Who Are You Dealing With?

He who corrects a scoffer gets dishonor for himself. And he who reproves a wicked man gets insults for himself. Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you. Reprove a wise man and he will love you.

These words work there way through time, from Proverbs 9:7-8. I think I've seen this concept in action. If you've ever found yourself correcting a "scoffer" you know what I mean. This sort of person does not appreciate what you've said or done. They will show contempt and usually mix their attitude with insults. And if you've ever offered advice to a wise person you also understand. People who prefer the path of wisdom will listen, consider, and act accordingly.

What strikes me most about these verses is how they focus on the individual, on the kind of person you are dealing with. The wisdom here is to recognize who you are dealing with. We are encouraged not to set our expectations too high, at least when dealing with "scoffers," but we can expect appreciation from the wise, even when our words carry a sting.

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