7 Whoever corrects a scoffer gets himself abuse,
and he who reproves a wicked man incurs injury.
8 Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you;
reprove a wise man, and he will love you.
9 Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser;
teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.
10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.”
I’ve been called a grammar Nazi by more than one person. It used to be true. Incorrect grammar grated my nerves. I would “help” the speaker or writer by correcting them. I earned that title. At some point of my Christian walk a few years ago, I started silently correcting them. I can’t tell you when I stopped even silently correcting people. It stopped grating at my nerves to hear most people say, “Where you going to?” Or “I’m not doin’ nothing.”
It isn’t that I don’t long for those people to use proper English or sound more intelligent. I just understand that the people I am criticizing will not accept it as a help but will just get angry. I love them enough to know that my “assistance” will only get them mad. How will that help anyone? If a person wants to learn the language properly then I will give them the corrections they need and those people are thankful. My Brother Jung’s native language is Korean. He appreciates the corrections because as a lawyer he wants to and needs to speak as well as possible.
It is the same thing with any sort of correction, or even rebuking. If a person is wise and wants to live a better life, if a person is seeking Christ and wants to be more like Him, then they will want someone to step in, in love and say, “Is getting drunk right now the best thing?” or even “You shouldn’t go spend time with that woman, it will lead to an affair.” If a person isn’t striving for that better life then telling them those things is just going to infuriate them and possibly lead to a harder heart angry at all Christians.
If someone is not a Believer, what they need is love, compassion and hope, not scolding and rules. The rules are not for them. They are there so that at some point the non-believer may say, “Wow, I do need Jesus, there is no way any person could humanly follow all these rules.”
No one was ever given the hope of salvation because some Pious Patty told them to stop cussing, drinking or gallivanting. People are saved when they see Christ is real, when they experience God. That happens when followers of Christ love them the way He loves us.