Archive for July 21st, 2021

Caution: Toxic Humans!

Wednesday, July 21st, 2021

Caution: Toxic Humans!

Pastor Don Carpenter

2021 Bible Reading Challenge

That great preacher J.Vernon McGee writes,

“I had an uncle who never came to know the Lord. My aunt used to weep and say, “Oh, he won’t listen” Do you know why? With her lived a sister, another aunt, and I used to go there sometimes on Sundays for dinner. Do you know what we had for dinner? Roast preacher One of my aunts went to the Methodist church, the other went to the Presbyterian church, and oh, boy, did they try to outdo each other, talking about the preacher and the fights that were going on. I used to watch my uncle. He would just sit there and eat. Then he’d get up to leave and go down to his club for the afternoon. When he would come home in the evening, he wasn’t drunk, but he sure had had several drinks. They never won him to Christ. There are a lot of people not being won today, my friend, because of the strife that is inside the church. This is an interesting thing: “the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelled then in the land.” And they still dwell in the land. They are right near your church, by the way. ”

Solomon was the wisest man that ever lived and he was inspired to write some scriptures. It is wise for us to learn from his wisdom. Proverbs is full of truth about interpersonal relationships. We can do a lot to improve our relationships just by adopting some principles taught in the Wisdom passages. Tonight’s passage identifies six types of bad actors with toxic behavior. Let us take a few minutes to heed the warning: Caution! Toxic Humans!

Beware of the Meddler

Proverbs 26:17 KJV

He that passeth by, and meddleth with strife belonging not to him, Is like one that taketh a dog by the ears.

 However, most English translations have meddles, which means “involve yourself” or “interfere.” A quarrel not his own is literally “argument not to him,” meaning “an argument that is none of his business,” as in tev.1

1 William David Reyburn and Euan McG. Fry, A Handbook on Proverbs, UBS Handbook Series (New York: United Bible Societies, 2000), 565. 

One who grabs a dog by its ears may expect to be bitten. So is a passer-by, someone not directly involved, who meddles in (lit., “excites himself over”) another’s quarrel. He causes trouble for himself by interfering in a situation he knows little about.1

1 John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck, Dallas Theological Seminary, The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 962.

Proverbs 14:16 KJV

A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil: But the fool rageth, and is confident.

Beware of the Deceitful Deceiver

Proverbs 26:18–19 KJV

As a mad man who casteth firebrands, arrows, and death, 

So is the man that deceiveth his neighbour, And saith, Am not I in sport?

The second is the person who does dangerous things (v. 18) like deceiving others (v. 19) and then says, “I didn’t mean any harm; I was only joking.” He too will show up in your counseling room. For the sake of testing your own knowledge and ability, why not write out the biblical alternatives to each of these lifestyles? Can you?1

1 Jay E. Adams, Proverbs, The Christian Counselor’s Commentary (Cordova, TN: Institute for Nouthetic Studies, 2020), 200.

The cruel buffoon cannot discern the difference between a joke and cruelty. The comparison of the treacherous clown with an armed and berserk warrior is double. Both cannot distinguish right from wrong and both inflict horrible tragedy upon the community. However, the madman is out of his mind and cannot plot evil, whereas the mischief-maker is cunning, showing he is intellectually capable of carrying out a crime. His problem is not intellectual but spiritual; he lacks kind affections. The madman is not culpable for his crime; the mischief-maker is.1

1 Bruce K. Waltke, The Book of Proverbs, Chapters 15–31, The New International Commentary on the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2005), 359.

Beware of the Talebearer / Gossip

Proverbs 26:20–22 KJV

Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: So where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth. 

As coals are to burning coals, and wood to fire; So is a contentious man to kindle strife. 

The words of a talebearer are as wounds, And they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.

 • Is the fuel to keep strife burning.

 • Is contentious

 • Wounds the hearers to their very core

Already we have had our attention frequently directed to the evil of talebearing. But because we are so slow to learn, we have added instruction in regard to what has become in many places a blighting curse among the people of God. Happy is the assembly of saints that does not number a backbiter or talebearer among its members! As fire goes out for want of fuel, when there is no wood to add to it, so, many difficulties disappear when there is no whisperer to go about perpetuating strife. But, as when coals are added to burning coals, so is a contentious man to cause ill-feelings to be inflamed, and malice and hatred to burn more strongly than ever. It is a wretched business, going about from one to another, stirring up unholy passions, and making unhappy matters all the more difficult to adjust. For the words of a talebearer are by many devoured as though they were choice titbits, which go down into the depths of the being, and are often ineradicable. See chaps. 12:15, and 18:8.1

1 H. A. Ironside, Notes on the Book of Proverbs (Neptune, NJ: Loizeaux Bros, 1908), 373–374.

Proverbs 11:13 KJV

A talebearer revealeth secrets: But he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter.

Proverbs 16:27 KJV

An ungodly man diggeth up evil: And in his lips there is as a burning fire.

Proverbs 16:28 KJV

A froward man soweth strife: And a whisperer separateth chief friends.

