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There are different levels to perverse

There are different levels to perverse

Solomon’s Wisdom Part 8

Proverbs 2: 12-15

 12 Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men, from men whose words are perverse,

13 who have left the straight paths to walk in dark ways,

14 who delight in doing wrong and rejoice in the perverseness of evil,

15 whose paths are crooked and who are devious in their ways.

Matthew Henry wrote, “If we are truly wise, we shall be careful to avoid all evil company and evil practices. When wisdom has dominion over us, then it not only fills the head, but enters into the heart, and will preserve, both against corruptions within and temptations without.”

We have talked at length about wisdom and how we can and must seek it, this sentence gives us a prime reason as to what having it will do for us. The Hebrew word for “save you” or “deliver you” from the ways of wicked men is natsal. It means to snatch away, deliver, rescue, save, strip, plunder; all very active, strong words. It all boils down to one thing, bringing us to safety or keeping us safe.

Do we need to be kept safe from perversity and sinful men?

The Oxford dictionary defines perverse as; “(of a person or their actions) showing a deliberate and obstinate desire to behave in a way that is unreasonable or unacceptable, often in spite of the consequences, contrary to the accepted or expected standard or practice, and (of a verdict) against the weight of evidence or the direction of the judge on a point of law.”

Apparently, these people travel on dark paths, delight in the wrong, rejoice in evil, and are devious. Proverbs 6:16-19 teaches us that:

“16 There are six things the Lord hates,

    seven that are detestable to him:

17         haughty eyes,

        a lying tongue,

        hands that shed innocent blood,

18         a heart that devises wicked schemes,

        feet that are quick to rush into evil,

19         a false witness who pours out lies

        and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.”

From what I read, there are many people like this today, not much different from long ago.

As a matter of fact, with today’s instantaneous global communication, trade, and shopping there are many more ways for people to take advantage of us. And they are not all grand or huge attacks. They can be a simple (sly) as what George Simon describes in his book In Sheep’s Clothing (2010, pp.118-134) as “covert aggressive” behavior. While some people would describe this behavior “passive aggressive,” as Simon points out, there is nothing passive about it.

Deceiving and manipulating us to get what they want; covert aggressors very actively try to control other people.

Here are some of the tactics Simon describes in his book, In Sheep’s Clothing (2010, pp.118-134):

  • Seduction. Manipulating you with charm and flattery and playing on your need for approval.
  • Lying. Telling blatant lies, misrepresenting the truth, or being deliberately vague.
  • Denial. Refusing to admit they’ve said or done something, which can make you begin doubting yourself.
  • Selective Inattention. Deliberately brushing you off by actively ignoring your requests or e-mails.
  • Diversion. When asked a question, changing the subject to throw you off course.
  • Guilt. Using your conscience and desire to be a good person to control and manipulate you.
  • Shaming. Putting you down and using sarcasm and critical comments to make you feel so inadequate that you give in to them.  
  • Playing the Victim. Using exaggerated complaints about their hardships to make you feel sorry for them, so they get what they want.
  • Feigning Ignorance or Confusion. Playing dumb or acting like they don’t know what you’re talking about, which can throw you off balance and make you doubt yourself.

Here are some other ways people can take advantage of you:

  1. Being helpless
  2. Having a lack of control over their lives
  3. Acting inferior
  4. Being narcissistic, codependent, and having double standards

What can you do?

  • Start by thinking carefully before saying yes to anything.
  • Find the courage to say NO.
  • Know yourself and set your limits at home, work and play.
  • Talk to others who understand and have been there. Get reliable advice.
  • Stay away from negative people and those who think nothing about crossing the line even a little bit. This can be a slippery slope.
  • Always think of the consequences – unintended or otherwise.
  • Respect yourself
  • Preserve your integrity.

Chuck Groot is an author, speaker, teacher. His love of God has spanned over 6 decades and he finds the more he studies the less he knows, the more he succeeds the more dependant on God he becomes, and that there is nothing outside of loving God our Father and being loved in return. 

 

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