When a scoffer is punished, the simple becomes wise;
when a wise man is instructed, he gains knowledge.
This proverb parallels 19:25:
“Strike a scoffer, and the simple will learn prudence;
reprove a man of understanding, and he will gain knowledge.”
Punishment has its place, though its effect will differ according to the individual. The scoffer is punished and at best is restricted from further wicked behavior. His heart will not change; he does not grow wiser from the correction. The simple, whether he is the one punished or observes the punishment of the scoffer, may be sobered into seeing what the consequences of his sin are. The premise is that he really does lack education and needs to be shown the right ways. The wise man does not need to be punished to learn. Education is all he needs. He wants to do what is right; he desires more knowledge. He welcomes instruction, even correction.
Which of the three describes you?
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