Proverbs 9:7 Dissected and Defined
Reprove ( a correction that includes censor) not a scorner (leadership resisters), lest he hate thee: rebuke (chasten; correct) a wise man, and he will love thee.
Daily Devo Paraphrase
To reprove is “to correct someone through censorship, or by accessing blame.” Reproof is much worse than rebuke. Reproof is “to only be blamed for something wrong,” but rebuke is “to be blamed and punished for something wrong.”
How A Foolish Man Handles Reproof
Solomon is telling us that scorners or “people who resist leadership” will reject you if you try to assess blame on them for any wrong doing. Resistors never accept blame for their actions. They are scorners. They always shift the blame for things that go wrong in life. Think how difficult it is then, to not only reprove a resistor but to chasten them in such a way as to bring them into a right relationship with those whom they have harmed. It’s nearly impossible; everyone else is to blame (They usually believe it’s the fault of the leader!).
How A Wise Man Handles Reproof
However, a wise man will accept blame and chastening. He understands that accepting the blame relieves him of the consequences (the guilt), and enduring chastening often removes consequences. He understands that true wisdom comes from being moldable through your mistakes. What a difference it makes when you work with the wise rather than with resisters!
What Happens When We Resist Reproof
This weekend I had a student leave our program and use drugs. He left a mess behind him: unpaid bills, lost employment, a broken-hearted pregnant wife. When he was done with his binge, I tried to counsel him. He explained that it was not his fault. He thinks “all us Christians” are just trying to “run his life.” He rejected every admonition and did not receive any of my carefully crafted encouragement. There was no way I could get this man to accept the reproof he so desperately needed to heed. Today, he got another job. “Everything’s fine now!” He’s back in church and serving others (albeit, in his own power). Sure, everything’s fine, Mr. Resister. But you will never learn to resist the devil unless you stop resisting the Holy Spirit, pal!