You are currently viewing 11 Unmistakable Signs of a Christian Narcissist

11 Unmistakable Signs of a Christian Narcissist

Reviewed by Karis A. Williams, MSMHC, LPC,   November 10, 2023

I know, upon reading the title of this article, you could be a bit confused.  How can a Christian be a narcissist?  A Christian is full of the fruit of the Spirit:  love, joy, peace patience, longsuffering, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, self-control.  On the other hand, a narcissist is known by gaslighting, blame-shifting, lying, bullying, intense need for admiration and to be better than anyone else, grandiosity, and lack of empathy for others.  It would seem that a Christian cannot be a narcissist and a narcissist cannot be a Christian.  How can you put these two things in the same sentence?

While it is debatable whether a narcissist can be a Christian (although we all behave in narcissistic ways from time to time), there are times that a narcissist will absolutely use Christianity as a tool to abuse, control, manipulate and extrapolate narcissistic supply.  But along the way, they leave a whole lot of signs of a Christian narcissist.  So what are they?

Some of the most unmistakable signs of a Christian narcissist are:

  • Manipulating themselves into leadership
  • Feigning empathy
  • An appearance of servanthood
  • Feigning insight
  • Displaying false humility
  • Insincere spirituality
  • An act of helpfulness
  • Exalting themselves as equal to God
  • Using all of the right terminology without any heart behind it
  • Very good knowledge of the Bible
  • Legalism in spiritual and physical matters
  • A need to be recognized for what he does in the church
  • A compulsion to destroy anyone who gets in his way
  • Strongarming others into serving
  • Making others feel “less than” him

Of course, I’m sure you can think of even more than this when you remember some of the things your Christian narcissist did either to you or to others around you.  But this is a pretty good list to get started.  And with that, let’s take a look at what each one of these signs of a Christian narcissist does up close.

1. Manipulating themselves into leadership

Narcissists often use this tactic as one of their first lines of infiltration into the church.  But the truth is, they don’t really have to manipulate that much.  Most churches are eager to put new members to work.  The reason:  most churches are constantly looking for good, qualified people to lead their various committees and support groups.  And there is always a plethora of positions to be filled.

Many larger churches have fewer problems filling those positions.  This allows churches to be more selective in who they let into leadership positions.  And many larger churches will have a policy, especially with children’s ministry, of having to be a member for a certain amount of time before someone can hold a position of leadership in that church.  My church has a six-month rule.

In spite of many precautions, narcissists tend to end up in leadership positions in virtually every church, regardless of policy or how selective the church has been.  How does that happen?  Because narcissists are masters of first impressions.  And many are really good actors.  They will spend so much time studying a role, then actively moving themselves into that role, as though they are actually living it out.  This is how they convince themselves of the lie they are trying to put out to the whole world.  Fake it ’til you make it to the extreme.

There are actually many pastors/priests in charge of churches worldwide.  Because it is a position of service to the community, narcissists will fool people into thinking they are such humble servants.  And then they are the ones that get the job.  Once they are in the job, getting around the narcissistic abuse to remove them is a devastating uphill battle.

So, how do churches avoid narcissists in positions of leadership?  The single most effective way is for the current leadership to understand narcissism well enough to avoid it in their church is to have experienced it and made their way through it.  And that does not come about without lots of pain, loss, time, and scars.

2. Faking empathy

Besides making an incredibly good first impression, faking empathy is probably the most used tactics narcissists use to get a foothold in the church.  People are universally attracted to empathetic people.  In fact, that is how narcissists get their spouses more often than not.  Finding an empath to be in relationship with, to relate to, or to work with is a narcissist’s dream.

One of the problems with a Christian narcissist feigning empathy is that it looks a whole lot like the real thing.  In fact, it is the same thing.  It is someone helping someone out in a time of need using words and actions of kindness and helpfulness.

So, what makes it different with a narcissist?  Why is it not okay even though it is still an act of kindness?  The answer is simple:  because it is just a means the narcissist uses to  take advantage of your kindness, make you in debt to them for what they want you to do for them in the future, or control and manipulate you later.  Should you not be able to help out it doesn’t matter.  Now they own you.  And it won’t take long for you to realize that their empathy and care for you will cost you more than you ever realized.