My name is Gossip. I have no respect for justice. I maim without killing. I break hearts and ruin lives. I am cunning and malicious and gather strength with age. The more I am quoted, the more I am believed. I flourish at every level of society. My victims are helpless. They cannot protect themselves against me because I have no face. To track me down is impossible. The harder you try, the more elusive I become. I am nobodies friend. Once I tarnish a reputation, it is never the same. I topple governments, wreck marriages, and ruin careers — cause sleepless nights, heartaches, and indigestion. I spawn suspicion and generate grief. I make innocent people cry in their pillows. Even my name hisses… I make headlines and headaches. Before you repeat a story, ask yourself, Is it true? Is it fair? Is it necessary? If not – shut up!

Laura Schlessinger, The Ten Commandments: The Significance of God’s Laws in Everyday Life, p. 203

Beware of the Hater

His lips burn with the wickedness pouring out from his heart… passionately hateful

Proverbs 26:23 KJV

Burning lips and a wicked heart Are like a potsherd covered with silver dross.

One who makes fervent protestations of love and affection, while all the time his heart is bent on evil, is like a cheap earthen vessel that has been veneered with a coating of drossy silver. Such an article appears to be of value, but is really worthless. So with the hypocritical professions of the flatterer. His burning words are only uttered to cover the corruption of his purposes. Hating the object of his attentions, he will endeavor to deceive by fair speech; but his heart is full of abominations, and he is not to be trusted. He endeavors to cover his malice by falsehood, and for a time may succeed; but eventually his true character shall be manifested openly.1

1 H. A. Ironside, Notes on the Book of Proverbs (Neptune, NJ: Loizeaux Bros, 1908), 374–375.

26:23. A coating of glaze refers to an attractive coating over a piece of pottery. This is likened to fervent (d?laq, “to burn or kindle”) lips and an evil heart. A person who tries to disguise his evil motives and character by zealous speech is like an attractive glazed-over jar. (Note Jesus’ reference in Luke 11:39 to the clean outside of the cup and dish; also note Matt. 23:27.)1

1 John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck, Dallas Theological Seminary, The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 963.

Tries to disguise his hatred with flowery speech.

Proverbs 26:24–25 KJV

He that hateth dissembleth with his lips, And layeth up deceit within him; 

When he speaketh fair, believe him not: For there are seven abominations in his heart.

He who hates, dissembles with his lips: He who hates refers to “an enemy.” Dissembles renders a verb meaning “to speak something that is different than what the person thinks,” that is, “to be a hypocrite.”

And harbors deceit in his heart: Harbors is literally “puts” or “stores up.” Deceit is “treachery” (njb) or a plan to cause harm (cev “evil plans”). His heart is literally “inside of him.” Scott translates “A man filled with hate disguises it in his words, while inwardly he plots to betray you.” spcl has “He who hates hides it when he speaks, but in his insides he makes evil plans.”1

1 William David Reyburn and Euan McG. Fry, A Handbook on Proverbs, UBS Handbook Series (New York: United Bible Societies, 2000), 568.

Although he tries to cover it, the hatred will be exposed for everyone to see.

Proverbs 26:26 KJV

Whose hatred is covered by deceit, His wickedness shall be shewed before the whole congregation.

Though a scoundrel can hide his feelings temporarily through deceit, they will eventually be known. The assembly refers to any group called together for some purpose. Perhaps this group is assembled to administer justice.1

1 John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck, Dallas Theological Seminary, The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 963.

Proverbs 10:12 KJV

Hatred stirreth up strifes: But love covereth all sins.

He will reap the fruit of his hatred.

Proverbs 26:27 KJV

Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein: And he that rolleth a stone, it will return upon him.

He who digs a pit will fall in to it: A pit refers to a hole, a ditch, or a similar opening in the ground. It may be necessary in translation to make clear that the pit is dug to trap someone other than the digger; for example, “If you dig a pit to catch somebody, you will fall into it yourself.”

And a stone will come back upon him who starts it rolling: This line parallels the first by referring to a person who causes a stone to start rolling downhill (to crush somebody below). It is important that the reader understand that this refers to a round, heavy stone. Will come back upon him who … means “will roll backward upon the person pushing the stone.” Note that tev has shifted to “set traps” in line 1 and “start landslides” in line 2. spcl says “He who digs a grave falls into it; and the one who makes a rock roll is crushed by the rock.”1

1 William David Reyburn and Euan McG. Fry, A Handbook on Proverbs, UBS Handbook Series (New York: United Bible Societies, 2000), 569.

Beware of the Liar

Proverbs 26:28 KJV

A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; And a flattering mouth worketh ruin.

People who lie are actually hateful (see comments on malice in v. 26); they desire to harm others by slandering their reputations. And people who flatter to help achieve their selfishly deceptive ends (cf. vv. 23–26) bring ruin either to themselves, their victims, or both.1

1 John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck, Dallas Theological Seminary, The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 963.

King Solomon has penned some very powerful warnings about negative people with destructive energy. Be on the lookout for the meddler who is just in other people’s business. Beware of the deceiver who pretends not to be. Beware of the talebearer who will use Christian speak to pretty up his ugly sin. Beware of the hater with flowery words to cover up the stench of his malice. Beware of the liar who says what he thinks you want to hear. If we do that, we will go along way to avoiding Toxic Humans.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 4:06 PM July 21, 2021.