Daily Wisdom

Meditations on the Book of Proverbs

7 Whoever corrects a mocker invites insults;

   whoever rebukes the wicked incurs abuse.

8 Do not rebuke mockers or they will hate you;

   rebuke the wise and they will love you.

 

 It is a risky thing to correct a mocker. He will not change his ways, that is certain, and he will emphasize your faults to discredit you. Temper your correction with grace and truth, appeal to his strengths and do not exaggerate his weaknesses. The mocker uses words, but the wicked uses force. He will seek revenge, he will never forgive, he will seek to make you pay.

 Yet it may be necessary to correct the mocker and rebuke the wicked, to endure insult and abuse for the sake of truth. They will expose themselves to others, to be seen as they are, that the simple may see and be deterred from their paths. But you must be prepared. Your intentions must be pure, your reputation respected. You will need courage and humility, boldness and fortitude. Have pity on them. They are slaves to their flaws, stuck on the path of gloom.

 “Do not rebuke mockers or they will hate you; rebuke the wise and they will love you.” The mocker will hate your rebuke, but others will be encouraged by it. They will respect you all the more, and support you in secret. Be an example to them. The wise invite correction, because they wish to overcome their flaws. They may not love what you say, but they will be grateful for it. Be supportive in your correction, and wise in your rebukes. Keep your aim in mind, hit the mark with precision, and be prepared to suffer for the truth.

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