The first third of the book of Proverbs deals with “wisdom” as an entity. We befriend wisdom. We walk and talk and live in the presence of wisdom.
In chapter 9 of the book of Proverbs, we see a shift in the message. Now wisdom comes to us in short, pithy sayings of good advice.
Whoever corrects a scoffer wins abuse;
whoever rebukes the wicked gets hurt.
A scoffer who is rebuked will only hate you;
the wise, when rebuked, will love you.
Give instruction to the wise, and they will become wiser still;
teach the righteous and they will gain in learning.
The advice here is directed toward those who hope to act wisely, and especially those who want to share their wisdom with a scoffer. (Not a great idea.) Why? Scoffers don’t really want your help or advice. They want to scoff. They want to sow discord. They want to spread their negativity. They will value your free advice just as much as they have paid you for it. If you try to correct them, you might expect to be abused or to get hurt.
Instead, share your helpful advice with the wise and the righteous. They will love you for it. The wise will use your suggestions in a positive fashion as it helps them become wiser. The wise will treasure what you offer as it adds to their education.
God, give me the wisdom today to know with whom I should share what You have taught me. And please keep teaching me what I need to know to live as a follower of Your Son my Savior, Jesus, in whose name I pray. Amen.