Anyone who rebukes a mocker will get an insult in return.
Anyone who corrects the wicked will get hurt.
Proverbs 9:7 (NLT)
One of the tasks I have in my job is to sit down one-on-one with people, listen to some of their phone calls, and help them learn how they can do a better job serving their customers. It’s not rocket science, but companies recognize that when a customer calls with a question or a need there is moment of truth taking place. That customer will walk away with a distinct impression of the company based on how that associate handled the call. So, I help them make it as positive an interaction as possible.
As you might imagine, I have coached a diverse number of people. Some of them are “mockers” who clearly do not want to be there, listen to little or nothing I have to say, and refuse to change even the simplest of behaviors. I’ve been cussed at, threatened, insulted and had people turn away cross their arms and refuse to look at me. I’ve learned over time that there is little I can do for some people other than to provide them the information as clearly and positively as I can without reacting to their negative behaviors.
Fortunately others are open, teachable and desire to do a great job. They are willing to listen to my feedback and genuinely try to change their behaviors.
I couldn’t help but think of the different people I’ve coached over the years as I read of Wisdom contrasting those who are “mockers” and those who are “wise” in today’s chapter. I’ve seen the difference and I understand why she advises not wasting your time with certain people.
When it comes to work I am paid to coach everyone and to do my best to communicate even with those who will refuse to listen. When it comes to life I have more latitude to focus my time, energy and conversation in relationships that will bring life and fill life’s well. The older I get, the more discerning I become with regard to whom I will interact.