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Preferring Typhus to Tying the Knot

Marriage Cultural Trends Narcissism

Source: "Book Review: A couple unhappy in their own way: 'Love and Hatred: The Stormy Marriage of Leo and Sonya Tolstoy' by William L Shirer" by ROBERT WINDER, posted the UK INDEPENDENT, 4/20/12

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Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-11-28

Scripture: Proverbs 18:22 ; Hebrews 13:4

Author: Illustration Exchange
3

ILLUSTRATION

Famed Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy (1828 – 1910)—author of such classics as ANNA KARENINA  and WAR AND PEACE—was nearly as famed for his volatile marriage as he was for his literary masterpieces. He tied the knot (or, perhaps as he would see it, a noose) with 18 year old Sonya Behrs in 1862. 

In a book review of the chronicle of their unhappy lives together, Love and Hatred: The Stormy Marriage of Leo and Sonya Tolstoy by William L Shirer, Robert Winder writes:

[It] was love and hate at first sight. After two weeks she wrote: 'I am terribly, terribly sad, and withdrawing further and further into myself. My husband is sad and ill and out of sorts and doesn't love me. I could never imagine it would be so terrible.' Their fight lasted half a century, and they were, to say the least, unhappy in their own way: they poured their reproachful grudges into diaries, and then read each other's work.

Tolstoy not only soured on his marriage, but on all marriage.

As John MacArthur notes, “Count Leo Tolstoy embraced a perverse marital asceticism late in life, claiming that the responsibilities of marriage impeded his progress in moral perfection. Since he had a large family, this was a remarkable assertion.”* He then goes on to quote one particularly acerbic rant Tolstoy railed against his daughter Tanya as she contemplated her own upcoming nuptials:

"I can understand why a depraved man may find salvation in marriage. But why a pure girl should want to get mixed up in such a business is beyond me. If I were a girl I would not marry for anything in the world. And so far as being in love is concerned, for either men and women-since I know what it means, that is, it is an ignoble and above all an unhealthy sentiment, not at all beautiful, lofty or poetical-I would not have opened my door to it. I would have taken as many precautions to avoid being contaminated by that disease as I would to protect myself against far less serious infections such as diphtheria, typhus or scarlet fever.”

*John MacArthur, THE MACARTHUR NEW TESTAMENT COMMENTARY by John MacArthur, Volume Hebrews, section 13:4-6.

APPLICATION

Many today, though perhaps not as blatantly expressive, likewise feel marriage has become nothing more than a societal hindrance to their ultimate happiness and fulfillment. Or, as MacArthur puts it, “Today's radical secular wisdom claims that marriage impedes self-actualization—an unforgivable sin in modern eyes.”

Those who seek to follow their own lusts and narcissistic, self-serving passions will forever look for justification to dishonor the institution of marriage. Yet note, even Tolstoy stayed with his wife for 50 years, seemingly finding more value in a miserable marriage than in singleness (though no doubt he’d never admit it!).

Yet God’s truth is timeless. “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord” (Proverbs 18:22). “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous” (Hebrews 13:4). “And the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate” (Mark 10:8-9).

Are Rich People Unethical

Greed Narcissism Affluence

Source: “Are Rich People Unethical?” by Mikaela Conley, ABC News – Mon, Feb 27, 2012

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-10-04

Scripture: Matthew 19:24

Author: Illustration Exchange
2

ILLUSTRATION

"Scientists at the University of California at Berkeley analyzed a person's rank in society (measured by wealth, occupational prestige and education) and found that those who were richer were more likely to cheat, lie and break the law than those who were poorer.

"’We found that it is much more prevalent for people in the higher ranks of society to see greed and self-interest … as  good pursuits,’ said Paul Piff, lead author of the study and a doctoral candidate at Berkeley. …

“Greed is a ‘robust’ determinant of unethical behavior, according to the study. … ‘What it comes down to, really, is that money creates more of a self-focus, which may account for larger feelings of entitlement,’ said Piff.”

