"Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you, Reprove a wise man and he will love you."
I go to a community college. All day long I am surrounded by souls. Many of whom are just slightly older high-schoolers, maturity-wise. Finding someone who is interested in truth and wisdom is...well, very very rare. I am more likely to be "scoffed" or ridiculed when I speak up, than to be received well. It is even more rare to find a teacher who, although disgustingly liberal, will respect you for standing up for what you believe.
But does that mean you don't try? Do you stand up in class and say, "That is wrong?" Or do you ignore the evolutionary propaganda and sit by quietly while your dozens of more naive, sponge-like classmates absorb the "material" because, well, the PhD in the front of the room believes it so it must be true? When you come across one of those "scoffers" Proverbs talks about, do you let it slide because they won't believe you anyway?
God did not send us to monasteries up in the Alps (yes, Alps) for a reason! He wants us to be "fishers of men."
Jesus said, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves." (Luke 10:2) Like lambs among wolves. That doesn't sound like a very good Shepherd and that also doesn't sound anything like words of the wisest man to ever live (Solomon), who counseled us to NOT reprove scoffers!
The thing is, Jesus did not send us out to harvest the fields of souls alone. He sent us with a Guardian, a Counselor -- the Holy Spirit. All we have to do is wait for the "Field Manager" to send us to our tasks!
So the "task" that started this train of thought. I was at school yesterday, standing at the computers in the library. Two guys started talking, not whispering, two computers down, about how they were going to start a video arcade/strip club not far from here. The main guy went on and on about how the local mega-church would shut them down within a month but what a month it would be! It was his friend's dream!! And what a great dream it was! To break up families, degrade men and women, and society! What a hoot!
I must admit, my head was about to explode. Steam was practically visible coming from my ears like a teapot. I was getting angrier and angrier. How dare they!! I had to do something. I felt like something inside me was pushing to get out -- to yell "perverts!" at them.
But, expectedly, my Americanized politeness/political correctness instincts fought back. No, I thought, I shouldn't. Freedom of speech and all. What if I see them around school? Etc. Etc. You can imagine my train of thought.
Unfortunately for them, I have spent the last two years trying to get rid of my Americanized politeness and fear of man's disapproval. The Holy Spirit was clearly telling me I couldn't let evil raise its ugly head without hitting it back down, like that frog-bopping game in Chucky Cheese's when I was kid.
I walked over to them as I left. "You guys are disgusting," I said firmly, detest practically dripping from my voice, looking the main guy square in the eye. Right on queue, the scoffing began. "HA!" he hooted, clapping his hands, "Our first protester!!" The other looked shocked.
I walked away, refraining from kicking him right where it hurts. I'm fiesty -- not mean, and not in a rush for an arrest warrant to show up on my record.
But I felt like the victor. I knew that I had done the right thing. I don't think it'll make a difference but at least I did not stand idly by. I was faithful to what I believe. More importantly, I was faithful to the "still, small voice" within me -- the Holy Spirit. And that is the main part. That is the part Solomon left out. If I could re-write it, it would say, "Do not reprove scoffers, UNLESS THE HOLY SPIRIT TELLS YOU TOO, but expect them to hate you anyway."
"A man truly believes, not what he recites in his creed, but what he is willing to die for."
I wasn't in any danger of dying, except maybe socially. But the concept can be broadened to that. Essentially, if you aren't willing to overturn the moneychangers' tables with Jesus, don't think walking with Him.