The one who forgives an offense seeks love,
but whoever repeats a matter separates close friends.
A rebuke makes a greater impression on a discerning person
than a hundred blows on a fool.
“You cut me deep, Shrek. You cut me real deep just now…”
Okay, so it might not be the most current illustration, but hey, Shrek is a timeless classic.
The word that has been translated here as “greater impression” actually refers to depth. And the idea is that a rebuke goes deeper on a discerning person than the depth with which a hundred blows, or lashes, goes on a fool. In other words, a verbal rebuke goes deeper in a discerning person than the depth in which the tremendous physical punishment goes in a fool.
Another way of putting it is, this thing extreme form of physical punishment should be a lesson that someone would never forget. But because they are a fool, they only remember the physical punishment and forget the lesson they should have learned. But a discerning person learns the lesson from a verbal rebuke and doesn’t need the physical punishment.
It’s also worth noting that a fool is also someone who doesn’t care about right and wrong. A fool knows what’s right, but doesn’t care. A fool knows what’s wrong and doesn’t care. So, a hundred lashes won’t do any good because they just don’t care.
Sometimes we need punishment. There are times when we do stupid things. The kind of person we are will determine if we learn the lesson.
How quick do you learn the lesson?
The other part of this Proverb is also important. It’s an idea that Paul repeats in the infamous “love chapter.” And that is the idea that love keeps no record of wrong. The one who forgives is the one who is seeking love . However, the one who keeps bringing up the matter…the one who won’t forgive…the one who never moves on…the one who keeps opening the can of worms…they separate close friends. Be a person who seeks love and forgive people in your live when they hurt you. Otherwise, you may find yourself with no friends.