That I May Share in His Sufferings

Philippians 3:8-11 ESV

“Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.”

Evil People with Evil Traits

Evil takes on many different forms. And evil people come in all different packages. Jesus addressed the Pharisees as one particular kind of evil so that when we hear the term “Pharisee,” we know what it means. And there is a particular kind of evil today which is abusive to others which has been given a name, too, and it does describe a particular kind of evil possessed by a particular kind of person (or people), which helps us get the big picture.

Now, I am not into psychology, and I don’t buy into all their diagnosis, especially when they make the decision that a particular kind of person who displays a peculiar kind of evil is without hope of change or that the evil is a sickness and that the person can’t help being who he or she is, i.e. who they are. That does not agree with Scripture, and drugs are especially not the answer. But the category does seem to fit a particular kind of evil.

Yet the only hope for people living any kind of evil lives is to surrender their lives to Jesus Christ and to let him deliver them from their evil and to give them new lives in Christ, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. For that is why Jesus died, to deliver us from evil and from our sinful addiction so that we can now live for the Lord and walk in holiness and in righteousness no longer as slaves to sin but as slaves to righteousness.

Yet, since this passage of Scripture speaks of sharing in our Lord’s sufferings, becoming like him in his death, I believe the Lord wants me to talk about a particular kind of evil which is causing many people needless and unjust suffering – Christian or non-Christian. And the really evil part about it is that it is psychological warfare against others and thus it can’t be proven, and those who practice this evil are often the ones believed rather than those who are being abused.

Narcissist Abuse

A person who tends towards this particular kind of evil will engage in underhanded, deceitful, sneaky, hateful, and subversive behaviors towards others. They are big on trickery and manipulation and setting up situations with the hopes to cause you to fall or to be hurt in some way. So they will drop hints or make statements that set the bait hoping you will bite and so they will have you on the hook and then they will reel you in for the attack.

They will twist conversations all different directions and then claim they didn’t say what they did say, not that everyone who claims to not have said something is doing so for evil purposes. The whole purpose of this tactic is to get you to doubt yourself and your own sanity and your own sense of reality, and they will typically accuse you falsely of things they know you didn’t do in order to get a particular reaction so they can use it against you.

They love to divide and conquer, i.e. to turn other people against you and to lie about you to them so that they will turn against you. Or they will treat you with hate and others with love and affection so that others will think they are wonderful and so there is no way anyone would believe these people are who they are, in reality. But that is all part of the deception. And if you confront them with their evil they will accuse you of being crazy.

These people seem to have no consciences at all about hurting other people or about tricking and manipulating them. They have no empathy except for themselves. There is no remorse when they do evil although sometimes they may confess wrongdoing, but then other times not, and that is all part of the game, too. They have no moral boundaries. They violate boundaries with no conscience about it. They are lacking in accountability, and they vacillate continually between opinions in order to keep things in constant confusion.

They love to play the game where they pretend they didn’t know what they do know and what they have known a very long time, and they continually make excuses for their behaviors and they minimize the severity of their sins or they call them something else, and they refuse to accept their addictive and cruel behaviors and try to justify their actions, etc., but it is all a game they play which is cruel and hateful and fully lacking in any conscience.

They hate to be told “No,” and they hate restrictions and boundaries, and they hate not getting what they want, and so they will retaliate. Or they will pretend that they have changed in order to draw (reel) you back in, but the evidence is not there that change has taken place for they continue in the same behaviors. And they will make promises they do not keep, so they are not trustworthy at all. And they put a spin on just about anything.

I Count as Loss

When we have this attitude that we count all things as loss for the sake of knowing Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, and so we surrender our lives to Christ to do his will, and so we obey him in doing what he says, Satan is going to come against us. And these tactics mentioned above are his tactics, too, and he sometimes uses humans to use these tactics against us in hopes to hurt us enough to where we will give up on our walks of faith in Christ.

And a lot of pastors share some of these evil traits, for many of them are being trained in manipulative tactics in order to get what they want out of the people. So just because someone is called “pastor” it doesn’t mean he knows Jesus at all or that he is godly or that he is serving the Lord. He could very well just be serving himself and/or Satan. For Satan’s servants masquerade themselves as servants of righteousness. So be careful!

The Bible warns us about wolves in sheep’s clothing and those who are liars and deceivers who manipulate others to get what they want out of them, so it is important that we understand the kinds of deceptive and manipulative tactics which Satan will try to use against us so that we do not fall into his traps, which are many and varied. For he will suck you in only to then give you a snake’s bite. So be aware and be on the lookout and don’t be fooled.

Pray for wisdom and discernment to pick up on these manipulative tactics but be careful not to assign them easily to anyone who may not be like this at all. For we might see bits and pieces of them in many people who may not be like this at all. So don’t be quick to judge without knowledge but definitely be watchful and pray for discernment so that you are not led into a trap. And believe me, that can happen very easily without you realizing it.

But the good news here is that God is completely sovereign over our lives. Yet he allows evil people to do evil things, not that it is good, but that he allows us to suffer unjustly for righteousness’ sake to mature us in Christ, and to help us to grow spiritually, and to be stronger in our faith and more determined to fight off Satan’s evil schemes against us. And he does care when we are treated badly, and he will bring good out of it in our lives.

Does Jesus Care?
1 Peter 5:7

Lyrics by Frank E. Graeff, 1901
Music by Joseph L. Hall, 1901

Does Jesus care when my heart is pained
Too deeply for mirth or song,
As the burdens press, and the cares distress,
And the way grows weary and long?

Does Jesus care when my way is dark
With a nameless dread and fear?
As the daylight fades into deep night shades,
Does He care enough to be near?

Oh, yes, He cares, I know He cares,
His heart is touched with my grief;
When the days are weary, the long nights dreary,
I know my Savior cares.

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