I thought the NIV gave us the most easily understood translation today:
9 Do not speak to a fool, for he will scorn the wisdom of your words.
At first glance, this verse would seem to go against some of what we've talked about in the past. We have discussed how to get wisdom, and how to then guide others with that instruction. We've been encouraged to help others, to speak good counsel to them, and to assist them in finding wisdom.
But this verse seems to be saying "don't bother!" What gives?
I began to understand it more completely when I studied the roots and meanings of the words. The word here carries the meaning of one who "hates wisdom and despises morality," even "casting off the fear of God," and then "committing evil, while making fun of sin and God's instruction." Wow. Pretty strong words, no?
So, we are not talking about someone who, when confronted with his mistakes, is open to correction. Oh, no. This is someone who will make sport of discipline, and throw off any correction like a sailor casting off a line.
This is the type of person that we are warned to not "cast our pearls before" because they are virtually unchangeable. But there is one thing that we can do for them --- and it's not a waste of time. Pray for them! The Spirit can change their hearts, and then change their lives.
Do you know someone like this? Have you tried to witness to them with your life, and with your words? Then let's be sure to pray for them - they are beloved of the Father, and He wants them to come to Him.