A Worthless Person (Proverbs 6:12-15)

The next short section of Proverbs 6 describe a worthless person. This sounds a little harsh, but once you read the description, I hope you will understand.

A number of other translations do use the word “worthless” here, but others also use words such as “troublemaker” or “villain.”

The following words are given to us for two reasons, I believe. Firstly, so that we might be on our guard against such people. Should we see someone of this nature heading our way, we would do well to avoid them. Secondly, these words are given that we might not be like this person. If we see traits of our own character in these words, it should give us pause for thought and send us to our knees in prayer asking for God to help us change.

A worthless person, a man of iniquity,

    is he who walks with a perverse mouth,

13 who winks with his eyes, who signals with his feet,

    who motions with his fingers,

14 in whose heart is perverseness,

    who devises evil continually,

    who always sows discord.

15 Therefore his calamity will come suddenly.

    He will be broken suddenly, and that without remedy.

Proverbs 6:12-15 WEB

This “worthless” person is also described as a man or person of iniquity. This paints a picture of wickedness and evil, and so we must take heed of these warnings.

I am intrigued by the fact that the very first description of such a person, relates to their mouth. Verse 12 tells us that they walk with a perverse mouth. This is not to say that they have something physically amiss with their mouth, but clearly refers to the words they say. Time and time again in Proverbs, we are cautioned to take words extremely seriously. We must take great care with the words we say, but also the words we hear from others.

#Proverbs warns us time and again to take the #words of the mouth extremely seriously #Bible #Christianity

The first way to identify a person of iniquity is to listen carefully to their words. Their words may be blatantly disgraceful, or they may be deceptively flattering. They may promise one thing, and yet deliver another. They may build you up to your face, but tear you down when your back is turned. Beware and listen carefully!

Let your words, in comparison, be positive and uplifting. May our speech be as the Apostle Paul describes:

Do not let any unwholesome #talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Eph4:29 NIV #Bible

Verse 13 elaborates on the kind of person this is. Not content with speaking out wickedness, they signal the same things with the wink of an eye, or hand gesture. I am not certain how one signals with the feet – perhaps this is a reference to the way they walk or more likely, the direction they walk in i.e. toward evil. Verse 13 may simply be suggesting that everything about them; their words, their gestures, their eyes, all depict their iniquity.

The winking of the eye is probably the most familiar to us. When someone says something, and then winks, it suggests that they are not being entirely honest. I recall a clip from a reality TV show where one of the characters was apologising to another. As they went in for a hug of apology, they winked at the onlookers implying that their apology was nothing but false.

Verse 14 talks of perverseness of the heart, continual devising of evil and one always sowing discord. Note these are not one time things, and in fact, I think that because the heart is “perverse” then the actions are “continually” and “always” of an evil nature. As Jesus taught us, we are to inspect the fruit of our lives and that of those around us. If the tree is bad, it will produce bad fruit. In the same way here, a perverse heart is continually producing evil and always sowing discord.

Jeremiah was right when he said that the heart was deceitful above all things (see Jeremiah 17:9). If the heart is deceitful, full of iniquity, and perverse (to use the words from above) then it is hardly surprising to see this wicked person constantly devising evil schemes.

We cannot become good people by trying. We may be able to manage our behaviour for a short time, but if our hearts are inclined to evil, then sooner or later it will show itself. Hearts cannot be fixed or modified, they can only be changed.

I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you. I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh; 20 that they may walk in my statutes, and keep my ordinances, and do them. They will be my people, and I will be their God

Ezekiel 11:19-20 WEB

When we come to Jesus, He saves us by making us new. We become new creatures in Christ, and our hearts are changed forever. Our flesh may still lead us to do sinful things at times, but that does not change our hearts. To change the person, you must change the heart.

To change the person, you must change the #heart #Bible #Jesus #Christianity

To change our hearts, we must surrender them to Christ. We repent of our sins, asking Him to save us, forgive us and renew us. The prayer asking Him to do this is simple, yet it requires a lifelong commitment to following Him.

To conclude, verse 15 paints a clear picture of what happens if we continue on the path of evil. Sudden calamity! Put simply, not good news!

Verse 15 repeats the word “suddenly” to emphasise that the destruction of the wicked will come out of the blue and completely unexpectedly. The end of the verse points out that such calamity is without remedy. Such is the fate of those who pursue evil and refuse to repent of their sin before God. God is wonderfully loving and full of kindness, yet He will not tolerate wickedness forever. A time will come when He will put an end to iniquity and once His judgement falls, it cannot be undone.

I do not want to end of this rather grim note! God’s judgement is not to be trifled with, and serves as a warning to us to turn to Jesus. God has made a way for us; He has opened up a way for us to be saved. Such is His great love, that He chooses not to leave us in our peril, but instead sacrifices His own Son that we might go free.

Do not be like the “worthless person!” Do not delay, turn to Christ and receive His forgiveness. That is wisdom!

12 thoughts on “A Worthless Person (Proverbs 6:12-15)

  1. I appreciate and respect this post so much, Andy! I’ve walked away from worthless and it’s the surrender to Christ~and to honor HIM through words and actions~that keeps us in his will. He gives grace so beautifully when our hearts desire HIM!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you so much. Specifically would you pray my blood counts and hemoglobin stay “up”. I’m severely anemic and pray my body handles all the treatment. Thank you so much! 🙏🏻

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you! I had 2nd day of radiation yesterday. After 5 rounds I’ll go in for outpatient internal radiation. I’ll have another outpatient procedure on Oct. 4th to numb nerves to pancreas. I’m so thankful to the Lord for Christ-following doctors! Have a blessed and beautiful weekend!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I never saw that connection of the worthless man and his words. It reminded me of James 1:26
    “Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.”
    Thanks for this breakdown on these passages on Proverbs.

    Liked by 1 person

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