Whoever corrects a scoffer gets himself abuse,
and he who reproves a wicked man incurs injury.
Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you;
reprove a wise man, and he will love you.
Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser;
teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.
For by me your days will be multiplied,
and years will be added to your life.
If you are wise, you are wise for yourself;
if you scoff, you alone will bear it.
Sound advice for all of us.
Read these verses and think of the state of today’s media, both mass media and social media.
Go ahead and write something on your Facebook page or any social media site, something that expresses your opinion, your point of view. Then sit back and wait for the abuse you will receive from the scoffers and wicked.
You see it every day as you scroll down through the posts and comments.
Watch the news, or should I say opinioned editorial outlets, and you will see it there as well. You will see the scoffers and wicked battling out with other scoffers and wicked.
Through all this media, this mass communication, we are left with the self-righteous, the truly unwise.
Those who rely on this technology will tell you it has created a free and open debate. But it has become a magnet for the scoffers and wicked. And like passing a car wreck we all slow down to take a peek at the carnage.
Those who utilize it to get rich have learned from the likes of Jerry and Maury, strife and conflict sell. Drama, we need more drama.
And so has our government. They have known for quite a long time that civil debate is boring. It doesn’t attract attention.
Wisdom and commonsense are suffering.
Wisdom is quiet. It isn’t loud and boasting. He who is louder, he who is meaner, he who is most obnoxious, is not the winner.
Solomon conveyed these thoughts in other verses:
Whoever restrains his words has knowledge,
and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding.
Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise;
when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
So did the apostles of Christ:
Certain persons, by swerving from these, have wandered away into vain discussion, desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make confident assertions.
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;
but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.
Gentleness and respect doesn’t get you comments, or ratings. It doesn’t win elections and neither does a good conscience.
Take this advice from Solomon. Never correct a scoffer and never reprove the wicked. And most importantly shut up and listen.
© Otis P Smith and About the Groove, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Otis P Smith and About the Groove with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.