Pro 6:12-15 A worthless person, a wicked man, goes about with crooked speech, (13) winks with his eyes, signals with his feet, points with his finger, (14) with perverted heart devises evil, continually sowing discord; (15) therefore calamity will come upon him suddenly; in a moment he will be broken beyond healing.
Psa 35:19-20 Let not those rejoice over me who are wrongfully my foes, and let not those wink the eye who hate me without cause. (20) For they do not speak peace, but against those who are quiet in the land they devise words of deceit.
Recently I was listening to The Narcissistic Smirk by Dr. Les Carter (link here) in which this business of the wicked person’s “smirk” was the topic. This really hit home with me because I have seen it – although for a long time I didn’t fully comprehend what it meant.
A “smirk” is a facial expression, a bodily communication, of derision, contempt, and mockery. You see it expressed in the Scriptures quoted above (and in a number of other places in the Bible) – this “winking of the eyes” or “signaling with his feet.” In the dictionary it is defined as “to smile in a smug or condescending way.” The person who smirks at you curls his lip into a smile – often subtle – which is a smiling lie. A genuine smile communicates joy, happiness, and goodwill. This is what makes the smirk so evil – it is a mask, a counterfeit that expresses a devilish joy and says to you without words – “you are nothing, you are a fool, I despise you.”
The smirk then is a covert tool of an enemy which is often missed. It is a way of communicating harm, of reviling, with “plausible deniability” and it leaves its target unsure and wondering. I wonder how often the devil wore a smirk when he appeared as recorded in Scripture? In his approach to God in the book of Job? In his temptation of Jesus in the wilderness?
NO one who truly loves you will smirk at you. Those who love us do not hold us in contemptuous, scorning, derision. And those are the kinds of attitudes communicated in a smirk. Sometimes, in their sin, our children might smirk and we have seen it and said to them, “young lady, wipe that smirk off your face!” Hopefully they repented and did so. But the wicked, the abuser, the reviler, who has paraded as a friend or loving spouse, will never wipe it off their face forever. No, they love this tool of evil and use it for their own evil ends.
One way, then, to be wise about evil is to understand the smirk. It is an instrument whose origins are from the pit and it is a covert expression which communicates loudly and clearly what the smirker really regards us as.