Fathers and Esau Narcissism

Spiritual fathers lead Esau quitters to the door and say, “You have no portion here.” Thus, Esau is the Biblical model of narcissism.

Self-aware of Narcissistic?

A narcissist is self-aware to a fault. However, contrary to contemporary humanism, a person can be self-aware without being a narcissist. At the same time, a narcissist produces a contextual reality based solely upon an inaccurate self-awareness.

At some level, the sense of inadequacy a narcissist feels remains the impetus for a subconscious overcompensation. Telling himself he is superior leads to entitlement or demanding that everyone else acknowledge his superiority. As a result, the narcissist listens only to what seems consistent with his inaccurate assessment of his entitlement.

“I am superior, so I deserve the treatment, celebration, acceptance, and honor my internal measurement of myself demands,” says the hidden man of the narcissistic heart.

Esau and Bitterness

Esau is the Bible example or model for understanding narcissism, at least the disqualifying level of narcissism Esau represents in a broad spectrum of selfishness.

Hebrews 12 relates this deeply-rooted entitlement to powerful, sexual demanding desires but does not say Esau suffered from this issue. Instead, the author refers to Esau’s internal mechanisms for entitlement to sexual desire because sexual desire is so powerful.

Hebrews 12:16 says Esau is “profane.” But the word means something uniquely essential to our understanding of Esau’s bitterness: “entering by the wrong entrance, or getting into a position without proper authorization or preparation.” It is often translated as “profane” because it speaks to a circumstance in which impurity attempts mixture with the pure.

So Hebrews says the root of bitterness manifesting in Esau sprouts as trouble for everyone around him.

Esau did not repent. Esau sought a place from which to repent but found none. Notice that the place he sought from which to repent signals negotiation rather than genuine sorrow.

  • Esau recognized he had lost his inheritance.
  • Esau attempted to find a place from which to repent that Esau considered appropriate.
  • Esau remained bitter in the deepest place because of entitlement.

The Cycle of Bitterness

We have a bitter root because we demand something that is not ours in the first place. We mourn the loss of something that we did not lose. We cycle into bitterness because we refuse to acknowledge the Truth and seek to alter the terms of reality by discovering a way out of that cycle.

  • False entitlement breeds false equality.
  • False equality says, “I am as entitled to inheritance as Jacob” when I am not entitled at all.
  • False equality gives birth to false expectations that become the warp and woof of the fabrication of narcissism.

So, I demand something that is not mine, justify my demands with erroneous entitlement claims, then expect the entire universe, including God, to respond to my claims by altering reality to fit my delusions.

When that fails to happen, step by step, I finally arrive at the bitter root judgment that anyone disagreeing with my assessment of how things should be against me. I sense loss. I follow the cycle of grieving: denial, anger, and guilt, but I never get to acceptance. I remain stuck in the cycle of bitterness, grieving something I’ve lost that was never mine in the first place.

The narcissist demands that reality change, not the narcissist.

So, when reality does not change–it cannot be other than it is–the Esau bitterness strikes out in every direction, looking for allies in the delusion, and marking enemies of his entitlement.

Hebrews 12 says spiritual fathers should stop this influence, for it will “trouble you, spiritual fathers, and pollute many.”

Entitlement Mentality is Contagious

At present, the prevailing wind blowing from the high-pressure spiritual system of over individualism blasts the population of a consumer-driven culture with narcissistic false entitlement, false equality, and false expectations.

When one Esau is allowed to remain in function relationship within kingdom culture, fathering leaders will run into the very thing they desire least in inheritors. Do not allow this to happen! Instead, confront Esau and ask him to find an exit: “You have no portion here.”

Remember the context of this conclusion is the Father’s authentication of inheritors and the spiritual father’s partnership in producing enduring submission to that painful process.

Once entitlement thinking enters the kingdom culture, the inheritors will wish to avoid Father’s painful preparation and authentification process. Instead, they will demand inheritances based on entitlement.

They will say, “I was born of the same parents, so I demand my inheritance. It is my identity in Christ.”

Of course, the Bible does not teach that erroneous conclusion. The Bible clearly teaches that born anew people enter a process of preparation as kingdom citizens that results in inheritance function. While sons of God are inheritors, Esau’s are sons of God and enter the same process. The point here is whether or not someone is born of the spirit but whether or not someone is authenticated to represent Christ, the Inheritor of the Inheritance.

The limitation with Esau is grace flow: “if someone lacks the grace of God like Esau.” Esau did not repent because he maintained his stance of negotiation with God. As a result, Esau received no grace flow. Esau could not represent God without grace.

Put this condition in an overlay with Paul’s confession of authentic humility: “I am what I am by God’s grace.” Esau wasn’t what he was by God’s grace because he quit the preparation process that Father started to authenticate Esau.

Fathers do not coddle Esau quitters.

Don Lynch

2 Comments

  1. Brian St Clair on June 10, 2021 at 8:46 AM

    Dr Don, thank you for this powerful article. Esau gets the extended grace, but he doesn’t take his rightful place. Bad move, Esau! All allegiance and honor to King Jesus!

  2. Brian St Clair on June 10, 2021 at 8:48 AM

    There’s only one King in the kingdom… no usurpers allowed.

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