Your Life Is at Stake 4 1Listen, friends, to some fatherly advice; sit up and take notice so you’ll know how to live. 2I’m giving you good counsel; don’t let it go in one ear and out the other. 3When I was a boy at my father’s knee, the pride and joy of my mother, 4He would sit me down and drill me: “Take this to heart. Do what I tell you—live! 5Sell everything and buy Wisdom! Forage for Understanding! Don’t forget one word! Don’t deviate an inch! 6Never walk away from Wisdom—she guards your life; love her—she keeps her eye on you. 7Above all and before all, do this: Get Wisdom! Write this at the top of your list: Get Understanding! 8Throw your arms around her—believe me, you won’t regret it; never let her go—she’ll make your life glorious. 9She’ll garland your life with grace, she’ll festoon your days with beauty.” 10Dear friend, take my advice; it will add years to your life. 11I’m writing out clear directions to Wisdom Way, I’m drawing a map to Righteous Road. 12I don’t want you ending up in blind alleys, or wasting time making wrong turns. 13Hold tight to good advice; don’t relax your grip. Guard it well—your life is at stake! 14Don’t take Wicked Bypass; don’t so much as set foot on that road. 15Stay clear of it; give it a wide berth. Make a detour and be on your way. 16Evil 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. 17Perversity is their food and drink, violence their drug of choice. 18The ways of right–living people glow with light; the longer they live, the brighter they shine. 19But the road of wrongdoing gets darker and darker— travelers can’t see a thing; they fall flat on their faces. Learn It by Heart 20Dear friend, listen well to my words; tune your ears to my voice. 21Keep my message in plain view at all times. Concentrate! Learn it by heart! 22Those who discover these words live, really live; body and soul, they’re bursting with health. 23Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that’s where life starts. 24Don’t talk out of both sides of your mouth; avoid careless banter, white lies, and gossip. 25Keep your eyes straight ahead; ignore all sideshow distractions. 26Watch your step, and the road will stretch out smooth before you. 27Look neither right nor left; leave evil in the dust.
The Message® / © 2002 Eugene H. Peterson About