According to the Google definition it means:
1. excessive interest in or admiration of oneself and one's physical appearance.
2. extreme selfishness, with a grandiose view of one's own talents and a craving for admiration, as characterizing a personality type.
3. self-centredness arising from failure to distinguish the self from external objects, either in very young babies or as a feature of mental disorder.
This word has popped into my head a lot recently. Maybe it’s due to the election – let’s face it, the political world sure does have a strong narcissistic feel about it these days. Whatever the reason behind my word to life association, the angst this word has inspired in me has forced some serious contemplation.
What is it to have narcissistic tendencies? i.e. It’s all about ME.
As Christians we know the greatest commandment isn’t about us:
He answered, "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" Luke 10:27 (NIV)
But the world we live in is narcissistic to the core. I could go into detail about the ME elements of social media, and the ‘what’s in it for me’ voter platforms, but what I really want to talk about is the serving vs. being served scale of Christian selling.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not sitting here in my ivory tower casting forth my judgment upon the narcissistic masses. I know, full well, that I’ve subscribed to this evil. I like to think it was always without design, but I do know I have never gotten away with it. Mostly because the Lord reminders me of His call to be humble. Like this verse:
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves. Philippians 2.3 (NIV)
But who does that these days?
We should. We are His servants.
As authors, it’s hard to get the scale right. We all need to sell our books. We would all love people to read them, and it seems a little crazy to be sinking a heap of support into someone else’s work when we have so little time to devote to promoting our own.
And don’t get me wrong—we MUST promote our own books. I’ve always been a big advocate about working for your own work. My contemplation is regarding the scale—the balance between accepting support and being supportive of others.
This isn’t a call to finger point or judgement (how can any of us be guiltless!). It’s a call to contemplation, and, I hope, a call to action. As our annual Christian writers conference approaches, let us band together to support each other—all of us. Fiction and non-fiction. Published and unpublished. Teacher and learner.
And remember: Writing for the glory of God means it’s never about me and my work, or even you and your work. As Christians, it’s about Him and HIS work.
In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16 (NIV).
Rose, who holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree, was born in North Queensland, Australia. Her childhood experiences growing up in a small beach community would later provide inspiration for her first novel, Back to Resolution. Beyond Resolution and A New Resolution are the second and third books in the Resolution series.
Back to Resolution won the Bookseller’s Choice award at the 2012 CALEB Awards, while A New Resolution won the 2013 CALEB Prize for Fiction. She has also released The Greenfield Legacy, a collaborative novel, written in conjunction with three other outstanding Australian authors, and has recently released the standalone novel, Ehvah After.
Her novels are inspired by the love of her coastal home and desire to produce exciting and contemporary stories of faith for women. Rose resides in Mackay, North Queensland with her husband and son.
Visit Rose at: https://rosedee.com/