(Proverbs 29:9 KJV) If a wise man contendeth with a foolish man, whether he rage or laugh, there is no rest.
Contention (controversy NASB) (8199) is a part of life. Although I am willing to write loud, I tend to walk small. I don’t like genuine controversy. A good spirited argument is a joy but if true hostility emerges, it is time to change the subject. Having said that, controversy happens. How do we respond to it?
We have two types of people and two responses that the fool gives. At first I thought this was condemning the two responses but that didn’t seem to mean much. As I continued to look at this I came to the belief that the point is that the “foolish” (191) do not listen.
There is a middle ground for he who “rages” (7264) or “laughs” (7832), it is called listening and responding thoughtfully. Proverbs here is pointing out that often we get angry instead of genuinely thinking about another point of view. It is easier to simply assume we are right and feel offended. Or we just laugh it off. Both responses are foolish.
We should want to be wise.
So? Listen to what people are really saying. Let them finish. Respond thoughtfully to what they are really saying, not what you thought they meant. Wise debate is within reach.