He that reproveth a scorner getteth to himself shame: and he that rebuketh a wicked man getteth himself a blot.
Not everyone deserves the kind help of a reproof or rebuke. Some are so obnoxious that they should be left alone to suffer in their rebellious defiance. A wise man weighs the probability of success and the risk of the results before he reproves or rebukes a person.
Do you provoke rattlesnakes? With a wicked hiss, they bite quickly, piercing you with poisonous fangs. A forked tongue darts in and out of a vile mouth, while evil eyes stare with cold hatred. Snakes are to be avoided. Wise men learn to spot them and stay away.
What happens if you try to teach or correct a scorner? Same as above! These devilish souls will lash out with a venomous mouth and try to hurt you (Pr 9:8). They react by the spirit of their father within them, that old serpent, the devil (John 8:44; II Tim 2:26). They have no conscience or compassion, so they despise and reject you and your efforts.
Scorners do not deserve correction or truth (Pr 23:9; 26:4; Matt 7:6). They have forfeited affection and concern from wise men. Wasting time on scorners is foolish and risky. These despisers of truth can spend their lives suffering, which God will justly send them. Wise men do not waste breath or reputations debating them (Pr 22:10; 24:9; II Tim 2:23).
What is a scorner? It is the name for evil persons with despicable character. Not only are they filled with arrogant conceit, but they despise anyone who tries to help them by instruction or reproof (Pr 26:12,16). Their souls foam with hatred and resentment for anyone who does not treat them as a god and bow before their vain ideas (Is 29:20-21).
What is a scorner? A person who scoffs at religion, resents correction, and derides teachers – a person set in his ways to do wickedness. They are not only stubborn, but they are disrespectful and haughty with ridiculous questions and arrogant responses to reproof. They are disobedient and snotty children who mock and disregard their parents.
If you help a scorner or wicked man, you will get shame and a blot. He will despise and ridicule your wise words; he will hurt you for speaking them; he will do all he can to destroy your reputation; you will look like a fool for wasting your time on such a person. There is no reason to help a scorner and many reasons against helping. If it is foolish and wasteful to honor a fool (Pr 26:1,8), it is much worse to honor a scorner.
The simple are invited to hear wisdom (Pr 9:4-5). But a scorner is another category of fool altogether. The Pharisees were scorners, and they gave Jesus a blot and then crucified Him. Jesus and the apostles would not waste time on them (Mat 7:6; 15:10-14; 21:23-27). His answers to their questions were not to help them but to confound and shame them (Matt 22:15-46). He knew they had no real desire for truth in their hearts.
Wise men avoid scorners, when they detect resentment of correction or of those who give it (Pr 9:8; 13:1; 15:12; 19:28; 21:24). They will not degrade truth or wisdom by offering it to them. They will not risk their own shame by correcting them. Rejecting scorners will bring peace to your life, for their love of fighting disrupts tranquility and unity (Pr 22:10).
Wise men also identify and reject their own scornful traits. They learn to meekly take correction and reproof. They do not always question or raise another “but” to persons in authority or to their instruction. They are humble hearing reproofs and rebukes, and they appreciate those persons kind enough to teach and warn them (Pr 27:6; Ps 141:5).
Jesus was the opposite of a scorner, for He cheerfully and willingly learned His Father’s will for His life and did it. As the Saviour of sinners, He also forgave scorners like Saul of Tarsus and the thief on the cross. Reader, if you have been a stubborn and difficult case for parents or other teachers in your life, confess your folly to Him today. Learn His perfect example of humility and submission and appreciate and praise your teachers.