re going wrong, even if it’s just a little at a time? Then there’s hope here.

If you’re struggling to be in a relationship with a narcissist, a good support system is necessary. If you need a Christian Counselor, check out our sponsor, Faithful Counseling and receive 10% off your first month’s counseling. They will pair you the right counselor for you.

Just remember, can a narcissist change? Narcissists don’t grow out of narcissism, they grow INTO it. Their traits get worse without God’s intervention and serious boundaries. And they are masters at making you believe what they say despite what they do. That’s why I want you to check out this blog next on the 4 steps that helped me escape gaslighting. And be sure to grab your FREE toxic people survival guide. It’s my gift to you to help you identify and deal with all the difficult people in your life.

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