There are certain people who you just cannot correct or reprove. They will not receive it. But there is a category of folks who will not receive it and then will verbally attack instead. That is the person who is described in this verse of Proverbs.
The first thing we see here is the action of the one wanting to help. I know that at times when someone offers correction and reproof we might think that they are being annoying or that they're being a nitpicker. Truth is that it is a kind and loving thing to have someone correct you when you are sinning. It is a lack of love or fear that makes us not offer loving correction when it is needed. (Just a word of caution here though - if you seem to always be offering correction - remember this - Paul offered a great deal of praise too. Proverbs tells us that we catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. Paul actually started each of his letters with praise for those to whom he was writing. Therefore we need to balance correction with a healthy dose of prasie and encouragement)
The one offering correction is offering a form of discipline. We are being disciplined so that we live according to how God wants us to live and how He wants us to react to life itself each day. This word also has an aspect of teaching and warning in it. Often our correction needs a touch of teaching. We may know the way to go - but remember in our society that there are many who have not had great biblical parenting and who really DON'T KNOW the teaching we do. We might want to start with gentle, loving instruction to begin the process of correction. The second word used for this correction is "to reprove." This is a pretty cool word because with it is the idea of arguing to convince someone. We are wanting to reprove - but often that means convincing someone of the truth of what we are saying - or more importantly the truth of God's Word on the matter. It has the idea also of convicting and judging an action - not in a condemning way - but rather to help soemone make a clarification as to the moral choices that they are making. Too often we see these two words - correction and reproof as negative words. We see them described in too harshly - rather than in the context of teaching, training, and offering the kind of loving instruction people need to grow spiritually. If we began to see these things in the context mentioned here - we might embrace them as a way of living and a way of encouraging one another.
Now the problem arises for the one offering correction and reproof. First, they are trying to correct a scoffer. The scoffer is the one who laughs at the things of God. They mock at the commandments and morals that God puts forth. They hate God and think the purity of His ways and teachings is nothing more than unwarranted restrictions on people who are free to do as they want. Therefore they heap dishonor on the one offering the correction. They consider it a disgrace to be spoken to in this way - a sign of their incredible pride and arrogance. The reprover gets it worse - we are told he gets insults. The word here pictures someone being put on display so that they are scorned and mocked. When this happens - the result is that they are dishonored - but more than this, the words are meant to ruin, to shame, and to drop the person in the minds and thoughts of all who hear the insults. All this for trying to offer teaching and instruction from God's Word that will ultimately help this person.
Here is the wisdom that you need to receive today. I don't think the Lord is wanting us to read this and decide to remove the whole correction and reproof thing from our lives. There are too many instances when the Lord had His people speak the truth even though it got them insulted for it. When you think of it - that is what happened to Jesus again and again. Yet the Lord did not have Jesus step back from the truth and tone it down when it came to speaking the truth to the world. But . . . we do need to know what we are getting into when we speak the truth. We may be insulted - we may be dishonored. It is not a high and lofty position in men's eyes to be one who speaks the truth of God. Often it is a position of shame and disgrace. You do get insults for yourself - and you are treated with contempt by this world and its inhabitants. So why should we speak the truth? Because God calls us to speak it in love. Because without it this world is doomed beyond imagination. Because when we do so - we become like our Teacher - the Lord Jesus Christ. He unswervingly spoke the truth to the glory of God. It may have cost him in the eyes of men - but it was to the everlasting praise of God and good for mankind that He did.