"A new analysis of the American Freshman Survey, which has accumulated data for the past 47 years from 9 million young adults, reveals that college students are more likely than ever to call themselves gifted and driven to succeed, even though their test scores and time spent studying are decreasing." We are raising a generation of deluded narcissists by Dr. Keith Albow
Psychologist Jean Twenge, the lead author of the analysis, is also the author of a study showing that the tendency toward narcissism in students is up 30 percent in the last thirty-odd years.
Personally I'm not completely surprised by this data. I bet it's not just college freshman that are more full of themselves - I think we all are naturally more full of ourselves! It's this whole "we're naturally sinful beings" mixed with the second law of thermodynamics that makes us as people to get worse sinfully. I think it's easiest to see it in college students because they are so open and honest about what they think and feel (I love college students for that fact)!
We live in a world where it is instilled in us to look out for ourselves first and make decisions that are best for us even if it means breaking commitments. Most divorces are usually a result of selfishness and the thought of, "I deserve better than this."
You know where this is best shown? Driving! You cut someone off, you think, "I had to cut them off - I needed the spot!" Or you're the one cut off, and you honk and think, "Who is this person? I need that spot! How dare they cut me off!"
Jesus was not a narcissist. In fact, He was the opposite! He was completely selfless without trying to prove Himself worthy - because He was worthy. He healed the unclean and fed the needy - Jew and Gentile alike. He was beaten and sacrificed without having done anything wrong. As He hung there on the cross and men were casting lots for His clothes, Jesus - though He had every right to put them in their place and show off His abilities and power and backing from God - petitioned for them to God, saying, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." (Luke 23:34)
What did we do to deserve this Jesus? What did we do to deserve a relationship with Jesus and all that He offers for us to live an abundant life after He went through and all He did on the cross - which He went to because of our sin?
"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast" (Ephesians 2:8, 9 NIV). Nothing we have done or will do will make us worthy of Jesus dying for us - and that's exactly how He wanted it! This fact alone should humble us and keep us in check as we interact with the world we live in. He gave us everything so we in turn would deny ourselves, pick up our cross, and follow Him (Matthew 16:24).
I challenged our leadership on campus the other day with reading this article and saying, "This is how the world is now seeing you - as a bunch of self-centered dummies. Jesus wasn't a narcissist, so how can you show the opposite of what people expect?" I challenge us with the same question, and with this one as well:
Jesus humbled Himself for you, how can you humble yourself to others around you to show Jesus to them?
Leah works with Master Plan Ministries at Fort Lewis College in Durango, CO. Other than watching college students' lives change, she enjoys getting her mind blown by God and His Word, watching sci fi, baking cupcakes, and spending time with her hunky husband.
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