Points to Ponder: Dealing With Worthless People

Points to Ponder
Dealing With Worthless People
By Pastor Whitmore
Weekly Contributing Writer

It is difficult, but necessary, to stay on the high road. As we encounter wickedness, deception, and unfair practices that violate our trust and bring harm, it is natural to want to strike back. There may even be ways to devise retribution against your enemy. Though they may very much deserve it, it is critical to beware of this: the same fallen nature that motivates evil intent within them also dwells within you. Before you realize it, you have brought yourself down to their level of thinking. You can become the very thing you hate.
"The highway of the upright is to depart from evil; he who keeps his way preserves his soul." (Proverbs 16:17)
In the Christian community we are so focused on the love and mercy of God (John 3:16 love: "God so loved the world . . ."), it seems wrong to say that some people are more than just "lost sinners." There are literally worthless people in this world. The Bible describes them in several places: "worthless rogues" (II Chronicles 13:7); "worthless and reckless men," hired by Abimelech to kill his brothers (Judges 9:4); and the "worthless men banded with Jephthali." (11:3)
Four hundred discontented, distressed, indebted men gathered in the wilderness with David (I Samuel 22:2). When they rescued their abducted families and returned to Ziklag with the recovered spoils, "the wicked and worthless" members of the troop didn't want to share with the 200 exhausted men who had stayed behind with the supplies. David overruled them (I Samuel 30:22).
In Proverbs we have a character description of these people. Dare I say that many of us have persons like these in our families.
"A worthless person, a wicked man, walks with a perverse mouth; he winks with his eyes, he shuffles his feet, he points with his fingers; perversity is in his heart, he devises evil continually, he sows discord." (Proverbs 6:12-14)
These people often thrive on just causing stress. They look for trouble, invent accusations and make false charges.
"An ungodly man digs up evil, and it is on his lips like a burning fire. A perverse man sows strife, and a whisperer separates the best of friends." (Proverbs 16:27-28)
The "ungodly man" is literally a "man of Belial," or evil.
By the force of their personalities, or by the abuse of the trust others have placed in them, they spread wildfire with their words. It's hard to believe they would do it, but there is often a willingness to lie about everything in order to accomplish anything they desire. They create division and in their wicked ways they seem to manipulate the affairs of many. But scripture warns that God hates this sort of thing. Of the seven things God "hates" here are four:
" . . . a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, a false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren." (Proverbs 6:18-19)
When you are the victim, you want justice. When you are trying to follow the right path and be fair, it's very stressful to deal with someone who is looking for ways to harm you. And because they usually have a track record of deceit, perhaps even illegal activity going on, it's easy to focus your mind on how you can take them down.
Vengeance is a trap we unwittingly set for ourselves. Remaining calm and avoiding impulsive, emotional reactions denies these wicked ones the power they seek. Without your cooperation, they will be short circuited.
"He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city." (Proverbs 16:32).
Scripture offers us assurance that any gains made by the wicked are temporary and will not stand.
"The righteous God wisely considers the house of the wicked, overthrowing the wicked for their wickedness." (Proverbs 21:12)
In the Psalms we also have assurances, such as: "The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry. The face of the Lord is against those who do evil to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth." (Psalm 34:15-16)
But while it is today, you may be overwhelmed by the perception that your adversaries have the upper hand. Even if they literally do not have the advantage, you still have no peace. You can't get them nor their activities out of your mind. It is so tempting to strike back, to seek revenge, or in some way to "teach them a lesson." A justifiable feeling, certainly; but the task is not yours to perform.
"Do not say, 'I will recompense evil'; wait for the Lord, and He will save you." (Proverbs 20:22)
There is nothing you can do that God can't do better. Leave the battle to Him.

Hilltop Christian Fellowship, 12624 Trinity Church Drive, Clear Spring. Listen to Rev. Whitmore on WJEJ-1240 AM, Tues and Thurs at 10:45 a.m. & p.m. & Wed at 10:45 a.m. www.hilltopchristianfellowship.com.