3. An appearance of servanthood

Another one of the major signs of a Christian narcissist is when they are constantly serving others, often at the expense of their own responsibilities and family.

The need to be seen as the best at everything plays into this scenario.  In order for a narcissist, Christian or not, to gain the favor of people in order to obtain narcissistic supply, they will go to great lengths to make people believe things about them.  And because serving others is such a big part of church life, this is the exact thing narcissists believe will get them further in their endeavors.  They are not wrong.

Narcissists will join every committee they can in order to be seen as serving by everyone at all times.  But, sometimes there are sincere loving people who also serve greatly in their church organizations.  So, how do you tell the difference between the narcissistic servant and the sincere servant?

On the surface it will be very hard to tell the difference between a narcissist and true servant.  But there are ways to tell.  First, someone serving sincerely will not be looking for accolades, and will often be embarrassed by them.  They prefer to work in the background.  And their satisfaction comes from seeing a job well done, not from external sources.

And the narcissistic servant?  They will be the exact opposite of what I just described.  Not only will they need the accolades, they will beg for them.  Sometimes by back door methods, such as self-deprecation.  They will pretend to be disappointed in their job or wish they had done better so someone will then tell them what a great job they did.  They will also often steal others’ ideas or even work.

And finally, one other way to identify a Christian narcissist posing as a servant is that if they don’t get the accolades, attention, and rewards they think they deserve, they will quickly get bored and move on to the next thing.  If you have someone in your church who doesn’t follow through in their committees, switches constantly from one to the other, and never seems happy to just serve where needed, this can be an indication of narcissistic pursuits.

Time will tell exactly who the narcissists are.  At least for those of us who have experienced narcissism up close.

4. Feigning insight

In this sign of a Christian narcissist, I said “feigning” insight, but often, over the course of time, the Christian narcissist does get very knowledgeable about what he is doing in the church.  You can’t help but gain knowledge through immersion.  And in this case, the more the narcissist learns, the more dangerous he can become in the way he uses that information.

Narcissists can be very quick studies.  And once they know the lingo of their methods of narcissistic abuse, they will use that lingo anytime they can to show everyone how much they really know.

My ex husband knows A LOT about the Bible and church doctrine.  And most of it is right on track, so he can banter back and forth with the greatest of Christian scholars.  Until you get to Scriptures that talk about lying, foolishness, scheming, and all the things God hates.  (Those are found heavily in the books of Psalms and Proverbs.)  He will use those Scriptures to tear down anyone who dares cross him.  But he will never apply them to what he has done to people behind closed doors.

He also does not display the ability to understand what the Scriptures say about family, children, and living in harmony.  He can live in harmony with the people at church when he is in the public square.  But, even after numerous times in the counseling and pastor’s offices, he could not acknowledge his family in godly ways no matter how they tried to explain it to them.

The majority of the people working with him at the end of our marriage said they were banging their heads against the wall trying to get him to acknowledge even basic Scriptures about his family.  Here are a couple of the ones they worked with the most:

1 Peter 3:7  “Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.”

Colossians 3:21 “Fathers, do not provoke or irritate or exasperate your children [with demands that are trivial or unreasonable or humiliating or abusive; nor by favoritism or indifference; treat them tenderly with lovingkindness], so they will not lose heart and become discouraged or unmotivated [with their spirits broken].”

No matter how they tried to get him to apply these Scriptures to our family, his answer was always the same:  “This is my family.  I am the leader and I will do what I think is right.  Nobody can tell me how to lead my family.”

5. Displaying false humility

Narcissists battle between the immense shame and inadequacy they feel deeply and the self-assuredness they feel they have to show the world.  And while the world at large tends to reward large personalities, arrogance, and motivation to succeed at all costs, the church is a different world.  In the church, humility, servanthood, and love rule the day.  And that is the role that the narcissist knows he needs to take on when living the church  life.

