I guess I’m getting old. I had a conversation with a young man recently who didn’t know what the Challenger was. I had to explain it to him. He was about 15, so it was kind of depressing. Not just to think that I am getting old, but to think this young man had existed for 15 years and still hadn’t learned about something so important.
It’s frightening to think of the number of people who don’t know about Jim Jones. His devastating life ended before mine began, and yet, I know who he was. It’s not that I want people to know about evil men, it’s that we need to remember the lessons. We can’t forget what happens when people are swayed by perverse teachings.
There’s no doubt that you could use Jim Jones as an illustration for today’s passage. I have no qualms about it. So many people lost their lives as a result of this wicked person and his perverse sayings. What becomes difficult is recognizing this kind of person in our own lives, or even worse, if we are being this kind of person. I suspect that people who act like this, know exactly what kind of person they are but they aren’t willing to give up the attention they get from acting this way.
While we may not be at risk of falling into the snare of a cult, every day we face the danger of becoming the victim of someone like this. We will learn later in our journey about avoiding such men, but as we continue on in this introduction to the book, we are still hearing from the wise father speaking to his children. Today, we can see the father telling us things to look for when it comes to this kind of man. You can see him standing in the center of a group of children, winking at them, pointing and tapping his feet. Not only is he telling us to not be this kind of man (as he has told us to not be a sluggard and to not go into debt.) But he is also telling us to avoid this kind of man/person.
So what are some of the signs we should look for?
A worthless and wicked person
walks around saying perverse things;
he winks with his eyes,
signals with his feet,
and points with his fingers;
he plots evil with perverse thoughts in his heart,
he spreads contention at all times.
Therefore, his disaster will come suddenly;
in an instant he will be broken, and there will be no remedy.
Today, we might be looking for different things. I don’t know what they are, but some might include:
- Avoiding Eye Contact – I’ve experienced this one. When someone is lying in front of me and they know I know it, they stop making eye contact.
- Talking about others to you – this means that they’re talking about you to others. Quite possibly lying about you to others.
There are probably hundred of other things to look for, but none of them or these are true 100% of the time. So we should be careful in using them to judge. Someone might be avoiding eye contact because they are insecure. Some of the other signs I’ve seen like fidgeting and looking uncomfortable might be a sign, but at the same time not. Someone might simply be uncomfortable talking about a situation, that doesn’t mean they are lying.
Regardless off all that, we should be on the lookout. I have been privy to these men who act this way, and it is very damaging. I have been hurt by their ways, so we need to be more aware of what to look for and how to discern the motives behind someone’s actions. The point is, if you know this kind of person, stay away! Don’t trust them! If you do, you’re likely to get burned for doing so. Trust me.