“He that deviseth to do evil shall be called a mischievous person. The thought of foolishness [is] sin: and the scorner [is] an abomination to men.”
“A person who plans evil will get a reputation as a troublemaker. The schemes of a fool are sinful; everyone detests a mocker.” – NLT
You can probably think of a few people you’ve known who always had a reputation for either getting into trouble or causing it. These “mischievous” persons – troublemakers – probably had all the right words, but all the wrong actions. Every time they came near you’d wince with the expectation that nothing good would come of it.
What we read in this proverb is the description of one who already has a reputation for causing trouble; he’s always devising some scheme, always about some kind of foolishness. These type of people have a reputation for a reason, and that’s why they are disliked.
Much of what America (and much of the world) is dealing with these days goes back to feelings: hurt feelings, wounded feelings, offended feelings, etc. At every junction we are more concerned with how someone feels than the truth about who he or she is.
I can only imagine how the truth of this proverb must offend the feeling-types of today’s culture! Frankly, this proverb from Solomon could be interpreted as insensitive or bigoted, for it negatively asserts that the one who is always getting into trouble must therefore have a flawed character. Oh, the horror! How insensitive! What about environmental influences?
In reality, many of those who constantly devise evil schemes do so simply because that is who they are – evil schemers, scorners, and mockers. The truly foolish care more about their (the offenders) feelings than the nature behind the actions, therefore they are never able to adequately address the cause.
Change of Nature Needed
Notice, it’s more than just people who do things that get a reputation, but those who think things: “The thought of foolishness is sin.” Do you ever sit around and daydream of getting vengeance? Do you ever contemplate ways to get away with something? If so – and you know who you are – what kind of reputation do you think you have with God?
All of us are guilty of having had evil thoughts and schemes, but if it’s something you do all the time, then you need a change of heart – a new nature.
And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. – 1 Corinthians 6:11
The best way to change one’s reputation is to start over as a new person with a new nature.