But how do you know whether a person is showing real or false humility?  Again, time will always reveal the truth.  But a lot of damage can be done in the course of time.  Those who are experienced in narcissism will likely pick it up more quickly.  Here are some ways to recognize the false humility of a narcissist:

  • Their words are very humble and trite, but their actions are arrogant, decisive, and selfish.
  • Their expression and tone don’t match their words.  Note:  some narcissists will be more in tune with their whole body and able to fake not only the words, but also the body language of a humble person.  But they won’t be consistent!
  • You will know you are watching a display of false humility when it isn’t working for the narcissist and they change instantly from humility to arrogance.  In Christian circles, that arrogance usually looks like the narcissist getting offended and displaying overt displeasure, all while claiming to be victimized because he didn’t get what he was asking for.
  • A Christian narcissist will show great humility, but only for personal gain.  When you look at who is benefitting in the end, it is always the narcissist.  They may be doing it for accolades, a coveted leadership position, or credit for work that wasn’t theirs.  Regardless, know that there is some goal the narcissist has in his show of humility.

The Christian narcissist cannot obey Scriptures that speak about humility.  Let’s take a look at some examples of this:

  • 2 Chronicles 7:14  “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”  When the narcissist is showing humility, it is not because he is seeking the face of God or turning from his evil ways.  It is often the opposite:  he is using his wicked ways to get ahead of everyone else in the church.
  • Philippians 2:3 says, “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.”  A narcissist by definition cannot think of others as better than themselves.  One of the main tenets of narcissism according to the DSM-5 is that they believe they are smarter and/or better than everyone around them.
  • Romans 12:16 says, “Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight.”  The narcissist must often be seen with the best of the best, because that makes them look better.  The only time they will be seen with the “lowly” is when they are trying to show how they serve others or that they can use extravagant means to “help the poor.”  It is all for credit and narcissistic supply.
  • Psalm 149:4 says, “For the Lord takes pleasure in his people; he adorns the humble with salvation.”  This is not so much about the narcissist not being able to obey this Scripture as it is the result of being a narcissist.  If the narcissist does not choose to acknowledge his narcissism and turn away from it, his very salvation is at stake according to this verse.  This should make us feel sad and want to earnestly pray for the narcissist to see the light and make things right before it is too late.

6. Insincere Spirituality

In this sign of Christian narcissism, the words insincere spirituality invoke the spirit of the Pharisees in Jesus’ time.  Why?  So, here’s what we know about the Pharisees:

  • The Pharisees were the religious leaders of Bible times.  They were founded in 167 BC and were popular until after the destruction of the Jewish temple in AD 70.  Then “Pharisaic beliefs became the foundational, liturgical, and ritualistic basis for Rabbinic Judaism” according to Wikipedia.
  • The Pharisees were originally thought of as an admirable group of religious leaders who sought to restore the purity of religion after it was heavily destroyed by the Maccabee Revolt.  They seemed to want to restore the Jewish people’s dedication to the law and covenant faithfulness.
  • What ended up happening was not a restoration of Jewish hearts to their faith.  Instead, Pharisees began holding people to unattainable standards while excusing their own bad behavior.  Rather than basing righteousness on forgiveness, grace, and serving God with our whole heart, it became a process of jumping through legalistic hoops.
  • What made the Pharisees so legalistic?  They not only held fast to all of the laws in the Scriptures.  Instead, they went way beyond them by making up a bunch of rules to prevent people from even getting close to the precepts in the Bible.  And if you broke even any of their imposed extra-Biblical laws, then you were in a world of trouble.  This was going way beyond what the Bible intended for it’s people.  But unfortunately, the Pharisees were in charge.  And you had no choice but to obey them.
  • Today, people refer to others as Pharisees because both are thought of as “someone who follows the impulse to be seen as righteous by obeying certain laws, while ignoring more important matters of the heart,” according to

So, while the Pharisees were the great legalists of Bible times and they claimed to be the most sincere, honest, accountable children of God, they were, in fact, very insincere.  They had reduced living a life of faith and service to a God who loves and takes care of His children to an intimidating, impossible set of rules.  Plus they weren’t even keeping those rules themselves!

