If You Quit Listening 19 1Better to be poor and honest than a rich person no one can trust. 2Ignorant zeal is worthless; haste makes waste. 3People ruin their lives by their own stupidity, so why does God always get blamed? 4Wealth attracts friends as honey draws flies, but poor people are avoided like a plague. 5Perjury won’t go unpunished. Would you let a liar go free? 6Lots of people flock around a generous person; everyone’s a friend to the philanthropist. 7When you’re down on your luck, even your family avoids you— yes, even your best friends wish you’d get lost. If they see you coming, they look the other way— out of sight, out of mind. 8Grow a wise heart—you’ll do yourself a favor; keep a clear head—you’ll find a good life. 9The person who tells lies gets caught; the person who spreads rumors is ruined. 10Blockheads shouldn’t live on easy street any more than workers should give orders to their boss. 11Smart people know how to hold their tongue; their grandeur is to forgive and forget. 12Mean–tempered leaders are like mad dogs; the good–natured are like fresh morning dew. 13A parent is worn to a frazzle by a stupid child; a nagging spouse is a leaky faucet. 14House and land are handed down from parents, but a congenial spouse comes straight from God. 15Life collapses on loafers; lazybones go hungry. 16Keep the rules and keep your life; careless living kills. 17Mercy to the needy is a loan to God, and God pays back those loans in full. 18Discipline your children while you still have the chance; indulging them destroys them. 19Let angry people endure the backlash of their own anger; if you try to make it better, you’ll only make it worse. 20Take good counsel and accept correction— that’s the way to live wisely and well. 21We humans keep brainstorming options and plans, but God’s purpose prevails. 22It’s only human to want to make a buck, but it’s better to be poor than a liar. 23Fear–of–God is life itself, a full life, and serene—no nasty surprises. 24Some people dig a fork into the pie but are too lazy to raise it to their mouth. 25Punish the insolent—make an example of them. Who knows? Somebody might learn a good lesson. 26Kids who lash out against their parents are an embarrassment and disgrace. 27If you quit listening, dear child, and strike off on your own, you’ll soon be out of your depth. 28An unprincipled witness desecrates justice; the mouths of the wicked spew malice. 29The irreverent have to learn reverence the hard way; only a slap in the face brings fools to attention.
The Message® / © 2002 Eugene H. Peterson About