Skip to main content

Principle 23: Avoid the Schemers

Do you know any troublemakers?  You know, the kind of people who just love to sit around, planning some kind of misbehavior, waiting for the moment to spring it on someone?  In the most literal sense, a troublemaker is anyone who causes difficulties, distress, or worries - kind of out of habit and with a desire to bring injury, harm, or suffering to another.  The point here is that this individual makes a habit of living to life miserable for others.  These are definitely not the kind of people we want to associate with on a regular basis! Another word for this individual is "instigator" - wherever trouble seems to be brewing, you can pretty much be assured they had something to do with it! So, out of respect for yourself, you might want to learn how to avoid these individuals as much as possible - because the end they desire differs from the end God desires for your life!

A person who plans evil will get a reputation as a troublemaker.  The schemes of a fool are sinful; everyone detests a mocker.  (Proverbs 24:8-9 NIV)

The difference between an occasional misadventure caused by just not thinking something through and the trait of being a troublemaker is this whole idea of scheming and planning to create evil - through either foolish intent, or outright attack designed to ridicule and bring contempt.  The troublemaker has a heart bent on evil.  To engage in "trouble-making" once in a while doesn't suggest a heart bent on evil, but just a human heart!  To engage in this way of life all the time indicates intent - and intent is what is our focus here today in this passage.  The heart schemes in order to taunt another with either verbal, physical, or emotional distress - in order to bring some pleasure to the troublemaker.

I like the way the Message translates this as a troublemaker getting the reputation as "prince of rogues".  A rogue is one who is both dishonest and mischievous.  In scientific terms, when a "rogue" organism is found, we call it that because it differs so much from the original it just stands out.  In the most literal sense, this individual is untrustworthy - just because of all the ways they manipulate and scheme to work whatever plan it is they have in mind.  This is a way of life for them and it should not surprise you that the rogue personality they have is also described as a fool and a mocker.  The three go hand-in-hand.  One who schemes and plots to bring about a particular end is given to foolish thought and finding ways to point out the faults of another (even if is through sarcasm).

So, how do we avoid keeping company with these troublemakers?  First, we have to recognize their heart.  God gives us the ability to be able to look at the behaviors of another, listening also to what their words betray about their heart, and when these things point clearly to this type of behavior, it is probably because there is at least a little pleasure in it for the one who engages in this behavior routinely.  Since we can all be engaged in a little bit of trouble-making on occasion, we can all say we have a little bit of the "rogue" in each of us, but these individuals just don't vary in their practice. They are easier to spot than some may think because their actions and words give them away.

Some may think when we engage with a troublemaker, we actually give them more fuel for their fire.  If we ignore their behavior, not allowing their words to affect us, they get flustered with being ignored, but this doesn't shut down their behavior.  In fact, being ignored is not what the troublemaker wants - they want to cause their upheaval and see those who they target respond to it.  When they are ignored, they often just scheme a little harder and find new ways to begin their trouble-making schemes again.  Maybe the better way to deal with the troublemaker is to return good for their evil.  Isn't that the lesson Jesus was teaching when he said to turn the other cheek.  The troublemaker will be caught off-guard by receiving a blessing when he brings forth a curse.  We almost put him in a place of being put "off-balance" because his scheme did not have the effect he designed.  Return enough blessings in the face of his schemes and he will be shut-down.  He may not stop being a troublemaker, but he will move on because he knows he cannot beat you!  Just sayin!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

What did obedience cost Mary and Joseph?

As we have looked at the birth of Christ, we have considered the fact he was born of a virgin, with an earthly father so willing to honor God with his life that he married a woman who was already pregnant.  In that day and time, a very taboo thing.  We also saw how the mother of Christ was chosen by God and given the dramatic news that she would carry the Son of God.  Imagine her awe, but also see her tremendous amount of fear as she would have received this announcement, knowing all she knew about the time in which she lived about how a woman out of wedlock showing up pregnant would be treated.  We also explored the lowly birth of Jesus in a stable of sorts, surrounded by animals, visited by shepherds, and then honored by magi from afar.  The announcement of his birth was by angels - start to finish.  Mary heard from an angel (a messenger from God), while Joseph was set at ease by a messenger from God on another occasion - assuring him the thing he was about to do in marrying Mary wa

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce

Gateway closed, ears open, heart ready

We can certainly hear a lot of voices today - each representing some "cause" or "purpose" we are supposed to get our lives behind. Some are reasonable and seem to catch our attention simply because what they present seems both logical and straight-forward. Other voices are not as forth-coming in their motives, oftentimes not very logical and definitely not telling you the whole story. They simply use a technique that manipulates the crowds until they have them to the place we might call "biting on the bait". Our mailboxes are inundated with this request for "charitable contribution" one right after another; get this product now; attend this seminar to get rich quick; and get these veneers put on your teeth to change the way people perceive you. Lots of voices demanding our attention, but do we recognize its source? Jesus was most concerned with the repetitive 'voices' and 'demands' our world puts out there over and over again - vo