And that is exactly what you see Christian narcissists doing today.  They endeavor to make everyone believe that they are the most loyal, God-loving people in your church.  They tell you how you must behave in order to be a “good enough” Christian.  And then they don’t hold themselves to the same standard.  There is no sincerity.  Only a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

7. Acts of helpfulness

Christian narcissists will use acts of helpfulness to convince you that their whole purpose in life is to serve God by serving everyone in the church.  They look like amazingly helpful, kind people.  Until you look a little deeper.  Then you will see an entirely different scene.

What happens in reality with a Christian narcissist showing acts of helpfulness around church?  Often they will offer to help when there is a crowd around.  And they will absolutely do what they say they are going to.  They turn out to be very helpful.  But that is because they had to save their reputation (or mask, whichever way you want to think about it).

Here are some ways to recognize if the acts of helpfulness are one of the signs of a Christian narcissist:

  • If the help is offered when there aren’t people around to witness the offer and the help never happens.  All of us offer to help and then don’t once in a while.  Time gets away from us, or we just find ourselves unable to follow through.  But when it becomes a regular pattern of behavior, you could very well be dealing with narcissistic behavior.
  • You will know that the acts of helpfulness are signs of a Christian narcissist when they are selectively chosen to be highly visible to important people and make the helper look especially good to others.  Again, this is contingent upon becoming a pattern, not isolated incidences.  Of course, we all get opportunities to help in lots of different areas.  And taking an especially visible offer to help does not make us all narcissists.

8. Exalting themselves as equal to God

Christian narcissists find themselves in a very unique position here.  Secular narcissists have no problem making themselves the center of the world.  But for narcissists who profess to be Christians, that is God’s position.  God is supposed to be our number one reason for everything period.  So, how does the Christian narcissist maneuver around God being the center of our world?  By being His right hand man, of course.  And because he and God are so tight, that means he has an inside line to God’s will and you all just need to listen and obey.

While my ex-husband was very good at quoting and learning Scripture, and he knew a lot about the Bible, he had the absolutely maddening ability to quote Scripture to meet his own needs and prove his own random ideas and beliefs.  And of course, if I questioned any of them, he would put me down as ignorant because he was so close to God that he knew exactly what God meant to say about everything.  Silly me.

Two of the nine criteria for being diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder is that the person in question are a grandiose sense of self importance and a need to only be seen with important people.  So, to elevate yourself as an equal to God is right up the narcissist’s alley.  And allows them to hold only the highest of positions in church.  As long as he can convince everyone that he really is God’s right hand man.  And unfortunately, some people will be totally convinced, even after the mask falls completely off and the jig is up.  That is because those people are not willing to give up the “perfect” picture they had of the narcissist’s Christianity in their head.   And that is a topic for a whole other article.

9. Using all of the right terminology without any heart behind it

I have already alluded to the fact that narcissists show everyone that they know their stuff.  They study the lingo and methods of whatever job, lifestyle, or activity promotes their narcissistic act.  For the Christian narcissist, this is knowing the church lingo.  They know exactly what to say and how to form it into the most giving, knowledgeable, leadership-perfect words.  They will show you how concerned they are for the peace and purity of the church.  They will show you that they are horrified when someone steps out of the faith.  Or when a sinner falls.  On the flip side, they will be the first to let you know that you have let God down and need to do better.

But the problem with all of this right terminology is that their heart is totally in the wrong place.  It is more about Christian status to them than truly helping out fellow believers.  It is about everyone being awed by their amazing knowledge of the Bible.  And it is about beating everyone else down with the Bible so they can elevate themselves.

10. Impressive knowledge of the Bible

If narcissists do anything well, it is to study their victims and know exactly what affects them and how.  So, it logically follows that one of the biggest signs of a Christian narcissist is that they study the Word of God in ways that allow them to infiltrate churches and Christian groups without being detected as an outsider.

