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Do You Have DNS?

DNS is a disorder that affects many people, especially Christians for some reason.  The symptoms are not visible, but they are debilitating, although many people learn to live with them.  But, they don’t live very well.

What is DNS? 

Deficit Narcissism Syndrome.

The symptoms?

Chronic self-audit that assumes failure.

It usually shows up whenever a person is tempted to think something good and positive about their potential.  Both men and women suffer from it, but many women seem to have it more acutely.  Experts are not sure why this is true, unless it has something to do with a woman’s capacity to audit more roles than her counterpart male.  Wife, mother, daughter, daughter-in-law, worker, community volunteer – the roles subject to DNS mount up.  Men have the capacity to compartmentalize, even ignore most of their roles.  I don’t think that I need the fingers on one hand to count the number of men I have met who felt badly about being a lousy son-in-law, even if they were.  Men are more prone to get BNS – Blame Narcissism Syndrome.

DNS is most apparent if we try to imagine that Christ intends to use us in a positive way in the lives of others.  Like, when he told his disciples that just as the Father had sent him, he was sending them.  In other words, Christ was entrusting his purpose and mission to them.  (John 20:21)  It’s easy to imagine Christ doing that with them or with others, but DNS makes it almost impossible to imagine that Christ actually thinks we are fit for such an incredible mission.

An immediate sense of our deficits usually swallows up faith, hope, and joy.  We assume that we are not fit for the greatest purpose on earth because we don’t know enough, believe enough, follow enough, serve enough – or something else enough.  If you have ever committed any headline sins, DNS rules in your spirit.

The N part?  Well, DNS is essentially narcissistic because it is totally self-absorbed.  It’s deceptive about this because of its self-loathing.  Can narcissists truly hate themselves?  Sure.  It may not be fun narcissism but it is still a deadly form of self.  It puts self at the center.

Only Christ deserves to be in the center.  And even he wasn’t his own center.  When the love, grace, and purpose of Christ begin and continue to shape our sense of self, deficits become hilarious, almost. At least, their power disappears.  They become the best expressions of Christ’s grace and purpose.

Someone I know committed a headline sin, the kind that politicians, athletes, and celebrities make news with.  Perfect for massive DNS. They said, “My sin is so bad that I can’t believe that God can forgive me?”

You’re not that special, I said.

The thing that they did was horrible.  It was deficit worthy. But, the thing that Christ did in their life was incredible.  They are becoming a new person.  They were worse than a sinner before. They were a Pharisee.  (You know how hard it is to get a Pharisee to taste grace?  Nearly impossible.)  And, I’m already seeing Christ use this person in a remarkable way.  Their deficit became so huge that they knew that they could not bear it and cure it.  Only Christ could.  And he did.

DNS?  If it teaches you to look at Christ, to need Christ, to trust and love Christ, then Christ will use you to change the world.  And Christ will become so great to you that you will laugh to think that you could have ever been consumed by your own deficits.

Do you ever struggle with DNS?  What helps you deal with it? 

Share this post with someone you know who may have DNS.