“Whoever corrects a mocker invites insult; whoever rebukes a wicked man incurs abuse” (Proverbs 9:7).
We all have a limited amount of time and energy. Wisdom says to spend them both on productive people, not destructive ones. Verbal sparring with a proud person only invites insult. It is better to ignore their venomous venting than try to reason with them. Do your best, stay focused on the task, and trust your reputation with the giver of reputations—your Savior Jesus.
Mockers look to stir things up in the moment. They have no long-term solutions, so avoid their cynical, crazy cycle. A mocker’s mind is already made up; he will not change regardless of wise rationale. There are those who return evil for good so do not go there or you may end up in despair. Jesus says the caustic cynic is full of pride.
“Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit” (Matthew 15:14 NASB).
What about a family member who seems to be hurtling down a path of destruction? Specifically, you may have a teenager or adult child whose entire focus is friends and freedom. They seem to have rejected all common sense and Christ-like influence. First and foremost, focus on their heart with love and acceptance. If you battle over the external, it will be messy and costly. However, if they change from the inside out, the transformation will be beautiful and enduring.
Ask them to pray, asking the Lord what He thinks about their decisions and choice of friends. Direct them back to Scripture as their Savior’s standard for living. Above all, pursue a peaceful and patient attitude in prayer. Our most significant battles are spiritual; they are won or lost on our knees. The Holy Spirit will lead you when to speak, what to say, and when to remain silent. Everyone wins when you value the relationship over winning the argument.
“Do not rebuke a mocker or he will hate you; rebuke a wise man and he will love you” (Proverbs 9:8).
Prayer: What relationship do I need to quit striving over and give to the Lord?
The author of Wisdom Hunters daily devotional is Boyd Bailey. For more information, visit: Wisdomhunters.com