While not a universal rule, many narcissists are very sharp.  But as sharp as they may be, they can’t keep everything straight all the time.  Between the lies, gaslighting, blame-shifting and other devious behaviors, even the smartest narcissists will have a hard time keeping their ducks in a row.  And because of this, you will find evidence of the Christian narcissist misusing his impressive knowledge of the Bible.  Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can see how an impressive knowledge of the Bible can indicate you are dealing with a narcissist:

  • When someone quotes well-known Scriptures and then interprets them in unusual ways that don’t ring true.  If you have been a Christian for any significant length of time, you will be able to pick up these inconsistencies pretty easily if you are looking.  For newer Christians, this may not be so easy.  But confiding in a close friend that does know their way around Bible doctrine can be a life saver!
  • Often, a narcissist will quote Scriptures correctly when they are not tied to issues they struggle with.  But then, when it calls them out, they will have a different interpretation.  For instance, our pastor and my ex’s counselors would frequently talk about 1 Peter 3:7 (quoted above) that talked about if husbands do not treat their wives in an understanding and kind way, God will not hear their prayers.  Every time someone told him that, he would reply that he understands me just fine and God hears him just fine.  It was maddening to them and to me.

11. Legalism in spiritual and physical matters

Another significant sign of Christian narcissists is when they use legalism in spiritual and physical matters.  But they don’t do it to honor God in their family’s behavior.  Instead, they do it to control what everyone is doing.  Here are some examples from my family’s history:

  • Sundays are the Sabbath and need to be a day of rest.  This is true!  It is one of the commandments.  But he carried it so far that we weren’t allowed to stop at a store to get food (that would have been restful for me to not have to go home and work at cooking a large Sunday dinner).  The kids weren’t allowed to even play games.  And we weren’t supposed to even get gas if our car was running low.  So extreme!  Jesus was treated this way by the Pharisees when he healed people on the Sabbath.  They accused Him of breaking the Sabbath.  They did it again when the disciples picked grain and ate it as they were walking down the road on the Sabbath.  How did Jesus respond?  He said in Matthew 12:11-12, “He said to them, “If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out?  How much more valuable is a person than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.”
  • My ex would call these “family meetings” where he would type out long lists of demands he would make for me and the kids.  He would add rules we needed to follow, so that, in effect, he would be in control of our entire day, even when we were at work.

12. A need to be recognized for what he does in the church

My ex husband once said he needs approval more than he needs food to survive.  What a telling and honest moment that was!

This may be the biggest sign of Christian narcissists yet on my list.  A need to be recognized for what he does in the church will help the narcissist gain the supply he so desperately needs.  The church is supposed to be a haven from the world’s harshness and cruelty.

People in the church are to be loving and kind–they are to display the fruit of the Spirit!  The Christian narcissist knows this.  He knows that he will be treated well by many in the church.  And for the few that see his mask slip, there will be grace and mercy to forgive him.  And then he can continue to seek more supply by unwitting victims of his narcissistic abuse.

But besides being a haven for the narcissist to get away with abusing others, he can also get away with being recognized for what he does in the church.  If he volunteers for the visible work where many people are involved he will be seen by many and they will likely let him know how much they appreciate him.  As time passes, he will notice the people who praise his work the most.

And those will be the people he continues to work with because they are feeding into his addiction for accolades.  But they continue to do it, knowing that if they continue to praise him, he will continue to do great things for them.  They have no idea the monster they have released.  Or how bad things will get if they ever stop praising him or ever complain about a job that wasn’t done so well or caused damage.

13. Compulsion to destroy anyone who gets in his way

Generally speaking, this sign of Christian narcissists is one that not many people will ever see.  The narcissist will save this tactic for behind closed doors.  And it will be directed at those who refuse to constantly bow down to him.

In our case, our own family took the brunt of many of the attacks because he knew that we already knew what he was like at home and not in the public spotlight.  But for those at church who dared to stand up to him, there was hell to pay.

