Do not speak in the hearing of a fool,
    for he will despise the good sense of your words.
Proverbs 23:9

You don’t have to spend a lot of time on social media to see that there are many people on those mediums that would be the objects of the warnings given by Solomon through the book of Proverbs. This verse is certainly no exception to that statement. There, one sees, with clarity, that many people, though foolish, believe themselves to be wise. It is an epidemic of sorts, I think. This illness has a more significant impact than any pandemic because it demonstrates that we live in a day and age in which there is tremendous access to information, but people remain fools. 

Growing up, I often thought {io knew better than those who went before me. The saying goes, “The older I get, the smarter my parents become.” Well, it is true about many in our world. Many people talk like fools and act like fools because they do not listen to the wisdom of others who have gone before them. They know more. They know better. They think you’re stupid for trying to correct them. Of course, no one knows everything, but it is true that the older and more experienced of our world should be heard and heeded. When that doesn’t happen, trouble typically follows. 

Charles Bridges, in his commentary on the book of Proverbs, writes, “Our Lord’s rule is to the same purport — ‘give not that which is holy unto the dogs; neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample under foot, and turn again and rend you.’ (Matt. 7:6). Cast not away your good counsels upon incorrigible sinners. So long as there is any hope of reclaiming the fool, make every effort for his precious soul.” (Charles Bridges, Proverbs, 427)

Of course, there is a breaking point, and it usually comes when a person refuses to listen to you time and again. At some point, you must remind yourself of this verse and move on to other things. As a pastor, I have witnessed this too many times. For instance, there was a case when a church member was caught in a grievous sin. Efforts were made to have a conversation with the person, and some conversations did happen, but at the end of the day, the individual determined that they knew best and went their way. Regardless of the effort, the individual would not listen. At some point, you must let people fall flat on their faces before they learn. For some — for fools — learning the hard way is the only way they learn. It’s not easy to know when that point is reached, and it isn’t easy to let them go their way when you care deeply for them. But, it would be best if you did it, nonetheless.

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