By Joanne Highley
Perversity is a state of being willfully determined or disposed to go counter to what is expected or desired, contrary. It was refreshing to see in my dictionary which was published in 1967, one meaning of perversion which read: “any of various means of attaining sexual gratification that are widely regarded as being abnormal, especially when practiced habitually and in preference to normal heterosexual intercourse.”. Very politically incorrect, but right on the mark with God.
I remember the first time one of my counselees said to me, “Why does evil seem so sweet?” I had to think about that for a while, but the Lord showed me that evil can seem very sweet if what should be good has been very disappointing or hurtful. If a child has been provoked to wrath by a parent who should have brought nurturing support and love, then the child will want to be bad to get back.
If a parent tells the child he or she is bad and hits the child, soon that child will have a store of bad feelings inside: anger, vengeance, bitterness, hatred or violence. These, if not given a means of expression, begin to build up in the child and cause a desire to do something bad. Most of the time the child is afraid to stand up to an angry or punishing parent for fear of being more severely punished, so passive/aggressive behavior begins --seeming to cooperate but inside being filled with contrary feelings--desiring to do things counter to the parents’ wishes. Soon this can become a stronghold of resistance to doing what parents want or as we have seen, not wanting to be like the parents at all. This can start the inner desire to be “different” sexually—the perverse desire to go counter to the parents’ wishes and practices.
In some children there develops a case against God in which the child begins to interpret every setback or accident as from God, that is, He allowed it, and then the child wants to rebel against God and His Commandments. That is when evil begins to taste sweet to the person--when there seems to be sweet revenge for the bad things which have happened to them.
In many people there can be a spirit of perversity which is buried in the emotions because as a child it was not allowed to be expressed or the child was raised in such a strict home that fear of allowing any sign of rebellion kept the perversity hidden. But it will connect to the sex drive at puberty and become a root cause of homosexual desires and activity as well as other rebellious actions.
In some people there is “schadenfreude”or what the Germans call “the guilty pleasure one secretly takes in another’s suffering”. If you look at that definition, you can see the twisted configuration of emotions present there. “Guilty” pleasure is a conflicted twist of emotion and, of course, pleasure in someone’s suffering is a twisted reaction. Some people in our ministry told me of having a smile they could not resist come over their faces when they hear of another’s suffering. This comes from a storage of resentment against others having success or good looks when they feel they fail or do not look good. This builds to the state of guilty pleasure in another’s suffering, sometimes completely without the person being in touch with these twisted feelings. This is part of the feeling of being strange or evil since the person has no understanding of what is happening, only that he or she has these feelings.
Many times children are given the false identity of being evil if the parents speak those lies into the child. One man told me that his mother used to hit and tell him he had a black spot on his soul. This kind of experience can give the false concept that the child is “bad seed” or born evil. Then, if homosexual desires begin, the child will feel he or she is from the devil and begins to equate with being unable to be a part of God’s Kingdom. These false identities must be resisted as the lies that they are. Of course, we are all born fallen, dead in our sin, but not a part of evil unless we decide to reject God and live for the devil and his plan for us. If we have accepted the Lord and are being sanctified, we must reject any lie that we are evil. We may have evil desires, but we are not evil. We are being set free as we stand against the lies and see the truth that we are children of God and children of light.
Some people feel God is so demanding that He is looking for any misstep to punish, and He will turn from the person until they grovel and plead for long periods of time for forgiveness. This is another demonic ploy to keep us from the loving Presence of the Lord. Many false views of God come from our views of our earthly father.
Legalism in the home can bring a child to the point of believing life is hopeless, there is no way to be good enough. Hopelessness leads to giving up trying to do what is right. So the evil desires begin to take on a special luster to the hopeless child, since he or she feels caught in the rigid demands of the law without mercy--only harsh punishment and rejection.. It has long been known that legalism leads to lawlessness. No one can keep all the law all the time. There must be mercy, forgiveness and purification from all unrighteousness. Always remember, if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (I John 1:9) What a glorious verse! What a glorious promise!
Also another verse is a great solace for those who feel they are evil, have been provoked to wrath or cursed with words, have been abused or under the curse of the law. I John 3:19-22,”This then is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in His presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and He knows everything. Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from Him anything we ask, because we obey His commands and do what pleases Him.” There is great benefit in meditating on this verse to see that sometimes we condemn ourselves when God does not. There is a glorious blessing in obeying God and doing what pleases Him.
If you have for years lived in perversity, enjoying being contrary and going counter to what is expected or desired, you will need deliverance from the spirit of perversity. You will also have to fight to submit to God and His truth. Some people in our ministry have said they do not want to forgive and stop talking against the people who hurt them because they deserve the hatred and cursing and it feels good to hold the grudge and take vengeance. In the Word of God, this attitude is called the spirit that works in the rebellious and it must be resisted. Very serious warnings are given about people who do not forgive---they will not be forgiven. Start out by telling God you choose to forgive even though you do not feel like doing it. He will come to you and help you go on to let go of the offense and finally to love and pray for the person. You will need to stop you curse of words against them. This will release you to be filled with love and not hatred and to get rid of perversity.
Be encouraged by the words of this old hymn:
Perverse and foolish oft I strayed
And yet in love You sought me,
And on Your shoulder gently laid
And home rejoicing brought me.
Do not make peace with perversity. Resist it and be at peace in God’s Presence.