A Way That Leads to Hell 14 1Lady Wisdom builds a lovely home; Sir Fool comes along and tears it down brick by brick. 2An honest life shows respect for God; a degenerate life is a slap in his face. 3Frivolous talk provokes a derisive smile; wise speech evokes nothing but respect. 4No cattle, no crops; a good harvest requires a strong ox for the plow. 5A true witness never lies; a false witness makes a business of it. 6Cynics look high and low for wisdom—and never find it; the open–minded find it right on their doorstep! 7Escape quickly from the company of fools; they’re a waste of your time, a waste of your words. 8The wisdom of the wise keeps life on track; the foolishness of fools lands them in the ditch. 9The stupid ridicule right and wrong, but a moral life is a favored life. 10The person who shuns the bitter moments of friends will be an outsider at their celebrations. 11Lives of careless wrongdoing are tumbledown shacks; holy living builds soaring cathedrals. 12There’s a way of life that looks harmless enough; look again—it leads straight to hell. 13Sure, those people appear to be having a good time, but all that laughter will end in heartbreak. Sift and Weigh Every Word 14A mean person gets paid back in meanness, a gracious person in grace. 15The gullible believe anything they’re told; the prudent sift and weigh every word. 16The wise watch their steps and avoid evil; fools are headstrong and reckless. 17The hotheaded do things they’ll later regret; the coldhearted get the cold shoulder. 18Foolish dreamers live in a world of illusion; wise realists plant their feet on the ground. 19Eventually, evil will pay tribute to good; the wicked will respect God–loyal people. 20An unlucky loser is shunned by all, but everyone loves a winner. 21It’s criminal to ignore a neighbor in need, but compassion for the poor—what a blessing! 22Isn’t it obvious that conspirators lose out, while the thoughtful win love and trust? 23Hard work always pays off; mere talk puts no bread on the table. 24The wise accumulate wisdom; fools get stupider by the day. 25Souls are saved by truthful witness and betrayed by the spread of lies. 26The Fear–of–God builds up confidence, and makes a world safe for your children. 27The Fear–of–God is a spring of living water so you won’t go off drinking from poisoned wells. 28The mark of a good leader is loyal followers; leadership is nothing without a following. 29Slowness to anger makes for deep understanding; a quick–tempered person stockpiles stupidity. 30A sound mind makes for a robust body, but runaway emotions corrode the bones. 31You insult your Maker when you exploit the powerless; when you’re kind to the poor, you honor God. 32The evil of bad people leaves them out in the cold; the integrity of good people creates a safe place for living. 33Lady Wisdom is at home in an understanding heart— fools never even get to say hello. 34God–devotion makes a country strong; God–avoidance leaves people weak. 35Diligent work gets a warm commendation; shiftless work earns an angry rebuke.
The Message® / © 2002 Eugene H. Peterson About