It Only Takes a Wink or a Glance to Abuse
A worthless person, a wicked man, goes about crooked speech, winks with his eyes, signals with his feet, points with his finger, with perverted heart devises evil, continually sowing discord; (Proverbs 6:12-14)
I have probably written posts about these verses before, but they are on my mind again today and the truths they teach cannot be announced too often. As you read this, please note: I am in no way here being critical of victims who have not yet left their abuser. We realize that “just leaving the jerk” is not so simple. No, I am primarily speaking of other people like church members who continue to associate with the wicked/abuser rather than dissociating from him. Ok, here we go:
When it comes to dealing with an abuser — with these wicked ones who see themselves as gods to be served and worshiped — we cannot employ half measures. And these Proverbs explain why. Let me explain further.
Over the years we have had to do battle with wicked people as have most all of you. Malignant narcissists. Covertly aggressive characters. Sociopaths. People with no conscience. People who use an array of evil tactics to control and punish others. Accusers. Maligners. Revilers. You cannot “reach the heart” of such people. You cannot appeal to their empathy. Because they have no heart (their hearts are stones) and there is no empathy to be found in them. This is why God’s Word tells us to put such people out of our midst. We have often pointed you to 1 Corinthians 5 as as example of such instruction. We are to put them out and we are to separate from them.
Now, in our church ministry for over three decades, we have observed a clear and repeated outcome for people who try half measures in dealing with the wicked. They don’t separate fully from them. They don’t seem to believe the warning of Scripture that bad company corrupts good morals. And the outcome? People like this don’t grow in their walk with Christ, or if they do, that growth is very slow. They struggle and they stumble over the same trials over and over again. They seem to remain in a fog of doubt, lacking the clarity of certainty regarding what is truth and what is not. They are like that king in Lord of the Rings who is under the sorcerer’s spell and have Wormtongue whispering in their ear, countering every truth that comes their way.
I think that these Proverbs explain why this happens to them. You see, a wicked man, an abuser, is able to sow discord and seeds of doubt in people’s minds with a mere roll or sideways glance of his eye, with a twitch of his lip, with a subtle motion of his finger or foot, or with a nod of his head. He need not say a single word! One of the tags we have given this post is language of abusers … the body language of abusers is just crafty as the spoken language. The abuser’s deceptive motions and unspoken innuendos can say it all for him.
People who continue to play with fire by having association with the abuser will inevitably say, if challenged, “Oh, I am very careful. If he ever were to speak against the truth, I would call him on it. So far he never has.” These are the foolish words of a foolish person who will not heed the warnings of Scripture. The fact is, EVERY time they are with such a person, they are in the presence of wickedness and that evil one is communicating all kinds of lies and falsehoods to them probably without ceasing.
Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.” (2 Cor 6:14-18)
Churches are arrogant in this regard. Pastors are arrogant about this. Individual Christians are arrogant in this respect. They believe that they can “handle it” and therefore they choose to “love” the wicked man and allow him to remain among them. They become the targets of the glances of the eye and all of these other wicked non-verbal accusatory tactics. It is not strange then that they end up being allies of the wicked one eventually, drawn away from the truth and from justice by the very tactics God’s Word here in Proverbs specifically warns us against.
Think about it. What action is required so that YOU will not be subjected to a wink, to a nod, to the flick of a finger or an elevated breath? I can tell you what is required. You must separate completely from such a person so that you cannot hear them, see them, or be touched by them. And guess what? That is EXACTLY what God’s Word tells us to do:
Let not those rejoice over me who are wrongfully my foes, and let not those wink the eye who hate me without cause. For they do not speak peace, but against those who are quiet in the land they devise words of deceit. They open wide their mouths against me; they say, “Aha, Aha! Our eyes have seen it!”
You have seen, O LORD; be not silent! O Lord, be not far from me! Awake and rouse yourself for my vindication, for my cause, my God and my Lord! (Psalm 35:19-23)