The Right Word at the Right Time 25 1There are also these proverbs of Solomon, collected by scribes of Hezekiah, king of Judah. 2God delights in concealing things; scientists delight in discovering things. 3Like the horizons for breadth and the ocean for depth, the understanding of a good leader is broad and deep. 4Remove impurities from the silver and the silversmith can craft a fine chalice; 5Remove the wicked from leadership and authority will be credible and God–honoring. 6Don’t work yourself into the spotlight; don’t push your way into the place of prominence. 7It’s better to be promoted to a place of honor than face humiliation by being demoted. 8Don’t jump to conclusions—there may be a perfectly good explanation for what you just saw. 9In the heat of an argument, don’t betray confidences; 10Word is sure to get around, and no one will trust you. 11The right word at the right time is like a custom–made piece of jewelry, 12And a wise friend’s timely reprimand is like a gold ring slipped on your finger. 13Reliable friends who do what they say are like cool drinks in sweltering heat—refreshing! 14Like billowing clouds that bring no rain is the person who talks big but never produces. 15Patient persistence pierces through indifference; gentle speech breaks down rigid defenses. A Person Without Self–Control 16When you’re given a box of candy, don’t gulp it all down; eat too much chocolate and you’ll make yourself sick; 17And when you find a friend, don’t outwear your welcome; show up at all hours and he’ll soon get fed up. 18Anyone who tells lies against the neighbors in court or on the street is a loose cannon. 19Trusting a double–crosser when you’re in trouble is like biting down on an abscessed tooth. 20Singing light songs to the heavyhearted is like pouring salt in their wounds. 21If you see your enemy hungry, go buy him lunch; if he’s thirsty, bring him a drink. 22Your generosity will surprise him with goodness, and God will look after you. 23A north wind brings stormy weather, and a gossipy tongue stormy looks. 24Better to live alone in a tumbledown shack than share a mansion with a nagging spouse. 25Like a cool drink of water when you’re worn out and weary is a letter from a long–lost friend. 26A good person who gives in to a bad person is a muddied spring, a polluted well. 27It’s not smart to stuff yourself with sweets, nor is glory piled on glory good for you. 28A person without self–control is like a house with its doors and windows knocked out.
The Message® / © 2002 Eugene H. Peterson About