Word to the Wise (Part 19) – Proverbs 24:1-2

Proverbs 24:1–2 Be not envious of evil men, nor desire to be with them, for their hearts devise violence, and their lips talk of trouble.

If there were no bad guys, we’d have no heroes. Every enduring story has a villain, and in the end, they lose. Sometimes it happens at the last possible moment and against incredible odds, but it happens. It has to. That’s the rule. It’s also predictable.

The entertainment complex caught on to this and has begun selling exceptions to the rule. Several books and films in recent decades have been produced where the evil side wins. If I were making a movie, I might be tempted do the same thing. Different surprises. Different sells. Different wins elections.

Here’s the problem. We also run the risk of changing the definition of a hero. Its possible to find ourselves in a place where truly evil men are envied. When bad guys win they’re able to keep doing the stuff that makes them bad in the first place. Sometimes that stuff leads to huge payoffs. And those payoffs are what foolish people envy.

The first is independence. Evil men are free. They are not accountable. People who are controlled dream of the day when they can do whatever they want, whenever they want, for as long as they want, with whomever they want.

“It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first.” – Ronald Reagan

The second is wealth. An opulent lifestyle can be obtained by promoting the leading edge of transgression. Evil men can create a decadent lifestyle for themselves. They can use wealth to purchase any noble ambition that would actually need to be earned by someone else.

“A fool and his money are soon elected” – Will Rogers

The third is impunity. When someone appears to be able to transgress with impunity, it elicits a deep temptation to participate. In the end this is a terrible trap because you align yourself with individuals who systematically cultivate the immoral.

“You must have a cigarette. A cigarette is the perfect type of a perfect pleasure. It is exquisite, and it leaves one unsatisfied. What more can one want?” – Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

You can only envy an evil person when you deliberately reject the call to love your neighbor.

You can only envy an evil person when you lease out your conscience to pragmatism.

You can only envy an evil person when you are so foolish that they’ve blinded you to their true nature.

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