Proverbs 9: Productive Conversations
Proverbs 9 provides some very good advice for those of us who are interested in apologetics. Obviously, our interests often times bring us into deeper discussions with people who we might not see eye to eye with. These discussions can be frustrating to say the least. I was involved in a conversation with a few people where it seemed like everything I was twisted into something that I had never said. On top of that, no one bothered to address the questions I had.
Proverbs 9 tells us something about interactions like that.
Pro 9:7 He that reproveth a scorner getteth to himself shame: and he that rebuketh a wicked man getteth himself a blot.
Pro 9:8 Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.
Pro 9:9 Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.
I think this is important for all of us to remember. We need to be careful with our interactions. Some of them are simply not worth pursuing. This makes me think of something similar that Jesus said.
Mat 10:14 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.
I have a hard time with this concept because the truth that we have is important for everybody. If Christianity is true, everybody needs to hear about the saving work of Jesus Christ, and I think that is an example of why we need to make sure that we are having productive conversations rather than spinning our wheels with people who aren’t listening.
We can’t be wasting our time with someone who is not willing to accept. Jesus certainly told the Pharisees what they needed to hear, but when they rejected Him, He went away for the time being. He didn’t stop interacting with them, but He recognized that He was brought to earth to do a lot more than stand around and argue.
Let me tell you the end of the story I started above. I decided that it wasn’t worth my time to debate forever. It was obvious that there wasn’t an interest in conversation. However, there was one guy who somehow sought out my email address, and we proceeded to have a very good conversation. I don’t know if it ultimately changed anything for him spiritually, but I think that we both were able to have a profitable discussion, and maybe I put a stone in his shoe.
I think that is that the proverb is talking about. Wise people are willing to learn and are willing to talk about these things. They are honestly intellectually curious, and they are willing to pursue truth. They are the ones that God is already drawing to himself. We are called to be involved in that process.