Years ago I sold my property in Texas, but never got paid for it. When I received a threatening letter about overdue property taxes, I was forced to return to the property and become something I had never desired to become—a rental agent.
Because there were tenants already living in the two nice houses on the property with running water, bathrooms, working kitchens, and air conditioning—I was forced to live in an open-end garden center with no bathroom, no kitchen, and minimal electricity. Living in that building and collecting rent from tenants living in the comfortable houses I had helped build was my only hope of getting enough money to pay the overdue property taxes before I lost the property. I slept on a lawn chair mattress on top of wide wooden planks. My clothes hung from the rafters. I took cold showers with the garden hose. I learned to survive the 100-plus degree summer temperatures without air conditioning. When winter arrived, I stacked up hay bales and covered them with plastic to protect myself from the cold. I had two small heaters, but because of such low voltage electricity—they wouldn’t work at the same time.
There were positives. Peace. God’s peace lived with me as a constant companion. The birds who had nests in the hanging baskets overhead became so friendly that they warned me of approaching hawks. When their fledglings left the nest, the babies hopped to me and scrambled up into my lap. The two toads that lived in my dog’s water bowl scolded me when I got home from work late. It was almost like having two very short parents.
There were negatives. Not the third-world living conditions. The sociopath next door. I didn’t realize he was a sociopath at the time. I just figured it out recently when watching a rerun of “Judge Judy.” She commiserated with a mother on the show and told her that her son was a sociopath. Wanting to learn more than I thought I knew about “sociopaths,” I started reading more about them. That’s when I realized I already knew. I had rented a house to one. Upon further reflection, I concluded that God’s enemy, satan, is a sociopath.
According to Power of Positivity, sociopaths don’t feel badly when they hurt other people’s feelings. They have no feelings of guilt, shame, or embarrassment. Check. Both for my renter and for the devil. The Bible says satan came to this earth to kill, steal, and destroy.
They have intense mood swings and may become violent. Check. In a fit of rage, my renter attempted to shove me out of my own house. The Bible says the devil goes about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour and that he is angry because he knows his time on earth is short. His time on earth is short because Jesus is coming again.
Sociopaths have to be in control. Check. Satan uses tools like drug and alcohol addiction to keep people in control. I don’t know whether my renter was a sociopath because he was born one—or because drug use had robbed him of his soul and conscience.
Sociopaths are impulsive. Satan decided to one-up God by attacking the righteous man Job and making him curse God. When his first attack on Job didn’t work, he impulsively cranked up the pressure. My human sociopath renter spent recklessly and his desires changed frequently—so he overspent and was always in debt. Meaning I didn’t get paid either.
Sociopaths are charming in the beginning. The Bible warns that satan masquerades as “an angel of light.” His charm and beauty give sin its allure, and he uses sin to trap people. Human sociopaths shower folks with compliments in order to gain control over relationships. People who met my renter and didn’t know him thought he was enchanting. They said, “He could sell igloos to Eskimos. True. But he wouldn’t have paid his bills—including rent.
Sociopaths are manipulative and must be in control. My renter told so many lies that he could never keep them straight. They will lie to get their way. Satan is the father of lies. They gaslight folks making them question their own sanity. Satan tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden by saying, “Surely God didn’t say that…Surely eating the fruit of that tree won’t kill you.”
Sociopaths feel they are above the law and their actions are often illegal. They disobey laws and social norms. My renter had a huge file at the courthouse—but I didn’t see it until after I rented the house to him. Satan refused to obey God and declared, “I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars…I will be like the Most High.” (Isaiah 14:12)
Sociopaths make extreme promises and statements without backing them up and alternate between positives and negatives to manipulate and keep control. They make and break promises. Check. Both for my renter and for God’s enemy the devil. Satan attempted to tempt Jesus by making promises he had no authority to deliver.
They smile, smirk, or laugh at the pain and misfortune of others. Check for the devil. He came to steal, kill, and destroy whether the subject of his attack is a child or an adult. Their pain is his pleasure. Check for my renter. He thought pain was funny—as long as it wasn’t his pain.
I usually eschew labels. I try to take people and situations at face value and judge independently without referring to labels.
But my renter should have come with a label.