(Proverbs 9:8-10) Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you; reprove a wise man, and he will love you. 9 Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning. 10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.
In a world full of tweets, facebook posts, and snapchats, we have an ample supply of opinions. Some of the opinions given are not worth the space they take up. On the other hand, there are some people who have been given a divine gift to share wisdom which, when heeded, can encourage and develop an individual’s spirit. I’m always interested in receiving good advice from mentors that I trust. They can say anything and I will receive it with humility. However, there are others whose opinions are not that important to me. I may listen, but I quickly dismiss their words because they are not meant for encouragement. Instead, they are more interested in “selling” me something.
America is rife with opinions right now. The recent political elections have driven a wedge between democrats and republicans, husbands and wives, parents and children. News media outlets are touting their stories as the only ones worthy of consideration. 24 hour news shows put “reporters” in the unenviable position of being “commentators.” Hollywood personalities use their celebrity to broadcast personal opinions about the social dilemma of the day. People wake up in the morning anxious to discover what may have been tweeted in the night. And now, they don’t know if what they are hearing is legitimate or “fake news.”
The writer of Proverbs suggests that we should be careful who we speak to. In verse 8, he contrasts reproving (correcting) a scoffer and a wise man. He says one will hate you while the other will love you. In verse 9, he tells us that if you instruct a wise man, he will use it for advancement in wisdom and learning. The simple truth is there are some people who will not receive your words no matter what. In fact, they may become infuriated by any effort to influence their thinking.
There is a New Testament principle that applies here. Matthew 7:6 says, “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.”
We may think we have the answers to the world’s problems. In fact, we actually do have THE answer. It is Jesus. But, not everyone believes that. Sadly, there are more who will reject the message than those who will receive. We shouldn’t shirk back from sharing the good news that we have. But, the writer of Proverbs clearly and accurately states that only the wise will hear, receive, and be transformed. Instead of vehemently arguing with those who will never believe, sow your seed among the seekers of truth. It will produce a much greater harvest!
PRAYER: Father, thank you for writing Your wisdom upon the tablet of my heart. I’m thankful that my heart is full of divine wisdom; that my mind and spirit are shaped by Your words of life. Provide opportunities for me to drop the seed of wisdom into the soil of tender hearts, so they may grow into Your likeness. Amen.