Correcting a Fool

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Proverbs 17

10 Rebuke is more effective for a wise man

Than a hundred blows on a fool.

11 An evil man seeks only rebellion;

Therefore a cruel messenger will be sent against him.

12 Let a man meet a bear robbed of her cubs,

Rather than a fool in his folly.

In the book of Proverbs, the fool is the one who cannot be reasoned with, will not be corrected, and has the least hope of changing for the better. While there have been times that I have made foolish decisions, I hope that I never end up living the life of the fool. In this section we see that a fool will not receive correction, seeks only rebellion, and is not to be messed with in the height of his folly.

In my time at the boys home and in my years at rescue missions, I have met those who have been corrected over and over, in a sense they had received hundreds of corrective “blows” on their foolish backs yet in the end went back to their sinful foolishness. You recognize a fool when you meet someone who has had much correction and then blames everyone else for their problems. They have been repeatedly corrected but never leave their foolish thoughts and actions. We have helped those who went back to their foolishness the moment the help ended.

At the same time, I am thankful for those who when they received a rebuke for their foolishness turned completely from it. These are the men and women who see the end of folly and with a little correction will turn from it. Their conscience is sensitive and they do not want to end up in destruction.

My take away from this verse has been that I want to be a person to whom a word of correction is sufficient to get my attention. I wish I could tell you that this were always true of me, but God and I know my stubbornness and know the times God has worked me over with a hundred blows only to see me return to my foolishness. Look at your life today and ask God to give you a sensitivity to correction.


A young man came by last night burdened for his country. In watching the news and seeing people doing horrible things to one another, his heart broke. As we talked together we considered these people’s needs of the Savior who alone can give them hope. Then we talked about those around us whose trouble we cannot know but we know that they need the Lord. Pray with us for unique opportunities to talk to those around us about the Savior, the Lord Jesus. When people come to Christ, then and only then will they find the answers that they so desperately need.

Have a great day in the Lord,


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