18 1Unfriendly people are selfish and hate all good sense. 2Fools do not want to understand anything. They only want to tell others what they think. 3Do something evil, and people won’t like you. Do something shameful, and they will make fun of you. 4Spoken words can be like deep water, but wisdom is like a flowing stream. 5It is not good to honor the wicked or to be unfair to the innocent. 6The words of fools start quarrels. They make people want to beat them. 7The words of fools will ruin them; their own words will trap them. 8The words of a gossip are like tasty bits of food. People like to gobble them up. 9A person who doesn’t work hard is just like someone who destroys things. 10The Lord is like a strong tower; those who do right can run to him for safety. 11Rich people trust their wealth to protect them. They think it is like the high walls of a city. 12Proud people will be ruined, but the humble will be honored. 13Anyone who answers without listening is foolish and confused. 14The will to live can get you through sickness, but no one can live with a broken spirit. 15The mind of a person with understanding gets knowledge; the wise person listens to learn more. 16Taking a gift to an important man will help get you in to see him. 17The person who tells one side of a story seems right, until someone else comes and asks questions. 18Throwing lots can settle arguments and keep the two sides from fighting. 19A brother who has been insulted is harder to win back than a walled city, and arguments separate people like the barred gates of a palace. 20People will be rewarded for what they say; they will be rewarded by how they speak. 21What you say can mean life or death. Those who speak with care will be rewarded. 22When a man finds a wife, he finds something good. It shows that the Lord is pleased with him. 23The poor beg for mercy, but the rich give rude answers. 24Some friends may ruin you, but a real friend will be more loyal than a brother.
New Century Version® / © 2005 Thomas Nelson, Inc. About