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Proverbs 13-15The Message (MSG)

Walk with the Wise

13 Intelligent children listen to their parents;
    foolish children do their own thing.

The good acquire a taste for helpful conversation;
    bullies push and shove their way through life.

Careful words make for a careful life;
    careless talk may ruin everything.

Indolence wants it all and gets nothing;
    the energetic have something to show for their lives.

A good person hates false talk;
    a bad person wallows in gibberish.

A God-loyal life keeps you on track;
    sin dumps the wicked in the ditch.

A pretentious, showy life is an empty life;
    a plain and simple life is a full life.

The rich can be sued for everything they have,
    but the poor are free of such threats.

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.

An honest life shows respect for God;
    a degenerate life is a slap in his face.

Frivolous talk provokes a derisive smile;
    wise speech evokes nothing but respect.

No cattle, no crops;
    a good harvest requires a strong ox for the plow.

A true witness never lies;
    a false witness makes a business of it.

Cynics look high and low for wisdom—and never find it;
    the open-minded find it right on their doorstep!

Escape quickly from the company of fools;
    they’re a waste of your time, a waste of your words.

The wisdom of the wise keeps life on track;
    the foolishness of fools lands them in the ditch.

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 tumbledown 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.

God Doesn’t Miss a Thing

15 A gentle response defuses anger,
    but a sharp tongue kindles a temper-fire.

Knowledge flows like spring water from the wise;
    fools are leaky faucets, dripping nonsense.

God doesn’t miss a thing—
    he’s alert to good and evil alike.

Kind words heal and help;
    cutting words wound and maim.

Moral dropouts won’t listen to their elders;
    welcoming correction is a mark of good sense.

The lives of God-loyal people flourish;
    a misspent life is soon bankrupt.

Perceptive words spread knowledge;
    fools are hollow—there’s nothing to them.

God can’t stand pious poses,
    but he delights in genuine prayers.

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.

The Message (MSG)

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

2 Corinthians 5The Message (MSG)

1-5 For instance, we know that when these bodies of ours are taken down like tents and folded away, they will be replaced by resurrection bodies in heaven—God-made, not handmade—and we’ll never have to relocate our “tents” again. Sometimes we can hardly wait to move—and so we cry out in frustration. Compared to what’s coming, living conditions around here seem like a stopover in an unfurnished shack, and we’re tired of it! We’ve been given a glimpse of the real thing, our true home, our resurrection bodies! The Spirit of God whets our appetite by giving us a taste of what’s ahead. He puts a little of heaven in our hearts so that we’ll never settle for less.

6-8 That’s why we live with such good cheer. You won’t see us drooping our heads or dragging our feet! Cramped conditions here don’t get us down. They only remind us of the spacious living conditions ahead. It’s what we trust in but don’t yet see that keeps us going. Do you suppose a few ruts in the road or rocks in the path are going to stop us? When the time comes, we’ll be plenty ready to exchange exile for homecoming.

9-10 But neither exile nor homecoming is the main thing. Cheerfully pleasing God is the main thing, and that’s what we aim to do, regardless of our conditions. Sooner or later we’ll all have to face God, regardless of our conditions. We will appear before Christ and take what’s coming to us as a result of our actions, either good or bad.

11-14 That keeps us vigilant, you can be sure. It’s no light thing to know that we’ll all one day stand in that place of Judgment. That’s why we work urgently with everyone we meet to get them ready to face God. God alone knows how well we do this, but I hope you realize how much and deeply we care. We’re not saying this to make ourselves look good to you. We just thought it would make you feel good, proud even, that we’re on your side and not just nice to your face as so many people are. If I acted crazy, I did it for God; if I acted overly serious, I did it for you. Christ’s love has moved me to such extremes. His love has the first and last word in everything we do.

A New Life

14-15 Our firm decision is to work from this focused center: One man died for everyone. That puts everyone in the same boat. He included everyone in his death so that everyone could also be included in his life, a resurrection life, a far better life than people ever lived on their own.

16-20 Because of this decision we don’t evaluate people by what they have or how they look. We looked at the Messiah that way once and got it all wrong, as you know. We certainly don’t look at him that way anymore. Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other. God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins. God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. We’re Christ’s representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God’s work of making things right between them. We’re speaking for Christ himself now: Become friends with God; he’s already a friend with you.

21 How? you ask. In Christ. God put the wrong on him who never did anything wrong, so we could be put right with God.

The Message (MSG)

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

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