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Proverbs 4The Message (MSG)

Your Life Is at Stake

1-2 Listen, friends, to some fatherly advice;
    sit up and take notice so you’ll know how to live.
I’m giving you good counsel;
    don’t let it go in one ear and out the other.

3-9 When I was a boy at my father’s knee,
    the pride and joy of my mother,
He would sit me down and drill me:
    “Take this to heart. Do what I tell you—live!
Sell everything and buy Wisdom! Forage for Understanding!
    Don’t forget one word! Don’t deviate an inch!
Never walk away from Wisdom—she guards your life;
    love her—she keeps her eye on you.
Above all and before all, do this: Get Wisdom!
    Write this at the top of your list: Get Understanding!
Throw your arms around her—believe me, you won’t regret it;
    never let her go—she’ll make your life glorious.
She’ll garland your life with grace,
    she’ll festoon your days with beauty.”

10-15 Dear friend, take my advice;
    it will add years to your life.
I’m writing out clear directions to Wisdom Way,
    I’m drawing a map to Righteous Road.
I don’t want you ending up in blind alleys,
    or wasting time making wrong turns.
Hold tight to good advice; don’t relax your grip.
    Guard it well—your life is at stake!
Don’t take Wicked Bypass;
    don’t so much as set foot on that road.
Stay clear of it; give it a wide berth.
    Make a detour and be on your way.

16-17 Evil people are restless
    unless they’re making trouble;
They can’t get a good night’s sleep
    unless they’ve made life miserable for somebody.
Perversity is their food and drink,
    violence their drug of choice.

18-19 The ways of right-living people glow with light;
    the longer they live, the brighter they shine.
But the road of wrongdoing gets darker and darker—
    travelers can’t see a thing; they fall flat on their faces.

Learn It by Heart

20-22 Dear friend, listen well to my words;
    tune your ears to my voice.
Keep my message in plain view at all times.
    Concentrate! Learn it by heart!
Those who discover these words live, really live;
    body and soul, they’re bursting with health.

23-27 Keep vigilant watch over your heart;
    that’s where life starts.
Don’t talk out of both sides of your mouth;
    avoid careless banter, white lies, and gossip.
Keep your eyes straight ahead;
    ignore all sideshow distractions.
Watch your step,
    and the road will stretch out smooth before you.
Look neither right nor left;
    leave evil in the dust.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

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