God Doesn’t Miss a Thing
15 A gentle response defuses anger,
but a sharp tongue kindles a temper-fire.
2 Knowledge flows like spring water from the wise;
fools are leaky faucets, dripping nonsense.
3 God doesn’t miss a thing—
he’s alert to good and evil alike.
4 Kind words heal and help;
cutting words wound and maim.
5 Moral dropouts won’t listen to their elders;
welcoming correction is a mark of good sense.
6 The lives of God-loyal people flourish;
a misspent life is soon bankrupt.
7 Perceptive words spread knowledge;
fools are hollow—there’s nothing to them.
8 God can’t stand pious poses,
but he delights in genuine prayers.
9 A life frittered away disgusts God;
he loves those who run straight for the finish line.
10 It’s a school of hard knocks for those who leave God’s path,
a dead-end street for those who hate God’s rules.
11 Even hell holds no secrets from God—
do you think he can’t read human hearts?
Life Ascends to the Heights
12 Know-it-alls don’t like being told what to do;
they avoid the company of wise men and women.
13 A cheerful heart brings a smile to your face;
a sad heart makes it hard to get through the day.
14 An intelligent person is always eager to take in more truth;
fools feed on fast-food fads and fancies.
15 A miserable heart means a miserable life;
a cheerful heart fills the day with song.
16 A simple life in the Fear-of-God
is better than a rich life with a ton of headaches.
17 Better a bread crust shared in love
than a slab of prime rib served in hate.
18 Hot tempers start fights;
a calm, cool spirit keeps the peace.
19 The path of lazy people is overgrown with briers;
the diligent walk down a smooth road.
20 Intelligent children make their parents proud;
lazy students embarrass their parents.
21 The empty-headed treat life as a plaything;
the perceptive grasp its meaning and make a go of it.
22 Refuse good advice and watch your plans fail;
take good counsel and watch them succeed.
23 Congenial conversation—what a pleasure!
The right word at the right time—beautiful!
24 Life ascends to the heights for the thoughtful—
it’s a clean about-face from descent into hell.
25 God smashes the pretensions of the arrogant;
he stands with those who have no standing.
26 God can’t stand evil scheming,
but he puts words of grace and beauty on display.
27 A greedy and grasping person destroys community;
those who refuse to exploit live and let live.
28 Prayerful answers come from God-loyal people;
the wicked are sewers of abuse.
29 God keeps his distance from the wicked;
he closely attends to the prayers of God-loyal people.
30 A twinkle in the eye means joy in the heart,
and good news makes you feel fit as a fiddle.
31 Listen to good advice if you want to live well,
an honored guest among wise men and women.
32 An undisciplined, self-willed life is puny;
an obedient, God-willed life is spacious.
33 Fear-of-God is a school in skilled living—
first you learn humility, then you experience glory.
Everything with a Place and a Purpose
16 Mortals make elaborate plans,
but God has the last word.
2 Humans are satisfied with whatever looks good;
God probes for what is good.
3 Put God in charge of your work,
then what you’ve planned will take place.
4 God made everything with a place and purpose;
even the wicked are included—but for judgment.
5 God can’t stomach arrogance or pretense;
believe me, he’ll put those braggarts in their place.
6 Guilt is banished through love and truth;
Fear-of-God deflects evil.
7 When God approves of your life,
even your enemies will end up shaking your hand.
8 Far better to be right and poor
than to be wrong and rich.
9 We plan the way we want to live,
but only God makes us able to live it.
It Pays to Take Life Seriously
10 A good leader motivates,
doesn’t mislead, doesn’t exploit.
11 God cares about honesty in the workplace;
your business is his business.
12 Good leaders abhor wrongdoing of all kinds;
sound leadership has a moral foundation.
13 Good leaders cultivate honest speech;
they love advisors who tell them the truth.
14 An intemperate leader wreaks havoc in lives;
you’re smart to stay clear of someone like that.
15 Good-tempered leaders invigorate lives;
they’re like spring rain and sunshine.
16 Get wisdom—it’s worth more than money;
choose insight over income every time.
17 The road of right living bypasses evil;
watch your step and save your life.
18 First pride, then the crash—
the bigger the ego, the harder the fall.
19 It’s better to live humbly among the poor
than to live it up among the rich and famous.
20 It pays to take life seriously;
things work out when you trust in God.
21 A wise person gets known for insight;
gracious words add to one’s reputation.
22 True intelligence is a spring of fresh water,
while fools sweat it out the hard way.
23 They make a lot of sense, these wise folks;
whenever they speak, their reputation increases.
24 Gracious speech is like clover honey—
good taste to the soul, quick energy for the body.
25 There’s a way that looks harmless enough;
look again—it leads straight to hell.
26 Appetite is an incentive to work;
hunger makes you work all the harder.
27 Mean people spread mean gossip;
their words smart and burn.
28 Troublemakers start fights;
gossips break up friendships.
29 Calloused climbers betray their very own friends;
they’d stab their own grandmothers in the back.
30 A shifty eye betrays an evil intention;
a clenched jaw signals trouble ahead.
31 Gray hair is a mark of distinction,
the award for a God-loyal life.
32 Moderation is better than muscle,
self-control better than political power.
33 Make your motions and cast your votes,
but God has the final say.
A Whack on the Head of a Fool
17 A meal of bread and water in contented peace
is better than a banquet spiced with quarrels.
2 A wise servant takes charge of an unruly child
and is honored as one of the family.
3 As silver in a crucible and gold in a pan,
so our lives are refined by God.
4 Evil people relish malicious conversation;
the ears of liars itch for dirty gossip.
5 Whoever mocks poor people insults their Creator;
gloating over misfortune is a punishable crime.
6 Old people are distinguished by grandchildren;
children take pride in their parents.
7 We don’t expect eloquence from fools,
nor do we expect lies from our leaders.
8 Receiving a gift is like getting a rare gemstone;
any way you look at it, you see beauty refracted.
9 Overlook an offense and bond a friendship;
fasten on to a slight and—good-bye, friend!
10 A quiet rebuke to a person of good sense
does more than a whack on the head of a fool.
11 Criminals out looking for nothing but trouble
won’t have to wait long—they’ll meet it coming and going!
12 Better to meet a grizzly robbed of her cubs
than a fool hellbent on folly.
13 Those who return evil for good
will meet their own evil returning.
14 The start of a quarrel is like a leak in a dam,
so stop it before it bursts.
15 Whitewashing bad people and throwing mud on good people
are equally abhorrent to God.
16 What’s this? Fools out shopping for wisdom!
They wouldn’t recognize it if they saw it!
One Who Knows Much Says Little
17 Friends love through all kinds of weather,
and families stick together in all kinds of trouble.
18 It’s stupid to try to get something for nothing,
or run up huge bills you can never pay.
19 The person who courts sin marries trouble;
build a wall, invite a burglar.
20 A bad motive can’t achieve a good end;
double-talk brings you double trouble.
21 Having a fool for a child is misery;
it’s no fun being the parent of a dolt.
22 A cheerful disposition is good for your health;
gloom and doom leave you bone-tired.
23 The wicked take bribes under the table;
they show nothing but contempt for justice.
24 The perceptive find wisdom in their own front yard;
fools look for it everywhere but right here.
25 A surly, stupid child is sheer pain to a father,
a bitter pill for a mother to swallow.
26 It’s wrong to penalize good behavior,
or make good citizens pay for the crimes of others.
27 The one who knows much says little;
an understanding person remains calm.
28 Even dunces who keep quiet are thought to be wise;
as long as they keep their mouths shut, they’re smart.