Original Research

Living as a diakonos of Christ and pastoral care to the narcissistically entitled person

Gert Breed
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 55, No 1 | a2742 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v55i1.2742 | © 2021 Gert Breed | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 08 March 2021 | Published: 13 September 2021

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Gert Breed, Department of Practical Theology, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa

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In many research documents, the current age is called the age of entitlement. Closely associated with some forms of entitlement is narcissism. When the church encounters such widespread phenomena, she should consider possibilities and ways to address those in her pastoral care.The theoretical argument of the article is that the church could pastorally care for a Christian who leads a life of narcissistic entitlement, by guiding him to lead the life of a diakonos of Christ according to the New Testament. The relationship between narcissism and entitlement is described, as well as the characteristics of narcissistically entitled persons, and how problems may develop from a narcissistically entitled attitude. A short description is then given of a pastoral process that might be used. Part of the counselling process is to bring someone in the presence of God (coram Deo) to understand what God’s mercy and his prescriptions mean to him or her in his problematic situation.

Contribution: Lastly, different passages in which the diakon-words occur in the New Testament were studied and applied to the pastoral care of a narcissistically entitled person in the coram Deo-phase of pastoral care. Based on the results, it can be concluded that in the coram Deo-phase of the pastoral process, the pastoral care of narcissistically entitled persons may be enhanced by leading them to embrace and practise their identity as diakonos of Christ.


narcissism; entitlement; pastoral care; pastoral counselling; church; coram Deo


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