Which Kind of Person Are YOU?

Proverbs 9:7-8 warns us: “He who corrects a scoffer gets dishonor for himself … do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you, reprove a wise man, and he will love you.” These verses teach us that there is a kind of person who is not open to being instructed, so we should not waste our time with them. Rather, we should save our teaching for wise people, who will love us for it. This is a good word for all of us who might teach others — but it can also serve as a point of personal evaluation as well!

As you think of the truth of these verses — that scoffers won’t receive instruction, but wise men will — think of it in regard to your OWN personal response to others. How do YOU receive instruction? If someone tries to correct you, do you get offended? Do people around you fear to share anything difficult with you because they fear rebuke, insult, or anger? Or do they know that you have a humble heart, that you always wants to know the truth, that you will receive it in the way it is intended, and that you will apply it to your life with gratitude?

These verses were written to instruct those who might correct others, but they can also be applied to our own personal attitudes as well. Which of the two kinds of people mentioned in these verses are most like YOU?

About Shawn Thomas

My blog, shawnethomas.com, features the text of my sermons, book reviews, family life experiences -- as well as a brief overview of the Lifeway "Explore the Bible" lesson for Southern Baptist Sunday School teachers.
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2 Responses to Which Kind of Person Are YOU?

  1. Ben Coleman says:

    The difference is often in what your primary goal is. In “proverb” form:

    The wise man wants to act righteously, and and welcomes correction as an aid to doing it. He will defend his reputation against unfair attacks, but only after examining the criticism to see if there is anything to learn from it. For him, doing right trumps looking right.
    The fool wants to look righteous and regards correction as an obstacle to that goal. Defending his reputation is the first priority, and only after he once again feels his reputation is secure will he, possibly, examine the criticism for validity. For him, looking right trumps doing right.

    The person, the scoffer, who is offended or gets angry at correction is often more concerned about looking right, about how he looks before people, than about actually doing right. He gets angry because his primary goal (looking right and good to people) is being “damaged”. Tie this in to 2 Cor 13:7, and you’ve got a principle:

    Doing right is primary; Looking right is secondary, and may be optional.

    Put the emphasis on looking right though, and you end up with just the opposite:

    Looking right is primary; Doing right is secondary, and may be optional.

    How often does, say, politics, seem to primarily operate on the second principle?

  2. Lynda Rich says:

    Excellent reminder for us all to be open to correction.

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