3 Ways to Avoid Scoffing and be the Wise One in the Room
TODAY’S PROVERB: If you are wise, you are wise to your own advantage, but if you scoff, you bear it alone. Proverbs 9:12
We’ve all felt it. The change in the atmosphere around us. We’re in a conversation, or meeting, or discussion and — boom — someone scoffs or makes a snide remark.
It doesn’t matter if the remark is directed at someone other than us, the climate changes, and all we want to do is step away.
Scoffing about a situation, opinion, or person will do one of two things:
- Stall a healthy, productive discussion.
- Bring attention to the differences of opinions and distract from resolving them.
Neither result is good.
When we scoff, we bring a sense of hopelessness into a situation. Scoffing says: “Huh. That won’t work.” or “You call yourself a leader?”
Wisdom, on the other hand, brings hope, resolution, and unity. The bearer of wisdom is welcomed by those who truly seek resolution. They also welcome wisdom when a scoffer disrupts, for the bearer of wisdom understands how to bring the discussion back on point.
I don’t think there’s a question, we all want to be the wise person, not the scoffer.
So, how do we avoid acting like a scoffer?
- Show respect. No matter how much we disagree with an opinion or decision, do not disrespect the bearer. We can express why we disagree, and defend our opinion, but not at the wellbeing of another.
- Use self-control. When situations become heated and personalities come out, using self-control will keep things from getting out of hand.
- Forgive. Especially if we’re the recipient of the scoff. Forgive as quickly as possible for it will keep us focused on the true task at hand.
It’s easy to scoff. But, it takes courage and intellect to be wise.
May we choose to be wise, my friends.
[WATCH Tree of Life Bible Society’s CEO, Daniah Greenberg and me, Terri Gillespie, Author dig a little deeper with this proverb. Check us out at Tree of Life Bible Society, Monday through Friday, LIVE at 8:30am EST. Watch previous episodes there as well. Stay wise, my friends!]