Here are some examples of that:

  • When he realized that our pastor could finally see the abuse that he was hiding behind closed doors and started calling him out on it, my ex started targeting him with narcissistic abuse.  He filed cases against him in our church government, up to the regional level.  When the regional level sided with our pastor and church leadership, he then went after them as “unbiblical” while leaving for a denomination that seemed to encourage abuse toward wives as their need to submit to their husbands.  He also wrote a letter to every family in our congregation explaining how he was a victim and the church leadership and I were both abusing him and falsely accusing him of the things he was doing.  A few people fell for it.  But my pastor assured me that 99% of the church saw right through it.  And that bore out as true when I showed up for church and so many people literally said his letter dripped of narcissism.
  • When a couple in the church that we spent time with regularly started seeing his lack of parenting, he began to isolate them from activities.  When they moved on to another church, he told me that I needed to email them to cut off communication because they were “unbiblical” for going to another church.  I was uncomfortable with this because regardless of what they believed, it was not heretical as he claimed and they still loved the Lord and were good people.  I am now back in touch with them, but the relationship is not the same.  I hope someday to see full restoration.

14. Strong-arming others into serving

Often a sign of Christian narcissism will be when the narcissist guilts others into doing the work of the church.  They do this in many different ways, but here are a few that you will have likely seen without even realizing:

  • A narcissistic pastor who tells you that you cannot take communion because you haven’t jumped through enough hoops or convinced him of your relationship to the Lord (that is between you and God.  You ARE accountable to God, but no man can tell you what that relationship is.)
  • A narcissist lecturing others to force them into serving in areas that they don’t feel called to just because he wants positions filled without having to work at finding the right people who are happy to serve.  That lecture consists of telling them that they aren’t spiritual enough if they aren’t willing to sign up.  Or that God will hold them in judgment for not doing the work of His church.
  • Making others feel like God will look down on them if they don’t do as the narcissist wants them to.

15. Making others feel “less than”

This often happens with many in the church and is often a sign of Christian narcissistic pastors.

They will criticize church members from the pulpit about things that were discussed previously.  This leaves the members feeling embarrassed, wondering how many people realize the pastor is preaching directly at them about recent events.

Or pastors will lecture the congregation as a whole regarding their lack of motivation to move the church in the direction he wants them to go in.  He is likely also guilt tripping them into thinking they aren’t moving fast enough so the church can grow exponentially.  This is preventing him from receiving the celebrity status he thinks he so deserves.  But often, in order to rise to the level of celebrity, he must make everyone else lower.

Bonus:  Making others feel like they were specially chosen

Point 15 was supposed to be my last sign of Christian narcissists.  But this one last bonus point was on my mind the whole time I was writing this article because of certain memories popping up, one that my son reminded me of just yesterday when he heard someone sing, “Happy Birthday” at a concert.

The story goes that one day in church my then husband sang the birthday song to an older woman in the church who had a crazy crush on him, even though she was married.  But she constantly fed into his ego, and he returned the favor to feed into her ego.  It was sickening to watch.  I know others noticed because they told me they did, including my pastor’s wife, who was horrified at their behavior.

Anyway, when he sang “Happy Birthday” to her, she began to “cry.”  Her usual overly emotional, exaggerated reaction.  Then, after swooning, came rushing to me a couple of rooms over to tell me the effect my husband’s act had on her.

My then husband thought that her reaction was genuine.  So, for the next year, he did that to everyone who had a birthday.  Think halfway between regular happy birthday and Marilyn Monroe, breathy-style happy birthday.  It was embarrassingly bad.

The last time I know of that he did it was to my son who he was estranged from at the time.  And he finally stopped.  I think.  If he’s doing it at his current church and in his new life, then more power to him.

It is this over-the-top behavior that narcissists will give to people who are otherwise starved for attention that causes them to go out of their way to praise and worship the narcissist.

In spite of the fact that the majority of the church was totally supportive of our family along with the church leadership, the five or so people that were willing to sacrifice their reputation on siding with my ex.  Most of them left our church and went on to my ex’s church (that is actually a good thing, since he took the emotionally unhealthy people right along with him).  But before they did, they made sure to send dirty looks my way if I looked at them in passing, or even make snide remarks.

