If You Love Learning
12 If you love learning, you love the discipline that goes with it—
how shortsighted to refuse correction!
2 A good person basks in the delight of God,
and he wants nothing to do with devious schemers.
3 You can’t find firm footing in a swamp,
but life rooted in God stands firm.
4 A hearty wife invigorates her husband,
but a frigid woman is cancer in the bones.
5 The thinking of principled people makes for justice;
the plots of degenerates corrupt.
6 The words of the wicked kill;
the speech of the upright saves.
7 Wicked people fall to pieces—there’s nothing to them;
the homes of good people hold together.
8 A person who talks sense is honored;
airheads are held in contempt.
9 Better to be ordinary and work for a living
than act important and starve in the process.
10 Good people are good to their animals;
the “good-hearted” bad people kick and abuse them.
11 The one who stays on the job has food on the table;
the witless chase whims and fancies.
12 What the wicked construct finally falls into ruin,
while the roots of the righteous give life, and more life.
Wise People Take Advice
13 The gossip of bad people gets them in trouble;
the conversation of good people keeps them out of it.
14 Well-spoken words bring satisfaction;
well-done work has its own reward.
15 Fools are headstrong and do what they like;
wise people take advice.
16 Fools have short fuses and explode all too quickly;
the prudent quietly shrug off insults.
17 Truthful witness by a good person clears the air,
but liars lay down a smoke screen of deceit.
18 Rash language cuts and maims,
but there is healing in the words of the wise.
19 Truth lasts;
lies are here today, gone tomorrow.
20 Evil scheming distorts the schemer;
peace-planning brings joy to the planner.
21 No evil can overwhelm a good person,
but the wicked have their hands full of it.
22 God can’t stomach liars;
he loves the company of those who keep their word.
23 Prudent people don’t flaunt their knowledge;
talkative fools broadcast their silliness.
24 The diligent find freedom in their work;
the lazy are oppressed by work.
25 Worry weighs us down;
a cheerful word picks us up.
26 A good person survives misfortune,
but a wicked life invites disaster.
27 A lazy life is an empty life,
but “early to rise” gets the job done.
28 Good men and women travel right into life;
sin’s detours take you straight to hell.
Walk with the Wise
13 Intelligent children listen to their parents;
foolish children do their own thing.
2 The good acquire a taste for helpful conversation;
bullies push and shove their way through life.
3 Careful words make for a careful life;
careless talk may ruin everything.
4 Indolence wants it all and gets nothing;
the energetic have something to show for their lives.
5 A good person hates false talk;
a bad person wallows in gibberish.
6 A God-loyal life keeps you on track;
sin dumps the wicked in the ditch.
7 A pretentious, showy life is an empty life;
a plain and simple life is a full life.
8 The rich can be sued for everything they have,
but the poor are free of such threats.
9 The lives of good people are brightly lit streets;
the lives of the wicked are dark alleys.
10 Arrogant know-it-alls stir up discord,
but wise men and women listen to each other’s counsel.
11 Easy come, easy go,
but steady diligence pays off.
12 Unrelenting disappointment leaves you heartsick,
but a sudden good break can turn life around.
13 Ignore the Word and suffer;
honor God’s commands and grow rich.
14 The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life,
so, no more drinking from death-tainted wells!
15 Sound thinking makes for gracious living,
but liars walk a rough road.
16 A commonsense person lives good sense;
fools litter the country with silliness.
17 Irresponsible talk makes a real mess of things,
but a reliable reporter is a healing presence.
18 Refuse discipline and end up homeless;
embrace correction and live an honored life.
19 Souls who follow their hearts thrive;
fools bent on evil despise matters of soul.
20 Become wise by walking with the wise;
hang out with fools and watch your life fall to pieces.
21 Disaster entraps sinners,
but God-loyal people get a good life.
22 A good life gets passed on to the grandchildren;
ill-gotten wealth ends up with good people.
23 Banks foreclose on the farms of the poor,
or else the poor lose their shirts to crooked lawyers.
24 A refusal to correct is a refusal to love;
love your children by disciplining them.
25 An appetite for good brings much satisfaction,
but the belly of the wicked always wants more.
A Way That Leads to Hell
14 Lady Wisdom builds a lovely home;
Sir Fool comes along and tears it down brick by brick.
2 An honest life shows respect for God;
a degenerate life is a slap in his face.
3 Frivolous talk provokes a derisive smile;
wise speech evokes nothing but respect.
4 No cattle, no crops;
a good harvest requires a strong ox for the plow.
5 A true witness never lies;
a false witness makes a business of it.
6 Cynics look high and low for wisdom—and never find it;
the open-minded find it right on their doorstep!
7 Escape quickly from the company of fools;
they’re a waste of your time, a waste of your words.
8 The wisdom of the wise keeps life on track;
the foolishness of fools lands them in the ditch.
9 The stupid ridicule right and wrong,
but a moral life is a favored life.
10 The person who shuns the bitter moments of friends
will be an outsider at their celebrations.
11 Lives of careless wrongdoing are run-down shacks;
holy living builds soaring cathedrals.
12-13 There’s a way of life that looks harmless enough;
look again—it leads straight to hell.
Sure, those people appear to be having a good time,
but all that laughter will end in heartbreak.
Sift and Weigh Every Word
14 A mean person gets paid back in meanness,
a gracious person in grace.
15 The gullible believe anything they’re told;
the prudent sift and weigh every word.
16 The wise watch their steps and avoid evil;
fools are headstrong and reckless.
17 The hotheaded do things they’ll later regret;
the coldhearted get the cold shoulder.
18 Foolish dreamers live in a world of illusion;
wise realists plant their feet on the ground.
19 Eventually, evil will pay tribute to good;
the wicked will respect God-loyal people.
20 An unlucky loser is shunned by all,
but everyone loves a winner.
21 It’s criminal to ignore a neighbor in need,
but compassion for the poor—what a blessing!
22 Isn’t it obvious that conspirators lose out,
while the thoughtful win love and trust?
23 Hard work always pays off;
mere talk puts no bread on the table.
24 The wise accumulate wisdom;
fools get stupider by the day.
25 Souls are saved by truthful witness
and betrayed by the spread of lies.
26 The Fear-of-God builds up confidence,
and makes a world safe for your children.
27 The Fear-of-God is a spring of living water
so you won’t go off drinking from poisoned wells.
28 The mark of a good leader is loyal followers;
leadership is nothing without a following.
29 Slowness to anger makes for deep understanding;
a quick-tempered person stockpiles stupidity.
30 A sound mind makes for a robust body,
but runaway emotions corrode the bones.
31 You insult your Maker when you exploit the powerless;
when you’re kind to the poor, you honor God.
32 The evil of bad people leaves them out in the cold;
the integrity of good people creates a safe place for living.
33 Lady Wisdom is at home in an understanding heart—
fools never even get to say hello.
34 God-devotion makes a country strong;
God-avoidance leaves people weak.
35 Diligent work gets a warm commendation;
shiftless work earns an angry rebuke.