Words Kill, Words Give Life
18 Loners who care only for themselves
spit on the common good.
2 Fools care nothing for thoughtful discourse;
all they do is run off at the mouth.
3 When wickedness arrives, shame’s not far behind;
contempt for life is contemptible.
4 Many words rush along like rivers in flood,
but deep wisdom flows up from artesian springs.
5 It’s not right to go easy on the guilty,
or come down hard on the innocent.
6 The words of a fool start fights;
do him a favor and gag him.
7 Fools are undone by their big mouths;
their souls are crushed by their words.
8 Listening to gossip is like eating cheap candy;
do you really want junk like that in your belly?
9 Slack habits and sloppy work
are as bad as vandalism.
10 God’s name is a place of protection—
good people can run there and be safe.
11 The rich think their wealth protects them;
they imagine themselves safe behind it.
12 Pride first, then the crash,
but humility is precursor to honor.
13 Answering before listening
is both stupid and rude.
14 A healthy spirit conquers adversity,
but what can you do when the spirit is crushed?
15 Wise men and women are always learning,
always listening for fresh insights.
16 A gift gets attention;
it buys the attention of eminent people.
17 The first speech in a court case is always convincing—
until the cross-examination starts!
18 You may have to draw straws
when faced with a tough decision.
19 Do a favor and win a friend forever;
nothing can untie that bond.
20 Words satisfy the mind as much as fruit does the stomach;
good talk is as gratifying as a good harvest.
21 Words kill, words give life;
they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.
22 Find a good spouse, you find a good life—
and even more: the favor of God!
23 The poor speak in soft supplications;
the rich bark out answers.
24 Friends come and friends go,
but a true friend sticks by you like family.