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Proverbs 15:12


Scoffers do not like to be rebuked;
   they will not go to the wise.

My translation: The scoffer does not love rebuke towards him (receiving rebuke), with the wise he will not go.

I think any child hearing this will laugh a little at the language.  A scoffer doesn’t love when he/she is rebuked?  Neither do I.  Ever.  But the proverbs ask us to do something fairly absurd.  We are to love discipline and rebuke.  We are to cherish the moments when we are corrected, whether with love or with pain.  But the scoffer, the one who cannot set him/herself aside enough to see from another’s view, does not love rebuke.  I think it goes beyond the passive “does not love” to the more permanent “can not love.”  A scoffer is not able to receive anyone else’s point of view as valid or true.  They cannot hear truth in someone’s words if the words differ from the scoffer’s opinion.  It is impossible for them to love rebuke.  Of course they will not go with/to/toward the wise.  In their eyes, the wise are truly fools.  For the primary issue with a scoffer is that they cannot see nor admit that they are essentially fools, like all people.  

I must admit, I do not cherish the moment of rebuke.  The despair and gut sinking experience of being “found out,” or realizing the sheer depth of a mistake is horrible.  And, as I’ve grown older, I’ve noticed that I realize my mistakes fairly soon after I commit them.  Especially when it comes to jokes, language used, inappropriate metaphors, etc.  However, I must also admit that I am fond of the lessons learned from past rebukes, and therefore love the moments of learning and discipline that I lived through.  Hindsight adds the layer of reflection that allows one to reassess the effect of past events.  I hope that I am the type of person that is not quick to defend myself, but quicker to seek improvement.

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