One other incident happened very recently, even though we have been gone from that church for years now.  I was at our city’s baseball team game.  This woman, whose husband made a point of telling me that she had left our church because she was upset that I “got the leadership to treat my husband badly and get him removed from my home,” literally gave me the death stare as she walked past me.

I can understand that maybe she chooses to love my husband over me (it was interesting how many women were openly wooed by him), but what part of intimidating people with a stare is Christian behavior?  And yet, all of these people walk around church like they are the holiest of all.  It is sad to realize how easily people are fooled into such bad behavior.

For those that don’t know, there is a name for this.  In narcissism lingo, it is called flying monkeys.  They are people who do the narcissist’s bidding having no idea the evil that he is getting them to willingly do.

And with that, I am sure you now have a good working list of unmistakable signs of a Christian narcissist.


At the end of the day, the best way to determine if a Christian is a narcissist in disguise is to be emotionally mature enough to see it in their conversation, actions, and interactions outside of the public sphere.  You will be able to see unhealthy words, or a lack of healthy words and concepts.  You will see a huge focus on what they are doing and who they are hobnobbing with more than how they are serving Christ.  And you will be able to see cracks in their act relatively quickly.

Did you have some similar crazy experiences with your Christian narcissist, whether he was your husband, (or maybe even your wife), pastor, or other person in your Christian circles?  I would love to hear how you worked through it.  And I know my readers would love to hear that as well.  Please feel free to share in the comments below.

Are you just now in the beginning stages of recognizing narcissistic abuse in your life and not sure where to go or what to do next?  Or maybe you are in the middle to the trenches, trying to make sense of the craziness swirling around you as you work your way through.  Or, maybe you are in the end stages and just need some confirmation that you are where you need to be as you are nearing the finish line of healing.  Marie helps people start to put the pieces together to get quickly on the pathway of healing, make sure they are where they need to be as they progress on their journey, and finish well as they get to the light at the end of the tunnel.  She has many resources you can check out here, but if you would like quicker, more direct guidance specific to your situation, a direct consultation with Marie may be more helpful to you.  You can check out the various consultation options here.

Blessings and hugs,

Follow me!


Hi! I am the founder of Navigating Religious Narcissism after being raised under a narcissistic mother and married to a narcissistic man for 31 years. It is my prayer that I can be as valuable on your journey to healing and peace as were so many who crossed my path of healing.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Pam

    Thank you for your insight with experience of marriage with a narcissist.
    I have now been married over 52 years and over the last few years I have finally discovered my husband’s weakness, he he is truly narcissistic.
    I could divorce him and rightly due to physical abuse at times over the years, But, I am not going to do that. Being a Christian and knowing scripture and the Lord’s voice by Holy Spirit, I have been given insight.
    I am to let him ‘be’. He will never change into the Biblical example of a loving husband, although he knows he falls short of loving me sacrificially. We love our children and grandchildren, who have no idea what our marriage is like nor the unhappiness I live with, as my relationship with them far surpasses my desire to be lovingly married.
    I have accepted his weaknesses and I know he has mental illness and is now aged 77 years. We have had long talks even intense talks regarding what he has done to our marriage and he has asked me to forgive him hundreds of times, but forgets all about it by the next day.
    In order to maintain peace in our home, I just have to accept him the way he is and trust Jesus to see me through.
    This decision that the Lord brought me to has given me a happy heart. I will never be happily married to this man, but Jesus and my wonderful family I love dearly give me great joy each day of my life. They are gifts to me.
    So, that is how it is for me.
    Bless you.

    1. Marie

      Hi Pam! Thank you so much for sharing your experience. Jesus has blessed you with great wisdom to handle such a difficult marriage experience. You have made it work, which is a rare situation! Where did you get your grace and wisdom (other than the guidance of the Holy Spirit and your Bible?) Did you read books or see a therapist? I am sure you also have a good support of friends as well as your family that you’ve already talked about. I am also super encouraged that you were able to have some very good talks with your husband. I pray that God will continue to bless you as you continue to find ways to make your family life and marriage fulfilling. ♥♥♥

Leave a Reply