APPLICATION

Greed. Self-interest. Entitlement. Modern statistics bear out the words of Christ, “Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God” (Matthew 19:24). 

Illustration Exchange

How To Identify A Narcissist With One Easy Question

Narcissism Self-examination Sin Nature

Source: "The Fastest Way to Tell if Someone's a Narcissist: JUST ASK" by Elizabeth Armstrong Moore, Newser Staff, Posted Aug 6, 2014

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Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-08-18

Scripture: Romans 3:23

Author: Elizabeth Armstrong Moore, Newser Staff / Illustr
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ILLUSTRATION

Psychcentral.com defines narcissism as "the egotistical preoccupation with self, personal preferences, aspirations, needs, success, and how he/she is perceived by others." New research indicates that narcissists are easier to identify than previously thought. And the means is surprising!

(NEWSER) – By definition, narcissists spend a lot of time focused on themselves. So it should be no surprise that the fastest way to tell if someone is a narcissist is simply to ask them. Researchers compared the gold-standard 40-item diagnostic test the Narcissistic Personality Quiz to the answer to just one, pointed question: "To what extent do you agree with this statement: I am a narcissist." The results of the two were almost identically accurate, with 1% of respondents even describing themselves as a 7 (that the statement is "very true") on a scale of 1 to 7, reports TIME.

To be quite sure the respondents understood the question without any confusion, researchers included a brief definition which read, "Note: The word 'narcissist' means egotistical, self-focused and vain."

The brutal honesty of the respondents was surprising:

"Narcissists have no problem admitting they are narcissists," a coauthor on the paper tells the Los Angeles Times. "They think they deserve special treatment and they don’t try to hide that from others." The researchers ultimately conducted 11 studies with more than 2,000 participants, testing for traits associated with narcissism as well, including higher aggression, lower empathy, less committed relationships, a preference for non-social rewards, and the belief that they should be paid more than their colleagues. Not surprisingly, people who characterize themselves as narcissists have more overlap with these traits as well … .

APPLICATION

Apparently, narcissists feel so justified in their narcissism they are indifferent to the negative stigma of the characterization.

But ask people if they are a sinner and you'll likely get a very different reaction. "Of course not!" Then they'll go on to self-justify with proclamations like they've never killed anyone or robbed a bank.

Sinner--no one wants to own that characterization.

But that is exactly who we ALL are. "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). And we don't need a 40 question diagnostic test to prove it. All we need to do is answer one question: "Have you ever broken any of God's rules?" If the answer is "Yes" (the only possible answer to the question) then we must own it.

From Kissing Frogs To Licking Toads

Marriage Romance Narcissism

Contributed By: Mitchell Dillon | Date Posted: 2013-02-08

Author: Mitchell Dillon
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Disrespecting Eternity

Worldliness Lost Opportunity Narcissism

Contributed By: Mitchell Dillon | Date Posted: 2012-11-10

Scripture: Matthew 6:19

Author: Mitchell Dillon
2

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When Winning Isn't Winning

Competition Narcissism Addiction

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-05-10

Scripture: Matthew 20:16

Author: Illustration Exchange
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Bored To Death

Boredom Purpose Narcissism

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-04-11

Scripture: 1 Peter 4:10 ; Matthew 20:28

Author: Illustration Exchange
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Dying Beyond Our Means

Death Narcissism Atonement

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2011-08-28

Scripture: 2 Timothy 2:11

Author: Illustration Exchange
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A Wasp Cut In Half

Conscience Meaning of Life Narcissism

Contributed By: Fred Gates | Date Posted: 2011-08-02

Scripture: Mark 8:36

Author: George Orwell
2

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Watch Your Seat!

Selfishness Narcissism Humor

Contributed By: Pat Sage | Date Posted: 2010-12-28

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 6:7

Author: Pat Sage
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