No reprendas al escarnecedor, para que no te aborrezca; Corrige al sabio, y te amará. (RVR 1960)
Is God really saying; do not bother telling those who are acting the fools and scoffing at you (ridiculing and mocking your faith) they are wrong? Sort of, yes, as always we must look at this verse in context to get the true meaning.
First we are in the book of Proverbs. Providentially that is where we are just beginning our new adult Sunday school lessons at my local church. We defines Proverbs (for the sake of our study) as: “General truths not promised to everyday life.” In comparison, Christianity.com states that a Biblical Proverb is: A biblical proverb is “a short saying that expresses a universal truth for practical, godly living.” The term “Proverb” comes from the Hebrew root word meaning “to be like”; hence, the book of Proverbs is full of comparisons illustrating how various simple concepts represent the fundamental truths of life.”
If your bible has heading it probably has something like Proverbs 9 is all about the Way of Wisdom or Wisdom vs. Foolishness. Here the wise ruler has built a grand house, prepared a banquet table and sent out invitations by servants to come and partake of the feast v.5 “Come, eat of my bread and drink of the wine” The ruler begs the invited guests to v.6 “Leave your simple ways,[a] and live, and walk in the way of insight.” This is clearly an example of Christ calling His elect, the church to the supper table of fellowship (Lord’s Supper) with Him.
In v.7 we see the preliminary warning to those sent out by Christ with His invitations; Whoever corrects a scoffer gets himself abuse, and he who reproves a wicked man incurs injury. Christ directs His workers not to argue with or extend the invitation to those who are wicked and by their own reckless behavior have brought an shame and misfortune upon themselves.
Now in our text v.8 we find:
Do not reprove a scoffer, here is what I mean by Sort of, yes; no one likes to be publicly disagreed with or told they are wrong especially someone who is Antichrist. Now that does not mean you can not (if you can do so peacefully with loving kindness) take them aside and point out their error.
or he will hate you; be prepared the world (those without Christ) is predominately Anti-christian and no matter how much kindness and love yo show it is likely you will be hated. That is okay, Luke 6:22 tells us we are blessed.
reprove a wise man, It is the rare occasion when you will reprove (to disprove and convince the unbeliever). They have obviously been pricked by the Holy Spirit Titus 3:4-7 and are a wise man willing to hear.
and he will love you. You have to love the benefits package that comes along with being a servant of Christ. Those who hear the Goods News and respond positively will love you for your faithful witness (love and devotion) and for the grace and mercy (benefit) they received. Who does not want to be loved?
In conclusion, Christ is still calling us to be faithful witness for His church it is just we must do so with a proper understanding of both scripture and a biblical worldview.