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Proverbs 10-12The Message (MSG)

The Wise Sayings of Solomon

An Honest Life Is Immortal

10 Wise son, glad father;
    stupid son, sad mother.

Ill-gotten gain gets you nowhere;
    an honest life is immortal.

God won’t starve an honest soul,
    but he frustrates the appetites of the wicked.

Sloth makes you poor;
    diligence brings wealth.

Make hay while the sun shines—that’s smart;
    go fishing during harvest—that’s stupid.

Blessings accrue on a good and honest life,
    but the mouth of the wicked is a dark cave of abuse.

A good and honest life is a blessed memorial;
    a wicked life leaves a rotten stench.

A wise heart takes orders;
    an empty head will come unglued.

Honesty lives confident and carefree,
    but Shifty is sure to be exposed.

10 An evasive eye is a sign of trouble ahead,
    but an open, face-to-face meeting results in peace.

11 The mouth of a good person is a deep, life-giving well,
    but the mouth of the wicked is a dark cave of abuse.

12 Hatred starts fights,
    but love pulls a quilt over the bickering.

13 You’ll find wisdom on the lips of a person of insight,
    but the shortsighted needs a slap in the face.

14 The wise accumulate knowledge—a true treasure;
    know-it-alls talk too much—a sheer waste.

The Road to Life Is a Disciplined Life

15 The wealth of the rich is their bastion;
    the poverty of the indigent is their ruin.

16 The wage of a good person is exuberant life;
    an evil person ends up with nothing but sin.

17 The road to life is a disciplined life;
    ignore correction and you’re lost for good.

18 Liars secretly hoard hatred;
    fools openly spread slander.

19 The more talk, the less truth;
    the wise measure their words.

20 The speech of a good person is worth waiting for;
    the blabber of the wicked is worthless.

21 The talk of a good person is rich fare for many,
    but chatterboxes die of an empty heart.

Fear-of-God Expands Your Life

22 God’s blessing makes life rich;
    nothing we do can improve on God.

23 An empty-head thinks mischief is fun,
    but a mindful person relishes wisdom.

24 The nightmares of the wicked come true;
    what the good people desire, they get.

25 When the storm is over, there’s nothing left of the wicked;
    good people, firm on their rock foundation, aren’t even fazed.

26 A lazy employee will give you nothing but trouble;
    it’s vinegar in the mouth, smoke in the eyes.

27 The Fear-of-God expands your life;
    a wicked life is a puny life.

28 The aspirations of good people end in celebration;
    the ambitions of bad people crash.

29 God is solid backing to a well-lived life,
    but he calls into question a shabby performance.

30 Good people last—they can’t be moved;
    the wicked are here today, gone tomorrow.

31 A good person’s mouth is a clear fountain of wisdom;
    a foul mouth is a stagnant swamp.

32 The speech of a good person clears the air;
    the words of the wicked pollute it.

Without Good Direction, People Lose Their Way

11 God hates cheating in the marketplace;
    he loves it when business is aboveboard.

The stuck-up fall flat on their faces,
    but down-to-earth people stand firm.

The integrity of the honest keeps them on track;
    the deviousness of crooks brings them to ruin.

A thick bankroll is no help when life falls apart,
    but a principled life can stand up to the worst.

Moral character makes for smooth traveling;
    an evil life is a hard life.

Good character is the best insurance;
    crooks get trapped in their sinful lust.

When the wicked die, that’s it—
    the story’s over, end of hope.

A good person is saved from much trouble;
    a bad person runs straight into it.

The loose tongue of the godless spreads destruction;
    the common sense of the godly preserves them.

