Proverbs 12:8

ESV A man is commended according to his good sense, but one of twisted mind is despised.
NIV A person is praised according to their prudence, and one with a warped mind is despised.
NASB A person will be praised according to his insight, But one of perverse mind will be despised.
CSB A man is praised for his insight, but a twisted mind is despised.
NLT A sensible person wins admiration, but a warped mind is despised.
KJV A man shall be commended according to his wisdom: but he that is of a perverse heart shall be despised.

What does Proverbs 12:8 mean?

According to this verse, people respect and say good things about a person of sound judgment, but they sneer at those whose thinking is distorted. There is certainly a tendency to criticize others not because of "how" they think, but rather whether they agree with us (Proverbs 24:23–25; James 2:9). That, itself, is poor judgment. In most cases, fair-minded people are recognized and respected even by those who strongly disagree with their conclusions.

First Samuel 3 provides a striking contrast between wise Samuel and the sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas. The sons' thinking was distorted. Samuel ministered before the Lord and spoke with integrity and sound judgment, but Eli's sons had evil minds and sinned against the Lord. When the Lord called Samuel to serve as prophet, priest, and judge, He told him: "Behold, I am about to do a thing in Israel at which the two ears of everyone who hears it will tingle. On that day I will fulfill against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end. And I declare to him that I am about to punish his house forever, for the iniquity that he knew, because his sons were blaspheming God, and he did not restrain them" (1 Samuel 3:11–13). Unlike Hophni and Phinehas, who lost the respect of the people and the blessing of the Lord, Samuel grew and enjoyed the Lord's presence, Samuel spoke wisely and the whole land of Israel "knew that Samuel was established as a prophet of the LORD" (1 Samuel 3:20).
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