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A Candid Talk with Pastor Max Lucado about the Narcissists in Our Lives

Have you ever questioned whether your mistakes have made you unworthy of God's love and use? If you answered "yes," then you have more in common with Jacob in the Bible and also with author and pastor Max Lucado than you might realize.

His latest book, "God Never Gives Up on You" is for those of us who grapple with our flaws, those moments of stumbling and fumbling. We are a mix of saintly intentions and occasional scoundrel-like actions, often experiencing both breakthroughs and breakdowns in the same hour. Our failures are all too familiar to us. But where can we find evidence of God's unwavering grace?

No one is better suited to reassure you of God's grace than Jacob. He was more prodigal than prodigy, possessing worldly wisdom but lacking a strong conscience. Jacob took advantage of his hungry brother and deceived his dying father, yet God never abandoned him. And He won't abandon you either.

In this episode of the Hearing Jesus podcast, host Rachael Groll talks with Max Lucado about the life of Jacob and discuss God's grace, mercy, and His unwavering love for us. Lucado's new book, "God Never Gives Up On You," serves as a guide to understanding these qualities of God.

Not only that, but they talk at length about practical tips for managing relationships with a narcissist and what you can do to set up healthy boundaries within toxic family or friendship dynamics.

Here are 5 awesome quotes from Max and Rachael’s conversation. If you want to hear their entire conversation, including Max’s tips for dealing with a narcissist, just hit the play button below.

1. On being a “tilted halo” vs a “super saint”:

“I see myself as a tilted halo person for sure. I'm a converted drunk. I'm absolutely aware of how frail the human spirit is without the help of the Holy Spirit… if you find yourself struggling to keep your spiritual cheese on your cracker, to keep your balance, to keep your equilibrium, to keep your keep your temper, keep your cool, then the story of Jacob is a story for you.”

2. Max Lucado sees himself as more of a “Jacob” than a “Joseph”:

“God ever faithful to Jacob, Jacob ever forgetful of God. Now, that reminds me of me. God ever-faithful to Max, Max ever-forgetful of God. Jacob tended to lean on his own strength. Max does that. Jacob tended to try to negotiate with God. Max does that. Jacob tended to end up having a taste of his own medicine. I've had a taste of my own. I think that's why I love the story of Jacob. He reminds us of ourselves.”

3. On trying to create an image of self-perfection:

“Trying to present yourself as having no struggles is absolutely exhausting. Nothing is heavier than the weight of perfection. And if a person feels like it's their job to present themselves as perfect, they are setting themselves up for an impossible task.”

4. On hypocrisy and the importance of honesty with our weaknesses:

“Folks sniff out hypocrisy. Folks can sniff it now, and people have an allergy to hypocrisy. And so stories like the story of Jacob invite us to just be honest, you know, confess your sins to one another, the Scripture says, and you will be healed….If anyone could have justifiably presented himself as Teflon-coated, never with any struggles or questions, It would have been the Son of God. But Jesus was overheard saying, How long must I put up with these people? Jesus was seen in the Garden of Gethsemane, crying out to God, Do I have to do this? And so, the vulnerability Jesus shows proves inspirational to us.

5. What we can learn from Jacob and Laban about handling narcissists:

A Laban is somebody who uses us to accomplish their ends. We tend to call them narcissists, manipulators. They're deceitful. They can exhaust us. You may have one in your family. You may have one at work. And learning to relate to Laban is not an easy job… [when] we find ourselves trying to give and take with these Laban-like characters. I think there are two or three things we can do.”

Max goes on from there to list some incredibly practical action steps you can take today when dealing with a narcissist. Listen to his conversation with Rachael Groll on the Hearing Jesus podcast to find out what Max recommends. Just click the play button below!

Image Credit: Rachael Groll, Hearing Jesus Podcast host 

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