Proverbs 21:11

When a scorner is punished, the naive becomes wise;
when a wise person is instructed, he gains knowledge.

A scorner is a proud, arrogant mocker. Modern day hebrew uses a form of the word for clown. So, a scorner is like the class clown who can’t keep their mouth shut. Kind of like the guy in this video. (Don’t worry, you don’t have to speak spanish to get the joke.)

I think I always wanted to be the class clown. Maybe not the class clown as much as the funny kid. However, since I’m not a good class clown I would have been more likely to be the kid who copied what the real class clown did and got caught.

When the class clown gets caught, it’s generally not a good thing.

It reminds me of when I was in the eighth grade. I was sitting in science class. I can’t even remember the teacher’s name. I do remember a couple of things about him though. The first thing that always comes to mind is about our shower. We were talking about water conservation, and he gave us the assignment to go home and look on our shower heads, faucets and toilets to see if there was a mark that told how many gallons per minute. So that’s what I did.

The next day, I came back to class with my answer, as did several other students. After several others had given their answers of 4 or 6 gallons per minute, I raised my hand. I told him that our shower head used 1.4 gallons per minute. And he laughed at me. “I think you read it wrong. It was probably 4 gallons per minute. How could anyone even get clean with 1.4 gallons per minute.” I assured him that I hadn’t read it wrong, and he assured me I had. Of course, I went home that night and re-read the sticker just to assure myself that I had read it correctly.

Apparently it’s now the law that new shower heads have to be under 2.5 GPM. I guess Mr. You Read It Wrong, is going to be spending the rest of his life walking around not quite clean. That’s fine, just as long as he shouts “unclean” as he meanders into our presence.

However, that’s not really the story I wanted to tell you. The real story is another time in his class, I had gotten bored (As was often the case) so I was taking apart my pen. Being a musician and well versed in the Andy Griffith show, I wondered what if I could make a whistle by blowing across the top of the small hole on the pen and covering the other end with my thumb (like Briscoe Darling would blow across the top of the jug). Well, what I hadn’t anticipated was the boisterous success of my experiment.

In a lighting quick response, Mr. “I forgot your name and don’t plan on finding you on Facebook to figure it out” turned around. Now, instead of applauding me for the successful experiment I had just tested, I got a rather harsh scold which I still feel was quite undeserved. Apart from this one experiment, I had caused no problems in class. And there were others who had caused quite a few. I got the “try that again and you’ll find yourself in the Principal’s office.” speech. Right there in front of the class. I never tried that experiment in his class again. Though, I should’ve gone back after graduating and hid in the bushes outside his room and just blown that whistle all day long.

Regardless, the point is: punish a scoffer and the naive will become wise. As I didn’t do that again, neither did anyone else in the class. Everyone else in the class was safe from making that mistake and getting punished for it because they saw what happened when I did it.

Better than this, though, is to be a wise person. When you are wise, you receive instruction that keeps you from needing to be corrected.

So, be wise…get a shower head with a low GPM. Save the planet.