The LORD Has the Final Word 16 1We humans make plans, but the LORD has the final word. 2We may think we know what is right, but the LORD is the judge of our motives. 3Share your plans with the LORD, and you will succeed. 4The LORD has a reason for everything he does, and he lets evil people live only to be punished. 5The LORD doesn't like anyone who is conceited— you can be sure they will be punished. 6 If we truly love God, our sins will be forgiven; if we show him respect, we will keep away from sin. 7When we please the LORD, even our enemies make friends with us. 8 It's better to be honest and poor than to be dishonest and rich. 9We make our own plans, but the LORD decides where we will go. 10Rulers speak with authority and are never wrong. 11The LORD watches to see if we are fair or if we cheat others. 12Justice makes rulers powerful. They should hate evil 13and like honesty and truth. 14An angry ruler can put you to death. So be wise! Don't make one angry. 15When a ruler is happy and pleased with you, it's like refreshing rain, and you will live. 16It's much better to be wise and sensible than to be rich. 17God's people avoid evil ways, and they protect themselves by watching where they go. 18Too much pride will destroy you. 19You are better off to be humble and poor than to get rich from what you take by force. 20If you know what you're doing,[E] you will prosper. God blesses everyone who trusts him. 21Good judgment proves that you are wise, and if you speak kindly, you can teach others. 22Good sense is a fountain that gives life, but fools are punished by their foolishness. 23You can persuade others if you are wise and speak sensibly. 24Kind words are like honey— they cheer you up and make you feel strong. 25 Sometimes what seems right is really a road to death. 26The hungrier you are, the harder you work. 27Worthless people plan trouble. Even their words burn like a flaming fire. 28 Gossip is no good! It causes hard feelings and comes between friends. 29Don't trust violent people. They will mislead you to do the wrong thing. 30When someone winks or grins behind your back, trouble is on the way. 31Gray hair is a glorious crown worn by those who have lived right. 32Controlling your temper is better than being a hero who captures a city. 33We make our own decisions, but the LORD alone determines what happens.
Contemporary English Version / ©1995 American Bible Society About