10 When it goes well for good people, the whole town cheers;
    when it goes badly for bad people, the town celebrates.

11 When right-living people bless the city, it flourishes;
    evil talk turns it into a ghost town in no time.

12 Mean-spirited slander is heartless;
    quiet discretion accompanies good sense.

13 A gadabout gossip can’t be trusted with a secret,
    but someone of integrity won’t violate a confidence.

14 Without good direction, people lose their way;
    the more wise counsel you follow, the better your chances.

15 Whoever makes deals with strangers is sure to get burned;
    if you keep a cool head, you’ll avoid rash bargains.

16 A woman of gentle grace gets respect,
    but men of rough violence grab for loot.

A God-Shaped Life

17 When you’re kind to others, you help yourself;
    when you’re cruel to others, you hurt yourself.

18 Bad work gets paid with a bad check;
    good work gets solid pay.

19 Take your stand with God’s loyal community and live,
    or chase after phantoms of evil and die.

20 God can’t stand deceivers,
    but oh how he relishes integrity.

21 Count on this: The wicked won’t get off scot-free,
    and God’s loyal people will triumph.

22 Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout
    is a beautiful face on an empty head.

23 The desires of good people lead straight to the best,
    but wicked ambition ends in angry frustration.

24 The world of the generous gets larger and larger;
    the world of the stingy gets smaller and smaller.

25 The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed;
    those who help others are helped.

26 Curses on those who drive a hard bargain!
    Blessings on all who play fair and square!

27 The one who seeks good finds delight;
    the student of evil becomes evil.

28 A life devoted to things is a dead life, a stump;
    a God-shaped life is a flourishing tree.

29 Exploit or abuse your family, and end up with a fistful of air;
    common sense tells you it’s a stupid way to live.

30 A good life is a fruit-bearing tree;
    a violent life destroys souls.

31 If good people barely make it,
    what’s in store for the bad!

If You Love Learning

12 If you love learning, you love the discipline that goes with it—
    how shortsighted to refuse correction!

A good person basks in the delight of God,
    and he wants nothing to do with devious schemers.

You can’t find firm footing in a swamp,
    but life rooted in God stands firm.

A hearty wife invigorates her husband,
    but a frigid woman is cancer in the bones.

The thinking of principled people makes for justice;
    the plots of degenerates corrupt.

The words of the wicked kill;
    the speech of the upright saves.

Wicked people fall to pieces—there’s nothing to them;
    the homes of good people hold together.

A person who talks sense is honored;
    airheads are held in contempt.

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.

The Message (MSG)

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

2 Corinthians 4The Message (MSG)

Trial and Torture

1-2 Since God has so generously let us in on what he is doing, we’re not about to throw up our hands and walk off the job just because we run into occasional hard times. We refuse to wear masks and play games. We don’t maneuver and manipulate behind the scenes. And we don’t twist God’s Word to suit ourselves. Rather, we keep everything we do and say out in the open, the whole truth on display, so that those who want to can see and judge for themselves in the presence of God.

3-4 If our Message is obscure to anyone, it’s not because we’re holding back in any way. No, it’s because these other people are looking or going the wrong way and refuse to give it serious attention. All they have eyes for is the fashionable god of darkness. They think he can give them what they want, and that they won’t have to bother believing a Truth they can’t see. They’re stone-blind to the dayspring brightness of the Message that shines with Christ, who gives us the best picture of God we’ll ever get.

5-6 Remember, our Message is not about ourselves; we’re proclaiming Jesus Christ, the Master. All we are is messengers, errand runners from Jesus for you. It started when God said, “Light up the darkness!” and our lives filled up with light as we saw and understood God in the face of Christ, all bright and beautiful.

7-12 If you only look at us, you might well miss the brightness. We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives. That’s to prevent anyone from confusing God’s incomparable power with us. As it is, there’s not much chance of that. You know for yourselves that we’re not much to look at. We’ve been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we’re not demoralized; we’re not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do; we’ve been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn’t left our side; we’ve been thrown down, but we haven’t broken. What they did to Jesus, they do to us—trial and torture, mockery and murder; what Jesus did among them, he does in us—he lives! Our lives are at constant risk for Jesus’ sake, which makes Jesus’ life all the more evident in us. While we’re going through the worst, you’re getting in on the best!

13-15 We’re not keeping this quiet, not on your life. Just like the psalmist who wrote, “I believed it, so I said it,” we say what we believe. And what we believe is that the One who raised up the Master Jesus will just as certainly raise us up with you, alive. Every detail works to your advantage and to God’s glory: more and more grace, more and more people, more and more praise!

16-18 So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.

The Message (MSG)

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

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